Sunday, March 31, 2013

Slightly Redder Red: Easter Blues

Due to me getting home late from Easter and not having HBO at my own house, I missed the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 3 and am unable to review it. You'll get it when I see it on rerun. However, you actually will get something I actually scheduled this month, two game reviews and this Saturday my thoughts on the first run of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure anime (spoiler alert, they're good thoughts).

Catch you on the roundabout

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shatterblog!: Bioshock Infinite Review

As you probably guessed from my first impression post, I really like Bioshock Infinite and as a result I tore through it a bit. Therefore despite my very recent post on the subject I will write this full review while the game is still brand new and a review might actually be a relevant deciding factor in people's buying decisions.




Bioshock Infinite is amazing. There is simply no denying it. With reviews rarely below a 9.5 on PC from even the most negative reviewers, there is very little I can say about this game that hasn't been said. The best I can offer is my thorough and honest opinion on what may be one of the best games to come out this year. 

First and foremost is the world. As I mentioned, I never finished the first Bioshock. However, I wandered around in Rapture a fair amount before calling it quits and found the world to be utterly amazing. Perhaps it is just my preference when it comes to certain elements, but I find Columbia to be even more engrossing. I love how dark and spooky and broody Rapture is, don't get me wrong, but Columbia is just spectacular. I love the city in the clouds, it lends itself to spectacular visuals and a brighter color pallet. Usually I prefer darker scenery, but Columbia is sort of refreshing. It's a horrible dystopia (a word that Google seems not to recognize) but it looks so lovely and shiny. That doesn't get portrayed all the time. Also, something that was present to a lesser extent in Rapture: Propaganda. I love it. Fictional or historical, I just find it fascinating. Columbia is rife with it, full of religious imagery and hyper-negative portrayals of certain races. Adding to my glee are collectible "kinetiscopes" that mostly show short silent films with blaring patriotic music telling us how wonderful the Prophet is. The Hall of Heroes level early on allows us to walk through the history of the Prophet and his "victories" at Wounded Knee and in quelling a Chinese uprising. These are absolutely fantastic in a disgusting kind of way, with Native Americans portrayed as savage devils and Chinese as evil scheming monsters. Always there's a big statue of the Prophet, being heroic and surrounded by American flags. The deification of the Founding Fathers is also fascinating. Motorized Patriot enemies with Washington's face are pretty cool. Generally the world is just engrossing and I intend another playthrough or two just to explore every nook and cranny of the city (not to mention finding and listening to all the Voxaphones to get the achievement and fully understand all the story). 

Which brings me to my next point, the story. I will keep this short and avoid any spoilers at all, but I will say that the story is amazing, and after seeing the ending and looking back everything is shown in a whole new light. My second playthrough should be amazing in that regard. Generally all the mysteries that are set up get well and truly explained. The only thing I would change is to give more information about the history of the Songbird, which is a cool looking and fascinating creature. The characters are all interesting and generally three-dimensional, with the voice acting playing a large part in that. All the voice work was amazing, with very few bad deliveries of lines. On a related note, the dialogue is well-written all around. 

Arguably the most important factor of a game is the gameplay (although there are games where I have put excellent story over mediocre gameplay- looking at you Enslaved: Odyssey to the West). Naturally Bioshock Infinite doesn't falter one bit. With a thrilling combination of guns, powers, and sky-hook bashing, combat is fun and fresh every encounter. One of the first things I noticed was the addition of iron sights to every gun it makes sense for. I love iron sights, and while some of my favorite games (Left 4 Dead, Halo) do not include iron sights, I tend to enjoy games more if I can look down the barrel of my gun. Another fantastic joy I discovered early on: executions with the skyhook. They are hugely satisfying, including animations like snapping someone's neck with the rotating hooks or fully popping off their head (complete with a blood-splattered screen effect). I spent a lot of the beginning, easier part of the game executing everybody. While this is fun it's good that this isn't possible throughout the whole game. There is a good variety of guns, with the majority being well-designed and properly balanced. Some incredibly minor complaints include the shotguns having slightly too long a range and the Burstgun, a 3-shot burst rifle (usually one of my very favorite weapons) is practically worthless. I found myself favoring the carbine and hand cannon, but I used all the guns enough to experience them and earn the associated achievements. Next up for discussion are the Vigors, Columbia's answer for Plasmids. They are all fun although it is very easy to pick favorites. There are a variety of fun effects like throwing fire, shooting water, lightning hands, and siccing murderous crows on the enemy, among a few others. My favorite part of these might be the combinations. For example, if an enemy is being pecked by crows and you hit them with lightning, the crows become electrified. There are 8 Vigors and 8 possible combo-effects, which are a lot of fun to experiment with. I found all of the Vigors to be cool and useful, with none seeming useless or underpowered. Some are more Salt (mana) efficient than others, but none seem over-priced for the effect. All Vigors have some kind of secondary effect. Most of them allow you to set a trap on the ground, but some are much more fun. For example one of my favorite Vigors is Undertow, which shoots blasts of water. If the button is held down, however, it allows you to grab and drag an enemy (or 3 if you buy the upgrade) to your position. This being Columbia, I had great fun dragging and then water-blasting people off the edges of the world. One of my favorite things about the Vigors is how cool it makes your hand look. Whatever effect you are using is shown by your hand. Lightning has shock crystals, Undertow has water and weird bubbles. They're fantastic. 

