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July 31, 2015

Super Paper Mario (Part 5)

Super Paper Mario review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8

So, Mario’s team finds a pillar in Flopside and places the sixth Pure Heart. Only two to go! The group opens the way to the sixth world, Sammer’s Kingdom! Nolrem warns the heroes, however: In Sammer’s Kingdom, they must defeat 100 opponents, and only then will they get the next Pure Heart. The Sammers are a test of strength.

One big, happy, giant messed-up family.
Yup, the legend says they're all brothers.

That's a big Sammer, but he's nowhere as big as that Void
in the background and this sword of Damocles over
their heads. Let me pass, damnit!
The group goes in World 6 and sees that the Void is HUGE here. This dimension is closer to destruction than all of the others. And Mario still has to defeat them all? Nonsense! Their world is at stake, they shouldn’t be wasting the hero’s time! Still the Sammer King insists on following the protocol (stupid by-the-book people! Can’t they be more like cowboy cops sometimes?), and thus Mario has to fight through 100 gates, 100 Sammer Guys, 100 opponents with crazy names referring to the Mario series, like Jade Blooper. Mario’s group starts fighting.

July 29, 2015

Birthday + Pixels

Hey everyone! Yesterday, I went out and watched Pixels. My review is soon, but before that, I have an announcement. Today... is my birthday. You could say it's rather convenient that my blog's anniversary and my birthday are separated by only ten days; and yeah, that's pretty convenient, though it was really not the intention. In fact, that's just a coincidence; I was just really, really bored on July 19th, 2013, tired of looking for stuff to write about, and so I started checking what I could do as a blog. Yes, Planned All Along as created on the spur of the moment. And so far, it's probably my biggest personal project ever. I must say I'm quite proud of it. And now, how old am I? Well, I'll be 23 this afternoon. Yep, like Scott Pilgrim. But enough about me, let's talk about a trainwreck.

No, I meant Pixels.

Yeah, THAT... wasn't as horrible as I thought it would be. But it's still bad. Parts of it are good, other parts are awful.  Follow me on this one, it's gonna be complicated.

It's not terrible. It's not bad. It's not great and it's not good. It's Meh. I said, in my earlier article about this movie, that I was on the fence, I couldn't decide whether this would be good or bad. Simply putting "Adam Sandler" in anything's credits ensures people will approach it with caution. The hate may even start before anything is released. Sandler is kind of a hype killer. "Wow, this looks awes- Adam Sandler? Crap!"

July 27, 2015

Super Paper Mario (Part 4)

Super Paper Mario review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8

No time to explain all the past parts, let’s jump into World 4 right now!

Squirps will serve as your personal cannon.
As Mario and Co. enter the great emptiness of space (with a helmet on their head; don't worry, for some reason it's a one-size-fits-all), they rescue a little alien in a spaceship. Aw, it’s a cute one named Squirps. It seems we’re gonna have to trust him, since he appears to know where the Pure Heart is… also, thank God he can create portals! Level 4-1 has Mario swimming in space with Squirps being used as a laser gun of sorts. The team travels across many sections of space, through portals, until they find the Star Block.

At the beginning of 4-2, after the group lands on a dwarf planet, Squirps shows signs of hurry. He has to go… to a porta-potty. Yes, they’re going there. Sadly, the potty is occupied. The dialog box makes it look like a Pixl is in there, but it refuses to go out and let Squirps in. Why? Because no toilet paper. And Squirps won’t move on until he’s relieved himself. So, believe it or not, 4-2 is a quest for toilet paper.


That's when Mario finally had the realization that
his daytime job was the grossest thing ever.
Alternate joke: The next sci-fi hit: Mars Needs Plumbers.
Sorry, I had to facepalm. Did they need to go there? I mean, come on! Sure, Mario’s occupation as a plumber lends itself to plenty of jokes, but that doesn’t mean you have to do them! Still, you need to go far right, through many rooms, until you find an elder with a treasure map, looking for treasure. He’s too old to continue his search, so he hands Mario the parchment. And now, Mario has to backtrack all the way to the start of the level… and give the parchment to the Pixl. I hope it’s not too rugged for your weakly fairy ass! Honestly, I couldn’t care less.

I'll go get some painkillers. My forehead hurts. I need to stop with the face-palms.

Here's your @#$²%& paper.

