Review | Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown (8Bit/Digi)

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Mirre Goblins Morghūlis

Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown is the follow up to the series that I could only describe as anime’s answer to Game of Thrones. The movie continues the story of our favorite adventurers in a new story while setting up the groundwork for Season 2.

Continuing the setup of the series, the movie is a deconstruction of all the Tolkienist tropes. Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown once again follows a group of adventures who do the dirty work that others feel is beneath them. All of our favorite characters are back in another adventure that involves killing goblins.

A Goblin Slayers Work is Never Done

Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown takes place right after the events of Season 1 and follows our heroes on another quest. Sword Maiden has put a request for Goblin Slayer to rescue Noble Fencer (the daughter of a noble who wants to be an adventurer). When they arrive to her last location, they have to save the village from an attack by goblins. It becomes clear that there is a nest in the area and it has evolved.

If you’re a fan then you already know what to expect, plenty of bloody violence. This is not a simple story of saving a damsel in distress and killing goblins. The goblins are evolving and adapting the methods of civilization. This nest has a hierarchy and access to quality weapons. Thus the stakes are higher than ever.

There is more to the film than advanced goblins. Other protagonists have the chance to grow as a character. This is most notable in the relationship between Priestess and High Elf Archer. There moment of bonding also gives us a look into both of their backstory while they grow closer together. One could also not overlook the moments that add more context to the world they inhabit. Specifically the role of God of Wisdom.

To Kill a Goblin Lord

Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown biggest problem is that the first 25min is wasted on recapping the events of Season 1. I’m not saying that those didn’t watch the first season should be left out. However, the recap did not need to be a good chunk of the movie. Even numerous YouTube commentators have been able to summarize Season 1 in only a few minutes. It would have made more sense to dedicate five minutes to the recap and fill in the remaining time with other content from the source material.

Because a good 25min was wasted on a recap, it has created a domino effect. A good chunk of the source material was excluded. Also there are moments that take a hit in regards to the pacing and quality. This is most eventide during moments and battles that feel rushed. The pacing is off and the transition between is sloppy at times. While not always the case, it happens enough to have an impact overall.

Finally, I will also admit that Noble Fencer as a character was completely wasted. She had an interesting backstory and had the potential to grow. Early on she is build up to be this total badass only to be tossed aside as a mcguffin. She never gets the chance to grow as a character or leave her mark in the end.

A New Journey Awaits

Goblin Slayer: Goblin’s Crown continues the journey of the titular hero while setting the foundation for Season 2. It continues the work of the series of taking apart all the genre tropes and Tolkienist cliches. The movie has its problems but it’s still worth watching, especially if you enjoyed Season 1.

But seriously; if you have binged watch Season 1 twice or more then just skip the first 25min.

Published for 8Bit/Digi
8/10/2020

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Efforts to recall Judge Aaron Persky launched following Stanford Rape Case

Outrage over the light sentence and bias promotes call to remove Persky

Following his controversial ruling against Brock Allen Turner in the Stanford Rape Case, a recall effort has been launched against Judge Aaron Persky on social media. The massive backlash and outrage is in response to the light sentence along with the reasoning that Judge Persky gave. Now there is a social media campaign seeking to remove him from the bench.

The recall effort

A social media campagin has been launched in an effort to recall Judge Persky starting with a Change.org petition that was started by Maya Stark. She encourages people to mail their complaint to the Commission on Judicial Performance in San Francisco while also providing links to story about past rape trials he has handled. A second petition has also been launched by Maria Ruiz, which also has gained significant traction. As of June 6th, her petition has received 84,125 signatures while Starks’ petition has received 22,672 signatures.

On Twitter, anything related to Judge Persky along with Turner and the Stanford Rape Case has been trending.

Judge Persky’s decision has also been heavily criticized by the media, with the most notable being the Editorial Board of The Mercury News. In an editorial, they described the light sentence as, “A setback for the movement to take campus rape seriously.”

The Stanford Rape Case

Brock Allen Turner is a former student athlete at Leland Stanford Jr. University who was arrested for attempting to rape a fellow student behind a dumpster while she was passed out. He was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and was sentenced to six months in jail.

Judge Persky delivered the light sentence because he was concerned about the prison would have on his future. However many have criticized him for having a favorable bias towards the Turner for being a student athlete at Stanford. Persky is also a Stanford alumni and was the captain of the Lacrosse team.

This is also not the first time Judge Persky has come under fire for his handling of a rape case involving student athletes. He was also accused of suppressing evidence and violating rape shield laws during a 2007 civil trial in the alleged gang rape of a 17-year-old by a group of De Anza College athletes.

