Plane elements in Tactical Surface Fighters; F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 Fighting Falcon has proven itself to be highly manoeuvrable air-to-air and air-to-surface fighter that during its reveal was nothing less than a quantum leap in fighter design. After all, it was the first fly-by-wire electric combat aircraft. F-16 is a low-cost and high-performance machine that for a reason became a classic on its own rights and was imported to numerous other nations like Belgium.

F-16A saw its first flight in late 1976, and stepped into United States Air Force’s service in 1979. F-16B was a two-seat variant of the machine and engineered the path for F-16s to have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that would allow expansions in multiple roles since 1981. These expansions vary from precision strike ability to night attacks and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This lead into F-16C and D variants that are single- and two-seat variants of the aforementioned while incorporating new technology. All current USAF units are converted to these models, while Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve still holds some A and B variants.

In comparison to its contemporary fighter aircrafts, the F-16 is a serious threat to the point F-35 losing to it in a direct dog fight. The comparison between the two is not as apt as it would seem. F-35 is mainly a stealth fighter meant to destroy the enemy before it is even spotted. Discussion whether or not manned fighters are the future with the advent of cutting edge drone technology is another discussion that we should have one of these days. Nevertheless, the F-16 is a beast that with an operation radius that exceeds many other fighters and is an all-weather fighter. In an air-to-ground missions the F-16 can fly more than 860km, deliver a pin-point strike to the object and return to base, visual or not. It’s weight, small size and well designed fuselage allows it to fly 2 125km/h with its afterburning F100-PW-100 turbofan engine and can take up 9Gs, which is helluva lot of thrust. It’s dryweight is 6 607kg, and maximum take-off peaks around 14 968kg, allowing it to carry numerous weapons with its nine hard points.  Internally, the F-16 has a M61 A1 20mm gatling gun system, which had some installation difficulties at first.

Rather than going on about the F-16, I recommend checking the for a full coverage on the fighter, including full listing of its armaments, variants and its operational history in the Persian Gulf War and in Operation Desert Storm.

In Muv-Luv‘s BETAverse, the F-16 mirrors the real world fighter in that it’s a lightweight Tactical Surface Fighter with superior mobility and range, operating in junction to its weightier siblings F-14 and F-15. Similarly how the fighter has a long-range of operation in multitude of roles, the TSF has a long operation time on the field, derived from the Lightweight Tactical Surface Fighter competition, which aimed to create highly manoeuvrable and cost-effective unit to change tactics against the BETA. This cost effectiveness allowed the US to produce more units, as they could not completely replace their ageing first generation TSFs with the two aforementioned heavier models.

Just like in real world, the F-16 TSF was imported to numerous other countries, replacing their F-4Es and F-5s. The Benelux union has its own variant as a result of import, the F-16AM, which more or less has the usual mid-life upgrade with overall technological improvements. The same applies to F-16C, mostly used by the US and UN, with improvement Jump Units.

Due to F-16s being everywhere, they were seen in action in numerous places like Yukon base, Battle of Rhodes and during Operation Cherry Blossom in Muv-Luv Alternative. TSFs don’t tend to vary in armament a whole lot, and F-16 is not really an exception. WS-16 Assault Cannon has been TSF bread and butter since F-4 Phantom, thou later F-16 were updated to handle the AMWS-21. CIWS-1 Close Combat Knife is the choice F-14’s for combat, a good choice for a TSF that should excel in close combat. F-14 is also capable carrying MGM-140 ATACMS missile containers, which reflects the real world fighter’s multirole function.

Historically and in idea, the TSF hits close to the fighter, but the design is more derived from the in-universe sources. This is best seen in the idea that most of the TSF’s design is that of angles rather than smooth curves like with the fighter. This is because almost none of the TSFs have what could be called smooth lines. That in mind, common points between the TSF and the fighter can be made, e.g. the intake in the TSFs abdomen is the same as the fighter’s, just more angular.

As usual, here's the original imageboard version
As usual, here’s the original imageboard version

After you get use to the idea of looking at certain aspects in the F-16 TSF, you end up noticing common points. It seems like the gatling gun and loads of sections on the fuselage’s back made some of the TSF’s detailing. It’s interesting to note that the thighs didn’t see any additional details, while otherwise you see a lot of red dots downwards. Shoulders are interesting, to say the least, as they incorporate F-16 rising parabola silhouette, just with wings cut off. The arms follow this idea to some extent, but are surprisingly clean of any needles detail

The groin guard on the other hand is a flip of the coin; either it is inspired by that parabola silhouette, or was thrown in there just because. While I’m not a fan of the knees American TSFs have, they have their function in housing the CIWS-1.