It is important to specifically mention that Elizabeth, your near constant companion through the game, does not turn the game into an escort quest. Enemies do not target her, she does not take damage or die or get lost. She faithfully tags along, in no way handicapping you. In fact, she is quite helpful. She tosses ammo, health, or Salts to you in combat. She can open tears in the world that bring in gear or mechanical allies or add cover to the map. She also finds coins and tosses them to you while wandering around. This is helpful, but it is sort of annoying at times. 

All my complaints can be summed up in a short paragraph. On Medium difficulty, I never had issues with ammo or money. The game wasn't super easy, but resource management was a non-issue. I personally didn't mind, but some might. Health, ammo, and salts can be bought for next to nothing from frequent vending machines. However, this is addressed in 1999 mode, unlocked after beating the game (or if you put in the Konami code!). This mode is much harder than normal, with about 50% damage dealt and 200% damage taken, as well as removing Aim Assist and the navigational functions. Additionally, respawning costs $100 and if you don't have the cash you have to start the game over. One achievement is to beat the game on 1999 with no purchases from the Dollar Bill vending machine. Those looking for a challenge should try this.

Overall the game is just amazing. There's very little to complain about and the story is fantastic. I can't recommend this lovely title highly enough. 9.75/10

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Steamworks: Petes Bit: Destructive Children and Bioshock Infinite?


Today on Pete's Bit Pete talks about annoying children, the canceled "Shaniqua-No-Ho" project, and studies on Bioshock Infinite. Don't forget to answer any or all of Pete's questions in the comments, like the video if you enjoyed it, and subscribe if you haven't already! Also, if you have any questions to submit to Pete, be sure to send him a YouTube or Tumblr message!

Sources:

1) Shaniqua-No-Ho (r/blackladies): http://www.reddit.com/r/blackladies/comments/1asx02/shaniqua_noho_is_dead/

2) Bioshock Infinite: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21925124

Links:

Tumblr: http://www.scourgeoftheseseas.tumblr.com/


*P.S: Sorry it's posted so late!*

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shatterblog!: Bioshock Infinite- First Impressions!

Hey gang! Unless you live under a rock, you are aware of the game Bioshock Infinite! It came out today, and (un)fortunately, I have been sick the last few days which means I got a solid amount of play time today.  So here are some thoughts.
First a confession: I never got through the original Bioshock or the sequel. I started the original, but I tend not to enjoy "horror" games where the only scary thing is how little ammo you have. Apparently that doesn't remain an issue but I didn't sign up for Wrench: The Game so I never really went back to it. It's on my "To Play" list incorporated into my Rainmeter theme, but it hasn't happened. Thus I can make only limited comparisons to previous BioShock franchise entries. However I can say that Infinite sucked me in far more than the original ever did. From the get-go I wanted to explore the world and shoot all the things. I never have any ammo management issues, due largely to the lovely Elizabeth. She conjures and tosses ammo, health, and salts (mana) regularly in combat. I went crazy with whatever gun was on hand and rarely ran out of ammo for anything. I pick my shots fairly well and tended to loot everything, so maybe my playstyle is a part of that.

The game isn't overly hard on regular medium difficulty but I die sometimes and need to use cover all the time. Another brilliant addition is iron sights on most of the guns. I hate not having iron sights. There are games I love that lack them, but having them is always a plus. The guns are all pretty fun, although some felt drastically underpowered. I really don't enjoy the Vox Burstgun, I feel it is far too weak. The Vigors (read: plasmids) are spectacularly cool and have a primary attack and a secondary, usually some kind of trap. You can shoot fire bombs, streams of water, bolts of lightning, flocks of crows, all kinds of fun magic pew-pew. There are combos of these powers that do super cool stuff. Obviously lightning and water makes bigger lightning. Good times.

The world is every bit as incredible as Rapture (the one thing I really got into with the first game) and I love using the skylines to explore. There are a lot of great propaganda posters and short films, something I love and geek out about. I seriously ran around and oogled all of them. Columbia is great. I like the whole steampunky 1900's feel, the social structure, everything is very well established and understandable. Booker is an interesting character and I cannot wait to find out more about him and his past and the mysterious debt that drives him. Elizabeth is equally intriguing, with strange powers and all kinds of parent issues to explore.