He doesn't even have a goddamn ass to wipe!
The Pixl comes out and presents itself as Fleep. It has a unique power that allows to flip cracks in the fabric of space itself (no clue whether this Pixl can help with rips in the time-space continuum, but that would be awesome). And of course, this ability turns out necessary to leave the level; just look for a rip on top of a statue, use Fleep on it, and voilà, like a new key to open a locked door! More like magic opening something... that can't close with... magic... I kinda lost my metaphor halfway through. Allons-y, towards the Star Block!

Gee, I wonder why. 
4-3 is built up as a big maze, but it’s not that bad once you know what to do. You use Fleep to make an entrance appear; bizarrely, that door is surrounded by two columns, and one of them has a hole shaped just like Squirps. And he fits snugly into it, which unlocks the door. After going through it, Mario and Co. find a second door like this, except there are two Squirps-shaped holes. Squirps alone isn’t enough. However, he says he’s hungry, so you have to bring him chocolate. And not any chocolate; Hell no, this spoiled brat wants the best one of the bunch! Fork over the money! …So Mario heads into the maze, finds a store – in space! – and buys chocolate, then goes back to Squirps, who gleefully gobbles it up. The little creature then seems to duplicate itself, both copies go in the holes, the door unlocks itself, and Squirps reunites with itself. …That was pretty weird, but hey, it’s better than a “quest for toilet paper” in a friggin’ RPG! So, Mario and Co. reach the Star Block and then find themselves in 4-4, the Whoa Zone.

Look ma, no gravity!
Now THIS place is a real maze. It’s gonna be hard to navigate- Nah, it’s also not that bad once you know where to go. It looks more confusing that it really is, because the Whoa Zone plays a lot with gravity. The floor, the ceiling, and the walls; almost every square inch will be walked on. This level is basically three sections where you must look for keys to unlock doors. The keys aren’t very far, but you need to play with the gravity to go get them. It’s not that difficult… And surely there’s a boss at the end of this level, huh? Possibly a certain “Him”, right? Call the PPG, we’re gonna have a demonic emergency!

For some reason, using Bowser in this battle against Luigi
makes me feel bad. Enjoyably so.
Oh it’s just Luigi. Nothing abnormal, go away, nothing to see here- …LUIGI???? Oh, wait, he now calls himself Mr. L? And he associates himself with Count Bleck? Oh, I see, he has been hypnotized. That’s no good. The two bros will have to fight! Yes, at first, it’s good old mano y mano, with the two jumping at each other’s heads. But at one point, Luigi summons a giant robotic version of his head, which he calls Brobot. The next scene is a horizontal shoot’em-up between Brobot and a Squirps-equipped Mario. Still pretty easy.

Despite having the highest HP in the game (255), this guy
is extremely easy to defeat.
I mean, the boss battles in this game really aren’t all that hard. The long levels make it easy to battle plenty of enemies and level up, it’s also very easy to find healing items – or have some better ones cooked by Saffron – and use them, so in the end the bosses are mostly pushovers. That, sadly, removes a lot of the emotional weight these battles should have in this story. It’s less, “wow, these guys are tough, they really mean it!” and more, “Ah, come on, are you really expecting me to give up? You guys are pathetic!”

Anyway, Mario crosses the door and finds a large statue of an adult from Squirps’ species. Turns out Squirps is actually the Prince of his species and he had ben tasked with giving them the Pure Heart hidden in this “throne room” of sorts at the end of the Whoa Zone. Well, that explains why he’s so spoiled… So, Mario’s team gets the Pure Heart and ventures back to Flipside.

When I die, I want a statue like this, except I'm crushing
Anubis II's skull with my boot.

Pissing off villains is what Mario and Luigi do best!
Though, in this case, Luigi is with the bad guys...
Bad idea to piss off your new allies if they can kill you.
A scene with the villains, yet again. Mr. L presents himself to the others. Not without insulting them at the same time. It turns out the Dark Prognosticus foretold that the Heroes would be stopped by a Man in Green, and that man in green would use the Chaos Heart to destroy the universes. In other words, Luigi is the only piece that was missing in their plan, the final stone in their multiverse-endangering structure. Now they’re certain that victory is theirs. Bleck’s minions leave, and he has a chat with Nastasia, who mentions that Bleck wasn’t always trying to destroy the world; that he once loved it. That he once loved a girl, too, and-

…loved a girl… What if… …Naaaaaaah.

Bleck mentions that the girl was destroyed (“killed” was too hardcore a word to use?) and cannot be retrieved, regardless of the universe. Why does this sound like Bleck is trying to destroy the multiverse… because of her? …Bleck leaves.