Written for Blasting News
6/06/2016
Original Article: Efforts to recall Judge Aaron Persky launched following Stanford Rape Case

Review | Doom

Once upon a time, the original Doom was seen as the gold standard for shooters as it defined the genre back in 90’s. However titles like Half-Life, Unreal Tournament and 007 GoldenEye had redefined the genre by the end of the decade.

Enter the early 2000’s; Doom 3 attempted to bring new life to the series but its fast paced action (by early 90’s standards) was replaced by a horror survival tone. Doom 3 was a success in its own right for being one of the earliest first person horror survival titles but it lacked the feeling of a Doom game.

As the decades passed, gaming would continue to evolve as titles become more ambitious in their setup or story telling. Which makes Doom the perfect title for those who want a simple old school shooter.

Doom takes everything players loved about the original game while giving it a few new gameplay mechanics and updating the graphics. The result is John Carmack and the team at id Software have shown the industry that this is how you make a f***ing shooter.

The story remains practically unchanged but this is a quick summery for those unaware of the original game.

Players take on the role of the Doom Marine, who wakes up to discover that the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research facility on Mars has been taken over by demons from Hell. Doom Marine must battle the army of the dead in an attempt to close the portal and escape Mars.

Unlike Doom 3, this remake returns to the series roots as a simple fast paced shooter that gamers remebered.

The gameplay is simple, shoot every demon that is encountered while solving puzzles to progress. The game features the standard arsenal of a pistol, shotgun, assault rifle, Gatling gun along with the iconic chainsaw and the BFG 9000 (Big F***ing Gun).

A new mechanic introduced allows players to upgrade their weapons and power armor based on the players combat style. Gamers will also have to complete side quests and mini-games to unlock new upgrades.

Doom also feature multiplayer component which surprisingly works well with the overall experience. Another unique features is creating your own levels and having other players try it out, similar to the ‘Contracts’ feature in Hitman: Absolution.

Some of these features may take away from the old school experience that some were hoping for, but it adds a sense of uniqueness to the overall experience. At it’s heart, this is a classic shooter but it has also adapted for a new era while also appealing to a new audience.

However it’s never a real Doom game unless there is lots of gratuitous violence and this installment makes Grand Theft Auto V look like Minecraft by comparison. Those who are squeamish and sensitive to violence should probably skip this title.

Doom is the ideal game for those who want a simple shooter but have grown board with Call of Duty and the knock-offs it has inspired. At its core, this is a simple shooter that will take old school gamers back to the 90’s while showing a new generation what a shooter is suppose to feel like.

Final Score: 10/10

Written for 8Bit/Digi
5/18/2016
Original Article: Review | Doom

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Game Review: Pocket Mortys

Release Date: January 13, 2015

Rating: RP (Rating Pending)

Staying true to what makes Rick and Morty a unique show, Pocket Mortys for the mobile device is a Pokemon-like game that is a treat for the fans.

One should not be quick to dismiss Pocket Morty as a cheap gimmick, as the game stands out from other free mobile titles while taking players on a journey that stays true to the tone of the show.

For those who are unfamiliar with Rick and Morty, the series follows the adventures of Rick Sanchez and his grandson, Morty Smith, as they travel either across the galaxy or between different dimensions and alternative realities. The niche of the show has been their surreal encounters mixed with Rick’s alcoholism and sociopathic behavior along with Morty’s naive but good natured outlook.

Overall; it’s basically Doctor Who on crack… and The Doctor is Trevor Philips from Grand Theft Auto V.

Pocket Mortys has the duo dragged into the world of Morty Training when the Council of Ricks (an inter-dimensional governing body that protects and rules over all Ricks) confiscate Rick’s portal gun after participating in an illegal fight. To reclaim his portal gun; Rick (C-137) must prove his worth by defeating several key Morty fighters and earn their victory badges.

Yeah, it’s literally Pokemon, complete with the same visual style and musical tone in the background (the word “Pocket” is in the title). This is not a bad thing and it should not dissuade gamers from playing, as the Pokemon setup actually makes Pocket Mortys a fun experience.

Players will have to train their Morty and catch new Mortys who have their own unique characteristics. At the same time, players will battle other Morty Trainers that are encountered in the game. Memorable characters and moments from the show also make an appearance, such as the Council of Ricks along with Birdperson.

Kudos need to be given to the development team for not forcing the micro-transactions as a key component of the game. Even though this is a freemuim game, the micro-transactions are not a nuisance and players will have a good time without having to pay anything.