This is just a brief "I love this game" kind of impression post, I will hopefully do a full review when I have completed the game. For now, if you are on the fence about buying it I highly recommend it. It is much better on PC if you have the spec to run it on max settings. Controls are smooth and great on PC. It's wonderful. Everybody should play this game.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pete's Bit: Skinny Jeans and Crotch Monsters?


Today Pete talks about American Eagle's new "Skinny Skinny" jeans,  a new kickstarter for a shonen manga "Shaniqua-No-Ho", and North Korea's latest threats on the US's bases in the Pacific. Be sure to like the video if you enjoyed it, subscribe if you like what I've been doing, and answer the questions of the day in the comments down below!

Sources:
American Eagle Skinny Jeans: http://www.ae.com/web/browse/skinnyskinny.jsp?catId=cat6280059

Shaniqua-No-Ho: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1116321106/shaniqua-no-ho-0

North Korea: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/20/17387755-north-koreas-kim-jong-un-threatens-attack-on-us-bases-in-pacific?lite

Links:

Tumblr: http://www.scourgeoftheseseas.tumblr.com/

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Resident Troll: Thoughts on Comics

Oh hey it's baaaack. Sorry folks, I had to go on a bit of a hiatus because of moving/lack of internet etc. etc. Hopefully we won't have to do that again. Today we're going to be talking about SAGA #11, CONSTANTINE #1, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #2 and WONDER WOMAN #18. I'm done with making these spoiler free, so unfortunately SPOILERS AHEAD.

SAGA #11: GUISE. LYING CAT ISN'T DEAD. LIKE, FUCK YEAH. I DIDN'T CARE ABOUT ANYONE ELSE ON THAT BLOODY SHIP EXCEPT FOR HER. Except not really. I do quite like The Will and his little slave girl. Gwendolyn is give or take. But yeah, man, Lying Cat is aliiiiive. The issue actually starts with a sex scene, and Alana freaks out afterwards because, as it turns out, when you're a fugitive you don't really have time for protection. Marko gets all ~if yer preggers, diz be a sign 2 end da warz~ and her response is LOGIC. It's not very effective. Honestly, I have my moments where I dislike both parts of the leading couple, and I wasn't liking Marko very much at this moment. At the end, when Marko's father dies, I was a little sad. Not as sad as I was at the idea of dead!Lying Cat, but it still wasn't a fun moment.

What I like about Saga is that it can actually surprise me, though, which isn't very easy to do. As usual, the art was very good. my only dislike was one panel depicting the ship in space--it looked rushed, but I've definitely seen worse.

CONSTANTINE #1: First impression: ew, the cover. And the font for the titles is awful too. The interiors, however, are rather good. What I really, really love, although, is the coloring.  The majority of the comic has this bluish tint, and it emphasizes the entire supernatural element of Constantine. It certainly improved the book a bit.

All in all? Underwhelming. It's not bad, but I'm not going to be first in line for number two. I attempted to read Justice League Dark a few months ago, but couldn't get past the first issue because it was rather dull. Constantine's character is interesting, though, and that's not just my love of the supernatural poking in. He seems reasonable, a cynic because of all the shit that he sees. While that's certainly not refreshing in the DCU, there is something to be admired about how matter-of-fact he is about it. He's not lying to himself like others, and there's a bit of odd charm that's missing from other heroes.

It's okay, basically. I'd say pick it up if you like spirits and ghosts. If you hate them? Then don't waste your time.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #2: The first issue was meh, not gonna lie. However, knowing that issue two actually brought in all of the characters, I charged forward. In this issue, we actually get to meet the characters and have some of them interact. Vibe is starstruck. Stargirl is gracious. The Green Lantern is missing. Hawkman and Katana are terse. Catwoman is... Catwoman. Honestly, I don't know what Martian Manhunter was doing this issue, which isn't good at all. He was quite forgettable this time around. I'm not very interested with what's going on with Green Arrow, and his bit of delusion/brokenness. I like Ollie as a character, but at this moment I just don't care about him. Hopefully, that'll change. Things I would also change:
- Catwoman's attire. Or rather, HOW HER ZIPPER IS DOWN TO HER NAVAL. One cannot fight crime with it that down low without causing a nip slip. It just doesn't work that way.
- Amanda Waller needs to be nice to Steve because he's presh and hurt and just want to do good.
- Actually, everyone needs to be nice to Steve because really, everyone's being a bitch to him.

Things I would not change:
- Hawkman and Vibe's interaction. I can already tell it's going to be great. "Are you okay?" "Why?" "You're covered in blood." "It's not my blood." And then Vibe slowly edges away. Fantastic.
- Vibe in general because he's presh.

All in all, I'm looking forward to the next issue. Except JFC, that attempt at a cliffhanger at the end was awful. Can we keep the actual Justice League (robots or not) out of JLA?

WONDER WOMAN #18: The majority of the time Wonder Woman is meh at best, and I find that mostly due to the fact that the entire storyline feels so drawn out. Still, hers was the first trade I bought, so I have a kind of emotional attachment to the story.