We cut to the dialog between Timpani and Blumiere again (I swear those names seem easier to decode than they appear), with the two deciding to run away to another world, where they can get married and be happy. Aw, that’s sweet…

Back in Flipside, Tippi seems jollier than before. Well, that is, until she faints in front of Mario, Peach, Bowser and Merlon. After they bring her back to Merlon’s place, Merlon explains that when he found Tippi, she wasn’t a Pixl; she was a human girl cursed to wander across dimensions. She was dying, so Merlon used the Ancients’ magic and revived her as a Pixl.

Tippi. Timppi… Timppaiii… a human girl... What if…

Anyway, the void grows larger, so Merlon sends Mario, Peach and Bowser back on their quest.

Makes me think that I should, too, pray to get help for my problem. Our Lord, whoever you are and whatever your name is, please help me. I promise to think twice before going crazy because of a game, I promise to be calmer. I promise to work on myself to avoid falling into the abyss of wrath… … … …Well, it doesn’t seem to work. Meh, I’ll probably have to apologize to everything I’ve been mean to. Come clean, to have a fresh start…

A... church... Goddammit, religion!
Time to put the fifth Pure Heart in place. But all the Heart Pillars in Flipside are used! Mario gets Fleep to open a secret passageway, and Mario goes in that 3D passageway, which leads to a church. In it, there are two rooms separated by a wall and a solid passageway that Mario can’t cross yet; he has to hit all eight blocks in the first room once, first. Once that’s done, Mario can go in the other room, through the second door, in 3D towards the town… and finds himself in a flipped Flipside… Flopside! Here, every character is the opposite of its Flipside resident. The shops change. Saffron is replaced by Dyllis, who cooks with two items each time. The bar sells coffee. COFFEE! The tower leading to the world doors is black and there isn’t a single door on it… yet. And it’s not Merlon, it’s… Nolrem. Ah, come on, every other named character from Flopside has an interesting name that differs from their Flipside counterpart, yours is just Merlon backwards! Nolrem explains that Flopside is Flipside’s dark secret, its opposite. Anyway, the group finds a fifth heart pillar, inserts the Pure Heart, and thus opens the fifth world… in Flipside. Somehow, this led to Merlon being able to revive Tippi, which means they can get their exposition fairy again! Time to enter World 5…

It's time to destroy some natural creatures!
...who somehow speak like they're 90s surfer dudes.
…a prehistoric world??? Huh. These prehistoric rocky men, better known as Cragnons, were asking their “god” (Jesus Christ, we’re mixing religion in this now??? Tabarnak!) for help. Needless to say, Mario’s surprise fall from the sky ends with him being treated as a gift from their God. I can sense the Messianic tropes a-coming! The team is thus brought to the elder, who explains that their species has been at war with aliens dubbed the Floro Sapiens. They’re taking control of Cragnons with mind-control plants. As the elder finishes, we learn that the village is under attack from King Croacus, the leader of the Floro Sapiens! When Mario comes out, he gets immediately targeted by Floro soldiers who say they need someone to polish the Pure Heart they keep. …What an odd thing to say in such a context. I mean, this line comes the Hell out of nowhere, is oddly relevant to the heroes’ quest, and comes from bad guys. Are these plants’ photosynthesis turning CO2 into exposition instead of oxygen?

Mario chases the kidnappers across many portions of levels, and twice has to ask for passwords. The first one is short enough to be remembered. The second one is mind-numbingly, stupidly, inordinately, incredibly, and just plain dumbly long, so much that you CAN’T pass this part without paper and a pencil. No, seriously. It’s just three bloks and you need to hit them in this order: Middle, Right, Left, Left, Right, Middle, Right, Left, Right, Right, Middle, Right, Right, Left, Middle, Middle, Left, Left, Left, Right, Left, Left, Left, Middle, Middle. I suppose a 10-piece passcode, or even a 20-piece one, wasn’t impressive enough. The kicker? To get the code, you need to go back to the start of the freaking level. AND you have to say "please" multiple times to a Crag who won't give it to you as long as he's not satisfied. Woe on you if you forget this 25-piece passcode! URGH. Anyway, after this code, Mario finds a pipe that leads him towards the Star Block. Phew!

Every time Cudge speaks, he sounds like he's had a few
alcoholic drinks. He sounds like he's... hammered.
Ba-dum tish! No refunds!
In 5-2, the Gap of Crag, the heroes catch up with the Floro Sapiens, but the plant baddies escape in a pipe, which is then conveniently covered with a huge yellow block. Nothing appears to break it, not even Thudley’s Ground Pound. Mario goes around this level, finds three stone tablets (which are moderately simple to find, it’s just long because you need to find the clues leading to them), and brings them to a platform high in the skies. As a result, a hammer-shaped Pixl named Cudge appears and decides to join you! Mario uses Cudge to break the big yellow block, then goes down the pipe, and hits the Star Block.