Happy to see they're free of this switch blade bullshit
Happy to see they’re free of this switch blade bullshit

The knees however do make the TSF look a bit cumbersome. Despite the F-16 being the lightweight unit, it doesn’t really look like it. The shoulders look far too ornate for that, and shaving down the skirt’s and kneeguard’s sizes would’ve done good. Maybe even take elements of the shoes too. It does resemble the fighter while not really pushing those elements forwards enough. A slimmer version of the this design would’ve probably been the best middle-ground in tying it down to the TSF tech tree while pushing the idea of these being in-universe versions of the fighters.

And on top of all that, it has a face on back of its head.


And while we’re discussing things from âge, today’s the 27th of August. Happy birthday, Hayase Mitsuki.

Monthly Three; WAR-ER ONE

If one doesn’t find much sources about Hariken Ryu in English (his career with Godzilla gives him a lot of leverage over other of his contemporaries, Arain Rei is barely recognized in any degree. While Aran is known as one of many people who made up the best era of Comic Lemon People, and thus one of those who influenced then-current Japanese popular culture, and to that extension modern Japanese pop-culture, his name is all but lost in the Western front. He was at his most active in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, having an influence over stylistic sensibilities as well as contributing to the OVA scene.

I have discussed his original Iczer-1 to some degree previously, so in this entry I’ll be concentrating on Aran himself rather than retreading old ground.

Born in 1960, Aran’s first published work was Fairies of the Star in Comic Lemon People #6, 1982. Whether or not he had released doujinshis before this is unknown. The one work he seemed to like the most and kept working on  between 1983 and 1993 is Galaxy Police Patrizer-3. If any of his works, it is this one that shows how Aran refined his self-taught skills within one decade to a whole new level.

Continue reading “Monthly Three; WAR-ER ONE”

Was Mega Man not optimistic?

A new interview on the 2017 Mega Man show came out this week, and I decided to mull over it a little bit before making this entry because it really is an odd little thing. The title really says it; The New MEGA MAN Animated Series Will Have a More Optimistic Blue Bomber. The reason why I had to sit down and let it be was my very first reaction; But Mega Man had always been optimistic.

The article/interview doesn’t reveal anything what we already didn’t know, it’s more a slight insight into the mindset and workings of the people involved. A lot of the answers are non-replies, like how the first one about why would it be the right time for a new Mega Man, the answer is never given. Only that Mega Man is a timeless character. All Dentsu America seems to be excited about is that they have this iconic game character in their hands to play with. This is telling, as the studio Man of Action’s Generator Rex was not the big hit it was expected to be, and Ben 10 has largely run its course. Ultimate Spider-Man has not been as popular either, so it seems they are intending to tap yet another existing franchise in hopes for some name recognition. This seems to  be the reason why it would be the perfect time for a new Mega Man; it is a recognized name and has not seen any new entry in some time. Mega Man‘s solid concept is easy to adapt and mould for new purposes.

Joe Kelly’s suggestion that this is the first time an American team is handling Mega Man is also incorrect. I’m sure Archie’s take on Mega Man is in hold because of 2017 Mega Man. Archie’s Mega Man is a more direct adaptation of whatever plot the games had, but it’s a damn good one and a very American one in many ways. It’s excellent read. Before that, Dreamwave had the Mega Man license and had a very, very similar plotline about Rock(y) being sent to school to learn to be more like a human. Of course, you had the Captain N Mega Man too, and we never should forget Ruby-Spears’ Mega Man.

Honestly, this show is pretty damn good

It’s clear that Kelly’s not up to his history with his assertion, and it is doubtful he has checked the previous Western works either. Saying that Man of Action and Dentsu America are the first ones to give Mega Man an American take is simply false and made under intention of good press.

Then again, Nerdist themselves makes a really, really weird comment. Yeah, it would just be a huge bummer if Mega Man was this cynical jerk. It’s like, “Why was I created?” No Mega Man has ever questioned their birth. The closest we come across is Grey from Mega Man ZX Advent, and even then he’s amnesic. When you get down to it, it would be really damn hard to pin down any character in Mega Man that would lament their birth like that. Even Mega Man X at his introspective moment hesitated to fight or wondered what he would like to make of his life, what his dreams and goals were.

But looks like Man of Action intends to give Mega Man the same treatment as they did to Spider-Man, which doesn’t exactly fill people with confidence. Mega Man, the original character, is as stripped down as it gets already, a very simple concept. What Man of Action has done is they’ve simply added elements that never existed in the original mythos of the work (did in Dreamwork’s take tho), but the telling remark from them is when they mention how a lot of things have added to the character of the years.