Normally when a game mixes freemuim with a media license and rips-off another work it always results in a disaster. Yet, Pocket Mortys is the one exception to this notion as, overall, it’s a good game.

Pocket Mortys for the iPhone and Android is a game that stays true to the source material while guaranteed to get players “rickety-rickety-wrecked, son.”

Score: 8/10

Written for The Indiependent
1/13/2016
Original Article: Game Review: Pocket Mortys

5 memorable homages to David Bowie in Metal Gear Solid

The world of pop-culture suffered a tragic loss when David Bowie passed away on January 11, 2016. During his career; he released many memorable songs and performed in many critically acclaimed films while influencing a generation or artists.

Among those Bowie inspired was Hideo Kojima and that influence could be experienced in the Metal Gear Solid series. The game has made many references and taken influence from the works of Bowie.

These are the five memorable moments in Metal Gear Solid that were inspired by the works of David Bowie.

5. Diamond Dogs

One of David Bowie’s most memorable album and song was also the name of the mercenary army that succeed Militaires Sans Frontières after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. It may appear that Kojima just made another nod to Bowie, but there is actually a hidden meaning behind the use of Diamond Dogs.

The album Diamond Dogs focuses on a dystopian future with themes of totalitarianism that were inspired by George Orwell’s 1984. The use of this title could also be a nod to the phrase, “the dogs of war,” a term often used to describe mercenaries thanks to Frederick Forsyth.

The concept of totalitarianism and the role of mercenaries in modern combat are both common themes that the series has examined.

4. Major Zero’s code-name

Major Tom is a character who has become subject of several David Bowie songs with “Space Oddity” being the most well known. He is an astronaut that meets a tragic demise after technical problems hurl his spaceship into the darkness of space.

During the Virtuous Mission in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Major Zero informs Snake that he will use the code-named Major Tom during radio chatter. While Major Zero claims its reference to the movie The Great Escape (named after a tunnel), it’s actually a reference to the character from “Space Oddity.”

3. A plethora of androgynous characters  

Besides his contribution to the musical arts, David Bowie will be remembered for his androgynous style that was best represented with his alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. This made him an icon in the LGBT community as he paved the way for other transgender leaders and icons as he took gender fluidity to the mainstream.

Ziggy Stardust also played a major influence on Hideo Kojima and the creation of many characters in the series. Among the most notable examples are Raiden and Vamp‘s depiction in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. One also has to note how Solid Snake underwent a transformation from being masculine figure in Metal Gear Solid to an androgynous figure in Guns of the Patriots.

The influence of Ziggy Stardust was not limited to male characters as several female characters were also created with an androgyny style. Strangelove from Peace Walker and Olga Gurlukovich from Sons of Liberty would be among the best examples to look at.

2. The Fury

Another tribute to “Space Oddity” in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater comes in the form of a cosmonaut who is engulfed in total rage. The Fury is a member of the Cobra Unit who is deployed to stop Snake before he could infiltrate Groznyj Grad.

Like Major Tom, The Furry was a space explorer who suffered after the computers in his spaceship malfunctioned. Rather then drift away into space, he was burned alive upon returning to Earth. The pain he suffered gave him a new vision of life as he was from that moment consumed by anger.

The Fury is just one of many moments in the game that explores the forgotten dark side of the Space Race.

1. The Man Who Sold The World (Spoiler Alert!)

This iconic Bowie song is played at the beginning of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and is the name of Episode 46. The song tells the tale of a person meeting their doppelganger while exploring the themes of multiple personalities. However, its inclusion was a major spoiler as fans were quick to deduce that the character they are playing as is not the real Big Boss.

During the events of Ground Zeroes, an MSF medic was badly injured while Big Boss fell into a coma. After undergoing facial reconstruction surgery along with hypnotherapy, the medic became a body double known as Venom Snake.

When the real Big Boss returned to the world, Venom Snake was also awoken and are immediately hunted by XOF. Following their escape from a military hospital, Big Boss begins establishing Outer Heaven while Venom Snake helps spread the legacy of Big Boss with Diamond Dogs.

This could either be the most brilliant twist or one of the dumbest endings, but it could be denied that “The Man Who Sold The World” played a major role in creating this plot line.

The world may have lost David Bowie, but his legacy will live on through his music, films, and the works of those he influenced.

Written for GameSkinny
1/12/2016
Original Article: 5 memorable homages to David Bowie in Metal Gear Solid