Also, Cliff Chiang is one of my favorite artists. The unfortunate thing, however, is that he doesn't seem to draw much of Wonder Woman. His fill in artists make you realize how freaking good his art is, and how theirs doesn't really compare. It's jarring and annoying and I really wish it was possible to have him on all the time. Regardless, such is not the way of life.

Issue #18 was decent enough. Nothing bad, nothing great. Orion is being kind of sleazy with Diana and I want that to stop, or at least her to make him stop. It's nice that Azzarello is making Wonder Woman his own, but he needs to stop adding characters and concentrate on the ones he's already brought in.

And that's it for this week! Next week we've got Batman Incorperated #9 (which I'm sure I'm going to be so not sad about), Morning Glories #25 (which I'm ridiculously excited about) and more~. Until then, DFTBA and whatnot.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shatterblog!: Requiem Roundup Week 2

Here are all the "Requiem" comics for 3/20/13. Remember I am not reviewing these issues but instead summarizing my feelings about the way each issue deals with Robin's death.



1) Nightwing #18
This is easily one of the better (and sadder) tie ins. We all know that Dick and Damian were close. The comic decides to painfully remind us of this with a series of flashbacks. We see Dick and Damian talking, and even Damian convincing Dick to order a video game for them to bond over. It's really hard to see Dick like this, especially so quickly after his issues in Death of the Family. This tie in is the best of the week and completely makes up for his poor characterization in Batgirl last week.















2) Red Hood and the Outlaws #18
While this is a good comic it barely deals with the loss of Robin. It may not at all. There are a few flashback panels where we see Jason in his Wingman costume crying and telling Bruce he failed. I hope to see more of his reaction in future issues. Another dead Robin should be a really bad thing for Jason to deal with. I'm just glad my Robin isn't the one who bit it.















3) Catwoman #18
Once again we see very little actual "Requiem" content. Bats makes an appearance and is showing his anger/sadness again and we get a little bit of Catwoman trying to help. I had a lot of Hush feels because Bats and Selina are probably the closest thing I have to an OTP. I do not like their relationship in the New 52. But I am off topic. Not a great "Requiem" tie in but doesn't cause frustration like Batgirl did.






There you have it, this week's "Requiem" comics! Check in next week for the decreasingly exciting releases regarding our little lost Robin.

Pete's Bit: Heavy Rain and Schooling?

Hey Gang,


Today Pete talks about his recent endeavors in Heavy Rain, his opinions on Sunday's episode of the Walking Dead, and a study that was done on Finland's Schooling and what makes it so successful. As always, if you enjoyed watching the video it would be most appreciated if you could hit the like button, leave your responses in the comments, and if you've been enjoying Pete's Bit it'd be greatly appreciated if you could subscribe!

Be sure to look out for Pete's Bit episodes every Wednesday and Saturday (or if you Subscribe it'll tell you when a new episode is posted!)!

Sources:
http://scourgeoftheseseas.tumblr.com/post/45605462003#notes

Links:
Tumblr: http://www.scourgeoftheseseas.tumblr.com/

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Steamworks: Pete's Bit: Wallflowers and Foreign Defense?

Hey Gang,

Check out the latest episode of Pete's Bit:


Pete talks about his reaction to Perks of Being a Wallflower and Chuck Hagel's (US Secretary of Defense) recent announcement! Don't forget to press the like button if you enjoyed the video, tell Pete what you think about the U.S's plan, and to please Subscribe!

Sources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21807067

Links:
Tumblr: http://www.scourgeoftheseseas.tumblr.com/

Don't forget, you can always submit a question to my Tumblr and I'll almost definitely answer it on the show! Thanks for your time guys!

Peter, The Steamworks

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shatterblog!: Requiem Roundup Week 1

Hey everyone, like I said I will be posting thoughts on all the comics included in the R.I.P. Damian comics, marked "Requiem" on the covers. This week of 3/13/13 is the first for the month, so here we go.



1) Batman and Robin #18

This comic is pure pain. Robin is gone, so naturally Batman and Robin focuses most on this fact  The issue has no dialogue, no sound effects, no action. It just shows Bruce and Alfred and even Titus dealing with the horrific loss they must be feeling. This is a truly amazing and beautiful comic and may be the best individual issue of anything to come out of the New 52. There really aren't words to do justice to such an emotional comic. You should be reading this issue. 10/10 (NOTE: I am not fully reviewing these, just discussing the Requiem bits. I must however state how truly perfect this particular issue is.)









2) Batman #18

This comic also deals significantly with the loss of Robin. Bruce is angry and hurting and takes it out on the scum of Gotham. It is less direct in dealing with the loss but of course Snyder works it in artfully. We also get  more touching moments with Harper Row, who I don't particularly like. Despite me desperately hoping she doesn't try and be Robin, she does meaningfully advance the plot and I found myself liking her more this issue. I still really like and feel for her brother but don't connect with her for whatever reason. Not sure how I feel about Harper Row story being the default between arc filler story but it was quite good.