These people think there’s one Mega Man.

Certainly they recognize that we have numerous unique Mega Man characters each in their own series; Classic, X, Legends, Battle Network, Star Force, ZX, and if you want to count Zero, ZXA and Xover, be my guest. Classic is the blueprint where the rest of the franchise has grown out, and so it’s really incredibly stupid to say that the character Mega Man has seen stuff bolted on top of him, but that’s the mindset here. They don’t think Mega Man as in the Classic series, they think the whole damn franchise as one. That explains a lot about the Aki Light Mega Man’s design a lot, as it’s the collection of bits and pieces from all the iteration in a very messy and outdated way. I’m not going to let go of that,t he design looks terrible.

Further evidence on them not really knowing about Mega Man as a franchise is Joe Casey’s mention how Mega Man has a lot villains, which is not true. Mega Man has only one villain who orchestrates everything else; Dr. Wily. Sigma and the rest belong to the other sub-series, but that doesn’t matter to them. Robot Masters are lackies, not the main villains, not even King.

At this point Man of Action really should’ve just made their own robot-kid-fights-for-good show instead of relying on Mega Man‘s recognition. Nerdist can go fuck themselves for saying some of the old names are wonky, they follow a true and tested way pioneered by American comics no less. Casey retorting that they’re intending to bring in more women characters in shouldn’t be taken as anything but few more girl characters, and that’s fine as long as they do it the right way. Like Archie and Dreamwave did.

Nerdist is being diplomatic and very, very sensationalistic when calling the art style striking. Their intention is to lift the issue up that fans laughed at the design quite a lot and only handful of people honestly seemed to like it. Kelly’s mention how CAPCOM wanted to keep certain things in sounds about right. After all, this should be a recognizable character and so certain elements have to stay in. Without a doubt Man of Action would have wanted to revamp the whole thing to look completely different. The best joke about the whole think is when Duncan Rouleau says his design for Mega Man stems from old cartoons like Mach GoGoGo /Speed Racer and Gigantor, but it really does look more like a Chinese knock-off than anything else. Going back to the inspirational roots of Mega Man would’ve done him some good. Tetsuwan Atom, Casshern, Kikaider, Tekkaman (not Blade) to mention some.

Whether or not a design has a lot of thought behind doesn’t really matter, not to the end-user. All that matters if it pleases him.

What throws me off at Casey’s comment about Mega Man having many different iterations is that it sounds like CAPCOM was the one dictating them elements they should use. I can see them wanting to reuse some of the elements, but dictating not so much, especially after these guys asserted that this Mega Man is an American take. Whether or not we should even call post-Classic series main characters as iterations of Mega Man is under heavy question. The fact is, they are not the same character and stand on their own legs who they are as characters.

Casey saying that the show will have dark elements, but Mega Man himself won’t be it is stupid. Mega Man himself has never been the dark element in the franchise. In Classic series he is a helper robot that is compelled to help those in need. In X series Mega Man X is the brightest thing in the series, fighting for peaceful coexistence of humans and Reploids. Legends has Mega Man Volnutt living a normal life as an adventurer. In Battle Network MegaMan.EXE may be the digitalisation of Lan’s brother, but that’s far from dark. It’s hopeful and their interaction really is very brotherly. In Star Force Geo may be a traumatised character at first, but he gets better and becomes a normal kid again. In ZX, the idea of Mega Man has changed and has classic hero type who gains his powers from a “mystical” source. Xover doesn’t really have any personality so don’t know where the hell Man of Action of Dentsu America got their idea of Mega Man, as a character being dark. Maybe they just played Mega Man Zero, which would explain it. The irony in that would be that you don’t play as Mega Man, and X is literally a digital angel in that series.

After this interview I’m expecting to see a show that isn’t Mega Man outside brand recognition. It’ll be just like any other Disney😄 action show that will run for a season and then killed. CAPCOM seems to be producing game based on the show, but whether or not that will be good or not is another thing.

Honestly, this sub-series needed its own subtitle, like all the previous. Call it American Mega Man or something like that, seeing they’re so proud to think they’re the first American take on the franchise. Fingers crossed that this series will at least show CAPCOM that the franchise as a whole still has worth and greenlight more games to the other sub-series rather than just putting re-releases out.

Metal Gear SurVives!