This speaks for itself.
Though, not every side-character needs a catchphrase.
Worst. Idea. Ever.
At the start of 5-3, Mario and Co. encounter a Cragnon known as Flint Cragley, a… TV show producer and actor, who was trying to film in these caves but lost his crewmen. …Stone Age TV. No, seriously. Not even joking. Should I go buy a funnel hat? I'd fit in with the craziness going on here! Anyway, Mario’s team has to look for the two as they venture deeper into the cave. It’s not that hard (the place is still mazelike, though – seriously, who decided to turn these levels into mazes???), but be careful; there are plenty of Cragnons with mind-controlling plants on their heads; those have become baddies, but since they’re just mind-controlled, you’ll lose points should you kill one. You could even lose a level if you’re not lucky. Eventually, the crewmen are found, Mario gets the key, then goes down the cave and finds the Star Block.

5-4 is the Floro Sapiens’ Headquarters. This is gonna be yet another friggin’ maze. So tired of those… After much search, Mario’s team finds Dottie, a Pixl who gives its user the ability to shrink to use tiny doors and hallways. It (She?) was helping a Cragnon escape from the Floro Sapiens. However, she goes with Mario since, ya know, hero of prophecy and all that other crap.

Ah, come on now, don't be so surprised, Picasso-so!

Um... Lettuce fight with you and maybe we'll reply.
Mario is now able to enter the Floro Sapiens’ mind control chambers. They need to find a thing to let them reach the Floros’ King, as the entrance is forbidden to any being who isn’t a plant or who doesn’t have the Floro sprout on the head, like the brainwashed cragnons. Mario ends up facing Dimentio and O’Chunks again, but Dimentio brainwashes O’Chunks with a Floro Sprout. This is a tough battle, and when O’Chunks is defeated the sprout falls off. O’Chunks calls it quits once he realizes he’s hungry (and off he goes, probably for some Scottish treat that the rest of the world would find disgusting). Mario picks up the sprout, uses it to bypass the security system, and reaches King Croacus. Don’t even get me started on the puzzle between the cave and the throne room.

That's King Croacus... a plant wearing makeup.
But unlike the other Floro Sapiens, it doesn't
speak in an antiquated 90s surfer dude slang.
When Croacus appears, he (She?? It???) seems to pride him(her?)(it?)self on… … …ITS beauty. And on its Pure Heart, which it considers so pretty. Oh, so we’re fighting against vanity here, are we? Narcissism, perhaps? There we go! The fight against Croacus is a bit tougher, but still nothing that hard for a great player. When Croacus is defeated, it keeps trying to justify itself through its beauty… wait. I think I’m starting to get it. Narcissism, the cult of beauty, love of the appearance… Before that point, we had Francis, who loved all kinds of things, and all kinds of girls too, but he loved them as objects to collect, not as people. Mr. L. is a corruption of fraternal friendship. Mimi? Hell if I know. But it’s like this entire story is a reflection on love… and how it can get corrupted… And that side-story we get glimpses of, after each world…

Not cool, Mario! What would Captain Planet say?
Servants of Croacus arrive and are appalled to see their King this way. They explain that the Cragnons aren’t entirely innocent; they were throwing their trash in the lake, polluting the water, which the Floro Sapiens really needed to survive (and stay sane, it seems). Flint Cragley arrives and says he tried to reason his people but they wouldn’t listen; thankfully his transmission was viewed by a record number of Cragnons (TV rating do not work this way!), so there we can hope this little environmental message went through their heads- wait a moment. A quick, thrown-at-the-last-minute environmental message? Sounds like an ass pull… Whatever, at least we get the sixth Pure Heart… Also, thankfully we didn’t get more religion stuff. Let’s hope there’s not more coming.

We cut to the villains’ headquarters, where a now thrice-defeated O’Chunks is singing a motivational tune Nastasia made him write, and now she’s forcing him to sing it a thousand times. I hope he sings better than I do. Mimi and Mr. L are ready to go in battle, but Nastasia tells them they should follow the Count’s orders and stay at the castle. After Nastasia leaves, Dimentio shows up and convinces Mimi and Mr. L to join him for an all-out strategic attack against the heroes!

We get another bit between Bleck-I mean, Blumiere, and Tippi-I mean, Timpani… they seem to be enjoying themselves, though Timpani appears to be cold…

On this, I think I should stop here for today. See ya in Part 5.