3) Batman Detective Comics #18

Now we get into the comics where Damian's death is less keenly felt. There's a touching scene where Bruce cries in the family cemetery, and his excessive rage toward criminals bleeds through into this comic as well. He is particularly bothered by Zsasz's escape since it will lead to more people feeling the pain of loss that he is currently grappling with. Far less essential than the other two Batman titles that have come out so far.















4) Batgirl #18

This one bothered me a little. Bruce goes to Commish Gordon and tells him Robin is dead but that actual dialogue happens off "camera". There was an opportunity for us to see Bruce actually open up to someone who only sees him as Batman but instead it just gets skipped right over and implied in the next scene. Naturally as a father Gordon calls Barbara to check in on her and tells her the news. Here it gets even worse. There are two pages, one where Babs finds out and isn't visibly distressed. Then she calls Dick, who should be inconsolable at this point. He simply says something about wanting to talk about it with her but being busy. Dick and Damian were close, and it was noticeable in the issue of Inc where Damian dies. Knowing that was the end of the comic made those moments bittersweet. Hopefully it gets properly addressed in Nightwing because right now I am pretty unhappy with Dick's and Babs's reactions.










5) Huntress and Powergirl: World's Finest #10

I did not expect much from this issue. I glazed over all the story progression and stuff because I just do not care about this comic. Helen get's a phone call about her "not-quite-brother" and "I'm sorry" and in the next scene we see her crying over Damian's grave in the rain in full costume. In the next few pages we get some actually good internal monologue about not knowing what to do with herself, and especially not knowing what to do in regards to Bruce. Unfortunately she then flies away with Powergirl and the issue ends without her really dealing with anything, just repeating "I am not ready for this" a lot throughout the scene. Not terrible, and not frustrating like Batgirl, but not worth picking up just for the Requiem tie in.








Thanks for reading and check back some time next week for the next bunch of heart-wrenching Bat-comics!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Steamworks: Pete's Bit: Cleaning Toes and Giving Trees

Hey Gang,

So remember how I told you guys I was making my own personal YouTube vlog? Well I'll be posting them here on my Steamworks blog as well. Here's the first episode:


This is the very first episode to a new show called Pete's Bit, where Peter talks about things that happen to him and news that he's interested in. If you could like the video, subscribe to the channel, and comment what you think!

If there are any questions you'd like to submit to me, you can do so here.

Peter, The Steamworks

The Red Viking: Injustice Quarter finals remarks

So as you may remember I made a post about who I thought was going to win and I hate to brag but I was right for 3/4 of them.

I think Flash vs. Joker was a mistake but I also can see how this version of the flash could win because he is actually intelligent and even looks more serious.



Anyway if you want to know who I think is going to win for semi finals I will tell you.

  • Batman VS. Flash- Batman because he is Batman.... come on now.
  • Green Lantern VS. Superman- Superman also for the same reason.

I wouldn't have it any other way because that would mean that for the final we would have Batman VS. Superman and we can settle who the general population thinks is the best!


That's all for this post. See you later and don't forget to check out the rest of the blog for updates!




Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Steamworks: Mashup Post (Pi Day Edition)

Hey Gang,

So there's a bunch of stuff that I wanted to share with you guys, and none of them really warented their own dedicated post, so I wanted to share with a mashup post that basically sums up everything. Also, Happy Pi Day! Let's being:

1) Things to Expect From PBD: We've kind of found ourselves in another lull of content once again, however I must say in my opinion Gabby and Chazz are doing a great job covering comics. There's actually a surprise video that should be coming to you by the end of the month, and it will most likely involve my bodily safety being comprimised (you'll have to wait for the video for backstory). Also, with Spring here, our schedules get a bit more packed, so you'll probably see a conitnuation of no videos with one or two here and there. I assure you however we'll try our best to get written content out to you guys as much as possible. Also, expect two videos on the last two episodes of The Walking Dead Season 3, as I (and possibly Gabby) will definitely be covering it. Since we'll be on Easter Break, we'll probably have a Season Three Video Orgy for Game of Thrones/ Walking Dead, so if you like TV shows or orgies or both, definitely stick around for that.

2) Vlog Project: Recently I've decided to take up a project for starting a personal vlog. I don't really know what my content will mainly focus on yet; I'll probably just talk about things I care about that I see in the media and things that happen to me in everyday life. I'll give you guys some more deets when I decide specifics like a Channel name and such. Let me know what you'd like to see on my vlog in the comments!