Metal Gear Survive, what a weird thing to happen. If this is the way Konami intends to get into fans’ graces, they’re way out of touch. A Metal Gear like zombie survival game could have done well with people, thou at this point the whole theme of the game is late to the party. Of course the game got a hatestorm against it, but I’m betting most of it has to do with Konami rather than the game itself.

Zombies in Metal Gear is really nothing special. We already had magic, cyborgs, burning space Soviets, magic AI from the 1970’s that sang and weird ass parasites that gave superpowers and gave humanity language. One could say that the puppets in Metal Gear Solid V were essentially zombies as well, so this whole this has a precedence in the series.

The whole thing really is par for the course at this point, really.

I doubt any fan of the franchise expected this sort of motion from Konami. Looking at the comments and reactions, most seem to have expected some sort of generic wargame where you would play as a member of MSF or the like, while others were expecting a Metal Gear remake. I bet staff at Konami were on some good shit when they came up with the concept for SurviVal. Must be leftovers from Kojima’s stash.

I can’t even be mad at the rocket-propelled arrow you see in the trailer, it’s stupid and useless thing. Just par for the course. However, it is apparent that SurviVe does reuse assets from MGSV, which should be expected but still manages to feel a bit cheap. As long as they can deliver a solid product, I guess.

That begs the question Who are the intended audience? I can see Konami wanting to sell this to the core fans, but they’re more or less completely hating the company at this point and would’ve called whatever product they had cranked out  shit no matter what. Unless said product would’ve been exceptional in their view. Zombie fans have become jaded due to the amount of media about them out there. Survival games are the most mass consumed genre right now, and we can thank Minecraft for that. In that sense, this seems to be a survival game using the Metal Gear name to further lift itself to the surface.

I did say that Konami would produce more Metal Gear games in the future, but never said they’d be any good. If they have more ideas under their belt how to win over the hearts of their fans, Konami really needs to go back to the basics with each of their franchises, and release that 3Ds Bomberman Hudson Soft had finished but not published. This sort of experimenting should left for later. Then again, this is no Pachinko: Akumajou Dracula Erotic Violence. Yes, that’s a thing.

But for now, it’s better to sit back with a good cup of hot stuff and enjoy the banter that’s going on. Konami has already received the initial feedback, again up to them consider how they want to proceed with things. It might even be that the revision done to Japanese gambling laws that in preparations for the upcoming Olympics may just force Konami to try concentrating on video game development more… unless their sports simulator section providers more dough.

As a sidenote, despite I enjoy the occasional slot games, goddammit Japanese slots are loud and flashy as all hell.

Monthly Three; Space Punch!

This monthly three will be a bit different. I’ll be treading some grounds that I’ve been through in previous entries, but this will be more or less a more cohesive series. This series of three will be about how Fight!! Iczer-1 OVA came to be, starting with Hariken Ryu’s Gekisatsu! Uchuuken, then continuing with Rei Aran’s original comic of Fight! Iczer-1, and ending in image comparisons between the DVD and BD release. The problem doing this entry is that a lot of information is just unavailable on certain issues, and thus some conjecture is needed.

So, where do we start when it comes to the OVA of Iczer-1? We start a comic illustrator who liked live action shows a lot. Hidemi Miyata, better known as Hariken Ryu, made his debut in #1 issue of Comic Lemon People February 1982, with his Mad City 16 Beat.

Take a good look at the lady on the left
This is according to Gekisatsu! Uchuuken Vol.1. In reality, Hariken Ryu had already been published in Daya Publishing’s Comic DUMP #10 with his Parabola of Ecstasy

Continue reading “Monthly Three; Space Punch!”

McQuarrie’s designs recycled

What common element is shared between Star Wars and Star Trek? Well, the title spells it already. With the Star Trek Discovery test footage revealed, the first reaction to many was Is that the Enterprise from Planet of the Titans? Those who are into Trek at least asked, and for a good reason. The title ship does indeed look like it was lifted from McQuarrie’s concept design for the refitted Enterprise.

McQuarryprise uss disco

Continue reading “McQuarrie’s designs recycled”

And there we go, Another Metroid 2 Remake DMCA’d

I didn’t joke when I mentioned in my previous post that Nintendo would take down Another Metroid 2 Remake. On top of that, they have removed digital editions of Nintendo Power from the Internet Archive. Nintendo is rather draconian when it comes to their take downs and to some extent they are required to do so. They are required to enforce their IP copyrights. This DMCA notice and link takedown was seen miles away. I am surprised that they didn’t take the project down in its inception, and waited until it was finished. AM2R had been under works for a decade and the developing team should’ve put their effort into something original rather than a remake. That is the reality of the situation.

The Metroid fan community of course is making this the biggest misstep Nintendo has ever made, which is just blowing out the frustration. Nintendo has given a damn about Metroid outside glory trophy projects like Other M or Federation Force. Nintendo did announce that their IPs were free to be used under the Creative Endorsement Program on NicoNico, fan made games and other larger projects that aim to recreate elements or games have always got struck down with a hammer. Super Mario 64 HD, NES Visual Compendium and understandably, an emulator application for iOS. These are just few examples, and scrounging through the net I’m sure one could find even more. There was some brouhaha about Nintendo sending DMCA notices to Youtubers and some people making porn drawings of Nintendo characters. Speaking of porn, Nintendo bought out Super Hornio Brothers‘ rights to stop their distribution.

Each and every time Nintendo’s lawyer has issued a DMCA, people come out form the woodworks and proclaim that this will be the end of Nintendo, that they will crash and burn. The same applies to other companies as well, but to the same exact degree. While money is probably the main issue, there are other concerns.

While the creating staff could issue a DMCA counter-claim and argue that AM2R is a non-commercial derivative work that falls under fair-use laws, it’d most likely end up being in court and I highly doubt any of the staff has the money to venture into a legal battle against Nintendo, even when it is a game they’ve been working on for over ten years. That pisses me off. They spent years making a fan game instead a new product they could benefit from, and now all they got was DMCA.

The staff is technically free to work on AM2R, unless Nintendo decides to issue a Cease and Desist notice towards them. Nothing new on that front either, Nintendo has a history in that too. Prime example of this would probably be the fanmade The Legend of Zelda film, thou to be fair these guys tried to sell tickets to their fanfilm. However, even when one would argue for Fair Use, this is very largely somewhat grey region.

I give AM2R‘s the benefit of doubt that they did consider at some point turning this into something original, something that wouldn’t remotely infringe Nintendo’s IP. Now their game will be just another entry in the list DMCA’d fan products. While Axiom Verge may split opinions about its quality, the creator nevertheless had the right touch. Rather than outright remake a game he created something of his own.

Yes, everything is a copy of a copy. The difference we have nowadays is that people don’t try to do their own thing anymore. Comic heroes like Superman may be derivative works of legendary figures from Ancient Rome, Star Wars can be said to be derived from Flash Gordon and Indiana Jones is a direct homage to countless pop-adventure serials. Yet, they all are their own, new thing and trying to do something different. They don’t just take what exists as is and reuse that. All the three examples crafted something different and something more, creating a new whole new mythos around them. Projects like AM2R are sad because they could be something more if they were to stand on their own legs, but as they are now they’re just bunch of fanfiction.

These people have stopped creating anything new. They simply take what others have taken and recycle them. That is extremely sad and one of the reasons why modern fiction suffers. This is the other issue I mentioned earlier. If you want to work on an IP, you better see the work and enthusiasm to convince the IP owners to either grand you the license for a fee or strive to work under the IP owner. I am making this split steep in order to simply say Create your own shit. Make something new. I implore all content creators to make your own thing rather than lean on to something that already exists.

The whole originality issue aside, AM2R seems to have gone well within the fandom, which is why the same fandom seems to have gone almost nuclear. Nintendo rarely lops their ear at whatever complaint they get from consumers, and Metroid is a prime example of this. As is Super Mario Bros. and slew other franchises they have. Much like all big companies, these are single cases for them with no weight to them. Sometimes they may see a point to make a profit out of it and for PR purposes, but largely it will be just another incident that will be put back in few weeks whenever the next thing to get mad about pops up. Modern Internet seems to move from one issue to another in a breath. After all, this is just another day and nothing new or special.

However, Nintendo can’t do anything about the game now. It’s out there, in the wild and it won’t take you long to pop into your favourite search engine and look for a third-party download. It should be more or less clear at this point that Nintendo is no interested in delivering a 2D Metroid game.

Metroid 30th anniversary

Metroid is a good example from Nintendo not giving a damn. Once one of their name franchise on the NES, Game Boy and Super Nintendo,  and sure, why not on the GameCube as well. Now Metroid‘s a little more than another piece to use Nintendo’s creators to do whatever they wish to very little acclaim. While GBA’s Metroid Fusion has a cult following without a doubt, and was the Metroid to many, it was without a doubt the first step towards what would end up being Other M.