3) Personal Update: So what's been going on in the life of Pete lately? Well I've recently taken an intrest in Game of Thrones. When I used to tell people I had never watched the series, they used to be really shocked because I'm into those types of fantasy things. I have two episodes left of Season One, and honestly I have to say the first half of the season was very boring, however it clearly picked up after about Episode 5. I'm now fully engaged in the show and I love it. I've also been reading The Walking Dead (per usual; I started reading it last August) as well as Superior Spiderman (my feelings on it? It's meh. I don't really like the concept of Doc Oc in Peter's body and I think it's kinda dragging along). I haven't really played any games recently besides my victory over ACIII, but I haven't been able to play any of the bonus side content because I left my PS3 wire over Gabby's house so I can't plug my dead controller into my console to charge it.

That's pretty much it for me at the moment. My life's been pretty boring right now, sadly. Stay tuned guys!

Pete, The Steamworks

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Resident Troll: Thoughts on Batman and Robin #18


guys.
don't read comics if you don't want them to ruin your life.

also i just ran out of chocolate brb dying.

also, thoughts on comics will return to it's regular schedule next week. i've been without stable internet, the woes of such a life.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Steamworks and Resident Troll PGUF Crossover Edition

Hey Gang,

So Gubbers and I decided it'd be fun to collect some of the awful pictures we've taken over the years together and compile them for you guys for a Pretty Girls Ugly Faces post. For those of you that don't know, PGUF is basically what it sounds like; you take a picture of yourself lookin' normal, and then follow it with a stream of some of your worst face contortions!

So without further adieu, here ya go internet!:





So that's it! Check out our reddit post here to give us an upvote! Don't forget to tell us in the comments below if you'd ever consider doing a PGUF, and why or why not.

Peter, The Steamworks

**Edit: The link to our reddit post was incorrct, but it is now fixed. Thanks!**


Shatterblog!: DmC: Devil May Cry Vergil's Downfall Review

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday when the DLC released, but there were issues redeeming my preorder code for it. However it's all shiny now, so buckle in.
First off, this DLC picks up immediately after the events of the main DmC campaign. As such...




FULL SPOILERS FOR THE ENDING OF  DmC DEVIL MAY CRY AS WELL AS OTHER CAMPAIGN DETAILS AFTER THIS POINT! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK! 

All right that's out of the way. So as you know by this point, hopefully, DmC has a big twist after defeating Mundus. Much to the surprise of no one, especially anyone even somewhat familiar with the other Devil May Cry games, Vergil is a total asshole and not a cool bro at all.  The main story ends with him saying he only overthrew Mundus so that he and Dante could rule the galaxy as brother and brother. Dante is not ok with this and proceeds to go all Devil Trigger on Vergil's ass. He defeats Vergil and drives Rebellion through the bastard's heart. However, Kat whines some and begs him to spare Vergil's life because she feels some attachment to him still for saving her from her awful life (for more on this, read the DmC prequel comic books, available digitally). Dante swears to become the protector of earth and mankind while Vergil slinks away through a portal. The DLC picks up with him in a Limbo version of the home he and Dante shared as kids. You progress through the story of him generally becoming more evil and powerful, into the huge threat we know he must eventually become (since this "reboot" loosely connects with the other Devil May Cry games). While I will keep the spoilers light, I will point out that there are many parallels between this DLC and all the sequences from DmC that take place within Dante.

Most importantly in the DLC to a glorious spectacle fighter, the combat! Naturally DmC's fantastic system of  racking up points for higher ranks remains untouched. However, the DLC differs in a very critical way: Vergil does not play like Dante. This is not a reskin of our favorite asshole, perhaps with a hammer instead of an axe. This is a brand new character, despite some similarities. The Yamato, Vergil's katana,  is a bit faster than Rebellion, but doesn't have quite the oomph. Vergil shoots little swords of light rather than rapid firing pistols. This is actually a great gameplay element, because these swords are important to grappling and such since Vergil lacks the Angel/Demon pulls. As the DLC progresses you unlock Angel and Demon modes but rather than giving you a new weapon they just adapt the moveset of the Yamato. In Angel mode you specialize in large sweeping attacks, and with Demon you have slow powerful strikes. This is just like the main game's use of these modes, just with different attacks. I find Vergil to be more mobile, since rather than pulling or rolling he uses teleports, and his Angel mode attacks generate a lot more movement than Dante's. In fact my favorite little combo in the game, main and DLC both, is the charged Demon smash to launch enemies, Angel attacks to damage a bit, then Demon smash down to the ground. It's impossible to capture just through text, but with those skills fully upgraded it is a blast.

The new Wisp enemy in action! Notice the sword embedded to keep it tangible.
The upgrade and item system is once again intact from the main game. More Health Cross fragments are crammed into each level and there are no secret doors or keys, but otherwise it is very similar. Vergil has less moves in his arsenal, because in a 2 hour DLC you simply don't need as many. There are no alternate weapons which limits you to the Yamato and your spectral swords. Not that the combat suffers for it. Your combos start out just being a lot of mashing attack and juggling, but once you get the Angel/Demon modes it get's way more fun. Vergil also has several flavors of Devil Trigger attacks. You start out with 5 units of Devil Trigger. For 3 units you can make swords whirl around your body, or for one unit each you can have swords shoot an enemy or surround then impale an enemy. Later in the DLC you get your true Devil Trigger, which having done the last bossfight you know is Vergil's Doppelganger  It's a lot of fun, especially with both upgrades (I won't spoil those for you). I generally disliked Dante's Devil Trigger and find Vergil's to be way more fun. My only real complaint about the combat is by the time you have both modes and your Devil Trigger, with enough upgrade points to have a few extra moves, the DLC is nearly over. Obviously a core concept of DmC is replaying for higher scores, but I wish the DLC was a bit longer. The DLC also introduces several cool new enemies, including Wisps which are intangible until pierced with one of your illusory swords and the tank-like Imprisoner who smashes lots. Neither is groundbreakingly different but a little enemy variety is fun.

Not crazy about the art on the cutscenes, but it's different.
One of the main game's strong points was the beautiful art style paired with incredible level design. This is largely still true in Vergil's Downfall. While the levels never quite reach the high bar of the better DmC stages, they're fun and cool with all the Limbo-y goodness you expect. One minor issue is a little less variety than the main game, but this serves a thematic purpose in some places and of course there's less variety in 6 stages than 20. It happens. They do introduce new platforming elements, such as portals to go through and ethereal platforms you have to shoot with a magic sword to temporarily solidify. A major change between the main game and the DLC is in the style of the cutscenes. Rather than the smooth transition of DmC, these cutscenes are done in a comicy inFamous style. While that isn't inherently bad, it does lead to a less smooth transition and I don't particularly like the art style here. Sometimes detail has to be sacrificed to keep DLC priced reasonably and I get that, I just don't like the execution personally.

The story is good, with lots of cool concepts. It's a little out there, even compared to DmC but it manages to sell itself and get at least this fan hyped for the sequel that I desperately hope happens. There is one really fun bossfight, which isn't quite as good as the Dante v Vergil bout of the main story but competes and is similar in that the environmental effects get cooler as the fight progresses. The DLC is fun, no vast improvements or changes from the main game but different enough to be fun. If you liked DmC itself you will like this nearly as much, and I highly recommend it. 8.75/10

PBDTube: Death of the Family Conclusion?


Chazz and Gabby talk Batman's latest exploits in the Death of the Family story arc.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Steamworks: Rant Rampage (Assassin Edition)

Hey Gang,

I realized it's been a while since I've produced some content, let alone written content. I've kinda taken the role of video editor recently. I've been busy trying to improve our YouTube videos by doing things such as adding pictures, animations, and tunes. I have to say it's been really fun, and we really love bringing you guys video content. If you enjoy us as much as we enjoy making the videos for PBDTube, make sure to like our videos, subscribe to our channel, and reply to our "question of the episode"s with comments.

Now that that's out of the way, there's a rant I'd like to push out of my system. You ready? Let's go!

So this week I forced myself to finish Assassin's Creed III. I've been debating on reviewing the game, however it's pretty far past the release date AND we just got ACIV announced. If I had to give a one-liner review, I'd say: Personally the story felt much more engaging because I actually knew about the events taking place in the game, helping me understand events more than in the previous games, however I also think Connor was a pretty weak character that at times didn't seem like he was brought out to his full potential. With that in mind, I learned we were getting the numerical sequel right after beating ACIII. For those of you who haven't seen the trailer, you can check it out here:


I think this game has a lot of potential; I really liked marine combat in III, and I'm really excited to clash swords with the Spanish Armada and explore the world of Central America. However, upon discovering the trailer, I also find a decent amount of people complaining about how we're getting "another" white assassin. I decided that I'm going to break down why that is blatantly false. 

Fun fact, the term "white person" originally was not meant to describe skin tone when it was first used back in the 1700 when slavery was still around and what-not. It was used to describe those of higher class. Obviously, it eventually evolved into a word that described race. Another fun fact; back about 100 years ago (more or less), Irish were not considered white. They were Irish. The term white originally described the people of west Europe, specifically English Protestants (however the term could have been expanded to countries such as Poland, Switzerland, Netherlands, etc, thus the western European) Because the original classification of "white people" has been decreasing in numbers over the years, the boundaries for this classification have been expanded upon by society to keep it alive. This is why people who are Greek, Italian, Romanian  and even sometimes Hispanic or Latino are now considered white, or what is now known as "Caucasian". I don't want to tread too far into race however; that's not what I came here to do and I know for some it's a sensitive topic. With these facts in mind, however, please continue on with this post and the analysis of main assassins:


1) Altiar: Altair is Syrian. For everyone who thinks he's white, he's not, sorry. To read more about Altair, you can visit his wiki page here.