Much like any other long-running franchises, Metroid has a raving fanbase. Most of them have credited Super Metroid to be the best entry in the series, despite it being more or less a straight up remake of the NES original. You could say that one game per console was more than enough to Metroid, as the games in the end didn’t innovate on the formula or furthered it. It refined the action-adventure genre for sure, but it wasn’t the only one to do so. Castlevania: Symphony of Night gave it further twists with role-playing elements in form of stats growths next to equipment collection. It was Gunpei Yokoi’s passing that can be cited to end the series as it stood.

Metroid Fusion took the franchise backwards, mainly in that turned a series that was known about its adventure into a more linear direction, and the solitary elements were softened with a constant companion A.I. Fusion‘s story is a good example where it simply stops the gameplay for not good reason than exposition. The franchise at this point was more or less a good example of gameplay doing all the storytelling, adventure being the story itself. Super Metroid had an opening cinematic that gave the game a setting, and the rest was told during gameplay.

Fusion and Metroid Prime could be described to be the beginning of the second era of the franchise. Super Mario 64 could be argued to be the first good transition from 2D to 3D, and Metroid Prime an example from 2D to first-person action. Whatever sort of success the Prime series had is for another time, but it can’t be argued that it lifted the franchise to the public mind once more, even if in somewhat limited manner.

Nintendo’s Japanese branch didn’t really care about the series in the end, and Other M was more or less their take on what they regarded as true Metroid. It’s not a surprise that when you start discussing motherly instincts and essentially destroy Samus Aran’s character by giving her a character. Not to mention that the simple but expansive core gameplay from the previous entries of the series was abandoned for a more complex and unintuitive mechanics. Most, if not all fault can be but on Sakamoto for essentially doing Other M what it is, though the execs at Nintendo, Miymoto included, should’ve put stops on the game. Other M starts the third era for Metroid, that’s essentially where it all went to trash.

What made the Metroid is pretty much lost in the franchise. Federation Force is less a Metroid game than a school project to practice game development. There is arrogance with the game, and that same arrogance made the Wii U a failure. 3Ds was more successful, yet when compared to the Game Boy and DS, the 3Ds’ success has been more or less abysmal.

The trailer above just shows how Nintendo continues to make non-Metroid games. The producer of the game, Kensuke Tanabe, wanted to do a first person shooting game for a handheld console. That already had been done few times over, and Metroid Prime: Hunters did it better on the DS.

Hunters wasn’t a small game either. It had demos and a rather large marketing campaign, and while it’s success was rather lukewarm, Hunters is more or less a decent spin-off. Its multiplayer was fun with Quake 3-esque gameplay and was fast paced. The visuals fit Metroid as a franchise, something Federation Force fail at. Hunters is a serious game, whereas Federation Force is a cutesy, soft and rather laughable in its gameplay.

Both Tanabe and Sakamoto have done whatever the hell they wanted with the series, and it shows. Nintendo has barely recognized Metroid for some time now to the point of ignoring its anniversaries. While Nintendo has been DMCA happy with some of the fan productions, Return of Samusremake has been left alone for years now, and now that it’s out, Nintendo can’t really take it out. It’s out in the wild and you should check it out.

Metroid‘s future looks bleak. It hasn’t seen any good entries for some time now and it’s clear that Nintendo is not interested in creating anything special out of it, and seeing how they’re intending to the Prime subseries towards more Japanese style, they’re not going to let another Western company after Retro Studios.

Metroid hasn’t made good money for some time, so it’s understandable that Nintendo wouldn’t want to invest resources in making a new game. On the other hand, if Nintendo would have invested in making good Metroid games in the first place. Taking Metroid to its roots would probably be the best option Nintendo has now. However, making a new 2D Metroid in the vain of the first three games requires effort and hard work. The whole action-adventure genre gets a new entry almost every other month nowadays, as it seems to be one of the more popular genres with the smaller developers. Axiom Verge is even taking similar cues from H.R. Giger’s designworks. Aliens Infestation is an interesting specimen in that the gameplay takes after Metroid to a large degree, or perhaps after Pharaoh’s Curse if we want to back to the originator.

A good entry in Metroid is not enough. Whatever entry Metroid will needs to be stellar and be true to the core of original Metroid. Otherwise we’ll see the 40th anniversary with no entry whatsoever and the franchise will go way of the dodo.

Augs lives do matter, it seems

The upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has been criticised for using imagery from the recent social movements in the US. Let’s see what’s all the fuss about.

saint-basils-cathedral-on-red-square-in-moscow-640x0People got their pants twisted because of this?

So, that banner is the cause in this. Not the fact the pillars or houses, whatever they are, look absolutely terrible.  Even if the banner would be a reference of Black Lives Matter, there is no controversy here. The consumer can voice himself of course, if they see fit.

Of course, a fellow game developer would have a more level voice in this matter, right? If BioWare’s Manveer Heir is anyting to go by, that is not the case. On his Twitter, he is accusing Eidos Montreal on appropriating BLM, which I find hilarious at best. This is pot calling kettle black, especially seeing how much Bioware fucked things up themselves, not just regarding their PR. Their extensive use of homosexual characters for the sake of catering is, at best, extremely distasteful. The use of comparative cultural concepts and themes is nothing short of what Heir throws at Eidos Montreal. It is hypocrisy at its finest.

While people can criticise Eidos Montreal as much as they want to, it really begs the question why do they even bother? If they are offended by the fact that a similar slogan to what Black Lives Matter is, that’s on them. Rather than calling them out on a perceived wrongdoing, I would imagine they would be excited. Finally, a piece of multimedia entertainment that seemingly uses a proxy representation to discuss difficult matters. It’s not a long shot to assume the mechanical apartheid will have some resemblance to racial apartheid, and that’s great. Why wouldn’t you want them to discuss the matter?

Because it’s a faux-controversy. The game has been under development for five years now, longer than what the whole Black Lives Matter movement has been out there. They don’t have the trademark for X Lives matters slogan either. Now that modern westerns society has managed to clear most of the largest social issues, groups with generations that have nothing to fight for have begun to fight for things that weren’t an issue. The wish for safe spaces is one, which essentially calls for apartheid-like segregation for different people from different fields of live. Martin Luther King Jr. would roll in his grave if he would see how people fight for separated spaces and specialised treatments.

Thou I doubt King would like in Canada nowadays…

As said before, the whole thing with Augs Lives Matter banner is a non-issue. No lines has been crossed as of yet, unlike how Digital Trends wants to suggest. All this is completely OK.

The best thing about this whole ordeal is that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is getting free publicity. People who have no invest in the game are slowly becoming aware that the game may actually hold something interesting, and seeing how these social movements’ public view is not at their finest at this moment. While I am not impressed at the level of media literacy the current Internet culture has, it would seem people who are not part of the movement have scoffed this off as yet another squabble on the Internet with absolutely no worth of weight.

This new Deus Ex seems to be coming out later this month, and without a doubt we’ll see some more shit flung at it. The trailers we’ve seen thus far, like the linked Mechanical Apartheid, seem to be rather hamfisted in acting and direction, but the idea is there. Deus Ex: Makind Divided  will discuss issues regarding humanity and our relationship with technology. Whether or not it can do it well is a question we’ll see answered later down the line, and as usual, the creators don’t matter. Only that the game will have excellent content and gameplay in a world where augmented humanity has been secluded to their own safespac- I mean ghetto, away from non-augmented humans. The best way to make that discussion have proper weight is to use real world points of comparisons, if not allusions. Mechanical apartheid may not be subtle, but at least it doesn’t leave anything open to question.

While I don’t see world where augmented humans becoming a thing like in the game segregating them behind the fences, that is slightly beside the question. Science fiction often starts with a question, here the question if What would happen if humanity would segregate its own once more? If you’re on the fence that using comparative imagery is tasteless or outright insulting, you should criticise them sure, but that is also exactly why you should not prevent anything from happening. If Eidos Montreal is unable to tackle the issues they want successfully, it’ll become a detriment and show that such things shouldn’t be done in the future.

If nothing else, Eidos Montreal is making these issues more known and giving them different kind of weight, perhaps even validating it in a way. Policing how others do or what they say is a waste of time, as more often than not it will be based on an opinion rather on a fact.  Of course, this blog doesn’t care whether or not there’s appropriation from a movement. All this blog cares whether or not it’s well done and applied properly, made something different and serve its purpose in a way that does not plagiarise. That we don’t know until the game itself is out. On the surface, it would be so easy to make profit on these different movements with simply catering to their sensibilities and demands. Looking a bit deeper we see that there is no bottom to these demands and sensibilities are so wide that it they can never be satisfied. Of course, one approach is to disregard anything outside your intended consumer group, and only pay attention to the paying customers. Or do the Nintendo and disregard everything your feedback and sales tell you.

Rather than concentrating on things that rub you the wrong way, we all should concentrate on the issues that we enjoy… and on more pressing matters than complaining about a video game tackling human-technology issue with currently relevant imagery.

And writing about that.