2) Ezio: I think a lot of the reason people are saying these comments in the first place is because Ezio has, what, three games? I would like to point out that, by the classic definition of "white", Ezio is not white. He's Italian (I actually joke around with Gabby and Chazz a lot saying I'm not white, I'm Italian, there's a difference; white people are boring. But in this case I'm, actually serious; not about the boring part, though, obviously). Okay, I could slightly agree to someone saying he's Caucasian  because he's from that region, however he is not white. If you want more info on that, visit Ezio's wiki page here.

3) Connor: Again, Connor's iffy to draw the line on. Connor is Native American (yes, it's Native American, not Indian, get out of the 1600s), however you have to remember that he's also half white. Like, actual classic white. Personally, I don't think the blood line matters in Connor's case; he grew up in a Native village and he holds many traditional Native American beliefs and morals. I actually could see more reason in someone calling Connor white than someone doing the same to Ezio, but again I believe him to be Native American at his core. For more information, check out Connor's wiki here.


4) Aveline: Aveline is the assassin in the spin-off game Liberation available on the PS Vita. There's not much to be said about her in the rant because she's half French (again, not classic white) and black. To check out more on Aveline, visit her wiki page here.


Through this analysis, we can clearly see that we've never actually played a completely white character, making Edward (the new assassin, or as I like to call him, the Dread Pirate Roberts) our first white assassin. Personally, it gets me a little frustrated when I see these types of issues flare up about race, gender, etc; yes, I agree with the public that there needs to be a more fairly distributed variety of representation in media. However, people take things to a point sometimes where it just ruins the game, book, movie, etc. for everybody. On a final note: I would like to see a main story female assassin, and not just in a spin-off title. I'd also like to see a game take place in either 1920's New York City or Ancient Greece.

So what do you think? Should Ubisoft keep Edward in their sights for a new AC game or should they make him jump ship and pick a character with a more diverse lineage and setting? Lemme know in the comments below!

Peter, The Steamworks

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

SRR: My Wallpaper Post

Eric made some wallpapers so I decided to show off one I made a week ago, it's Samurai Champloo themed:


Monday, March 4, 2013

The Red Viking: March Wallpaper Post

Hello and welcome to another wallpaper post by yours truly. If you are new to this what I do is show some of the wallpapers I have made just for this blog, so consider yourselves special. Any way lets start this!

First on the roster are some tron type backgrounds that work wonderfully with rainmeter that I will post a picture of.

This one slightly resembles a HUD for some sort of futuristic thing.







This is the one that I am currently using with rainmeter.















This is a screenshot of what my computer layout looks like.







Now time for some comic wallpapers!!!!

First is a new 52 Superboy cover that was easy to make.




I am a huge Red Lantern fan and I haven't made one yet so I decided to make one.
















Now time for a close up... of Deathstroke that is.
















I really love this cover now that I own it but it is just some great art.
















I don't know how many of you read The Phantom Stranger but this one was fun to make mainly because it was just drawing the rest of his arm and making the rest blue.

















Last but certainly not least I turned Batman #17's cover into a wallpaper so you can have something to remember the Death of The Family arc by.


















That's all for this month. come back more often and don't forget to check out the rest of the blog!!

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Red Viking: Injustice: Gods Among Us

So as some of you may know there has been a battle arena happening on DC comics website (https://injustice.dccomics.com/) where you can vote on who you think will win. Along with voting you are entered to win some prizes and you are guaranteed some DLC The quarter finals are over and I have been able to guess most of them correctly. so far the results look like this:



For each match they came out with a video showing off all of their amazing moves and the awesome maps that they have made. The game does not look all that realistic when introducing the characters but when you're fighting they look great! I have nothing bad to say about any of the game play, character design or the winners of the match.

Whats that? You want me to tell you who I think is going to win the semi finals? I would be glad to tell you in short note form:


  • Batman Vs. Wonder Woman- Batman for his intelligence and ability to find Wonder Woman's  weakness and he also has a few long range attacks and she doesn't.

  • Flash Vs. Joker- Joker because he is insane and has taken many blows to the head from Batman, including a Batarang, and he didn't even flinch. Also the Flash seams to be defeated by oil all the time.

  • Aquaman Vs Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)- Green Lantern and his ability to make any thing he wants. "Oh whats that Aquaman? you want to send a tidal wave and sharks at me? I couldn't hear you over my bubble." I won't  lie, this was a hard one because of Aquaman becoming a bad-ass recently.

  • Superman Vs. Green Arrow- This was the toughest so far but Superman will take it, only because of the vast majority of the people are immediately thinking "Superman is invincible" but he isn't. I want Green Arrow to win because of his cunning, ability to use the bow and ability to survive. He is also rich and able to buy kryptonite from almost any source. Sad to say I see this swaying the other way. I don't mind that Superman wins I just want the votes at-least in the same range.
I cant wait for this game to come out! 4.9/5

Well that's all for me, explore the blog and look for up dates on whats happening in the geek / nerd culture.