But those buildings in the background are definitely offence of the highest degree
But those buildings in the background are definitely offence of the highest degree

Music of the Month; CHALLENGER + Review of the Month; Star Trek Beyond

I tend to have music selected few weeks beforehand for these, but this time I had none. You could call it a rut or something similar, but it’s not really that. Let’s boot the ol’ ‘tube and see what we come across.

I don’t put much personal stuff on this blog. Here or there you might pick up something or I mention situations making typing things down somewhat erratic. I don’t have a release schedule, I never had. A post early in the week and one later has been the standard for few years now. Things have become more or less a routine in this sense, and while that is not a bad thing, I find myself wanting to touch upon subject after subject beyond the scope I want to explore them. However, As this is a hobby, there would be no sense for me to write an entry every other day about every single thing that I want to. You’re not reading this blog for stuff like that.

For example, I had planned the failure that is the Themes in Godzilla for some time now, and despite it getting the summer special slot, it’s something that should’ve been more meatier rather than few sentences per movie. I had planned much more for the entry, it to be more grandiose and in-depth than what it ended up being, but I’m guessing it was also a topic nobody cared about. Godzilla is passé, despite Shin Godzilla gaining positive reviews in Japan.

Another example would be the latest brouhaha about the Nintendo NX design, it possibly being a portable and a home console hybrid of sorts, something that I would personally embrace fully. Ever since the DS and PSP were launched, I questioned the point of designing, developing and producing two separates consoles when the hand held consoles could muster good enough graphics, gameplay and controls as is. I am a broken record with this, but it is about the software. Seeing population is moving towards portable solutions with each technological iteration, it would make sense to emphasize that to a certain degree. Traditional desktop computers have made way for laptops and pads for a time now, and while I still am headstrong in my decision to stick with a more traditional wired Internet connection and a desktop computer, I can’t argue with reality around me. Full portability is where we’re going, it’s just a matter of when.

Perhaps the third and most pressing example of my conscious aversion of not writing âge related. This is not a blog just for Muv-Luv and Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. They certainly are a part of it and most likely the topics that have attracted most readers on the long run, but perhaps some of the 1990′ ideology of not-selling-out sticks to me at this point. The whole point of giving what the consumer wants fights against this, and I probably should start writing more about Muv-Luv in general not only for blog content, but for the simple raw reason to gain more views. I do intend to do a TSF comparison this month, as long as I can find good enough pictures of some TSF, F-16 Fighting Falcon being probably the strongest contender. This may be my own hubris, but I do see that there are topics and subjects that I am more equipped to discuss when it comes to Muv-Luv as a whole than others. Of course it’s my own hubris, both Type-94 (link on the right) and Chris Adamson do it better as is.

The only obstacle is that I don’t care about the views as much as I should. Perhaps an argument could be made that I am not as passionate as I should be about the topics, that I don’t care what makes people read the most or that I lack ambition. It doesn’t help that my current situation is still in the gutters, but you won’t see me explaining how dire my situation is or how in the gutters I am professionally speaking. It has no other relevancy for the blog outside whether or not I am able to write.

I’m not sure how successful the Monthly Three series has been. I expected last month’s theme of Video game culture and history to go well, but it seems that it was something very few cared about, despite it being one of the core themes of this blog. I deemed those and Dizzy’s design comparison posts as one of the best examples of what I could write about and felt oddly good, almost proud, about them. Of course, reality sets in and none of them were really successful even in a limited fashion. The Guilty Gear design comparisons have been yet another views collecting topic, so I’ll most likely I’ll have to give those more weight in the future.

Usually I set some goals for the of the month in these opening rants, but this time all I’m going to say that bets are off for now. Despite being able to keep up reviews for a time now, I’d rather call off my reviews than resort on making a video game review nobody reads. Screw that, here’s a first impression review of Star Trek Beyond I wrote after I was asked how I felt about it via Twitter. That’ll serve well enough.

Perhaps, just perhaps I am at a burnout of sorts. I don’t feel that I am getting the best quality stuff I could, despite the aforementioned being something I feel good about. There are a lot of subjects that I want to touch upon, but there are no driving reasons for me to invest the time in them. Well, there are, but I have to reason on how I spend my time, and to be completely honest, I am not using my time well at the moment. I should either be polishing up what I know and what I can do rather than spent time on writing. Maybe the thing I need to do is to take some time off and get shit sorted out. Maybe try out a voiced version of this blog, discuss topics out loud rather than in text. You can vote here, if you’d care about a thing like that.

Maybe I need a break, but if I take one, it’s not this month. But I do need food, and because my kitchen equipment is unusable at the time, I guess I’m going to eat out today.