July 24, 2015

Super Paper Mario (Part 3)

Super Paper Mario review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8

Still in Merlee’s mansion, Mario and Co. find the basement. They go down towards two doors. This part is a maze across many rooms, but thankfully it’s not too difficult if you have an idea where to go. At the end of this half of the maze, Mario sees "Merlee". (Why "Merlee"? Because I know it's Mimi.) She suggests to let go the Pure Heart for ten MILLION rubees… Let me have a painful flashback to Level 2-3, and then say to you, "Merlee", as I slam my foot down, an expression of pure anger in my eyes, FUCK YOU! Just watch me refuse every single offer she does. And yes, in the end it turns out this was a fake Merlee; the real one appears above them. The fake Merlee transforms, revealing herself to have been Mimi all along. Mimi, enraged, lets go of the masquerade and turns into her true form: A mechanical spider.

God I wish.

That's apparently Mimi's real form. There are cogs in her.
Don't search for an explanation, you'll go mad.

This is a place man was never meant to see...
Oh, and she's invincible, so all Mario and Co. can do is run away from Spider-Mimi. They get chased through the second half of the maze. This ends in a hallway that leads... to the bathrooms. Ah, now that’s Mario’s field of expertise! Don’t you dare battle Mario where there is plumbing to do, Mimi! The men’s bathroom has nothing special, except enough graffiti to wonder whether this is Merlee’s private bathrooms or those of a public area. Seems like we won’t have any other choice; we must go into uncharted territory. We have to enter… the women’s bathroom.

Damn good thing we’ve had Princess Peach join the team before this world, huh?

I don't think the women's bathrooms are supposed
to hide a full game show.
Mario finds Merlee hidden in the women’s bathroom, but Mimi comes in and disguises herself as Merlee yet again. Since it’s impossible to differentiate them, we are brought to… a quiz show? …What the… I really shouldn’t have started drinking alcohol. Time to put this away. …The booze, not the game. Welcome to a quiz show that will determine which Merlee is the real one. …Yeah… Weird. Not like you couldn’t guess already; after all, the real Merlee hid in a toilet and she has a new follower: a fly, attracted by the smell. You still have to ask both Merlees five questions before you can decide which one is real.

I guess Mimi's got legs. Too bad she's losing them!
Once you get it right, Mimi transforms back into her spider form and the real boss fight begins. Merlee who ran out of the bathroom, casts a spell to remove Mimi’s invincibility. Mimi spews out rubees, which you can pick up and throw back at her. Yes, take those rubees and shove ‘em! When defeated, Mimi returns to her humanoid form and escapes. Merlee then hands the Pure Heart to the heroes, but not before she mentions that the light prophecy was talking about not one, but four heroes…

Oh, by the way, did I mention this? When Mimi transforms into a spider, her head spins, and her neck cracks; you hear her neck snap. Holy damn, that's too graphic for a Mario game.

July 20, 2015

Super Paper Mario (Part 2)

Super Paper Mario review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8

Continuing where Part 1 left off, we see Mario entering World 1-1. Gee, if it took an entire part to describe just the intro, I really wonder how long this review is gonna be…

By the way, a quick thing to explain: Tippi’s power is to be expository. Yeah, that’s all. When you want to ask about something on the screen, point the Wiimote to it and Tippi will explain what it is. You can also use that ability to make visible things that are invisible, like doors or platforms. I guess that makes her more interesting than, say, Navi or any other expository fairy out there...

The first level starts off similarly to World 1-1 of Super Mario Bros., because of course it does. That’s becoming a Mario cliché all to itself. (Cliché Counter: 22.) Mario progresses with Tippi, defeats a few Goombas, then sees a door surrounded with blocks; impossible to enter. So Mario and Tippi go a little further and see Bestovius’s house. They enter, but it seems empty… Tippi makes a door appear inside the house, and they enter. There, they meet Bestovius, who teaches Mario how to flip between 2D and 3D. Neat! To do it, you just have to press A. P.S. That Bestovius is a money-hungry fool. He’ll make you pay all your cash so you can learn to flip! Thank God you don’t have much this early in the game. And at first he was asking for 10,000! Is he nuts?

...He probably is, but that’s beside the point.

Just give him the skill for free! What, you think those coins
will get you anywhere once the Multiverse gets destroyed?

You can now flip between dimensions at will now, but be careful; you have a bar that decreases the longer you spend in 3D mode. Spend too long in 3D and you will lose one HP. Then the bar refills, re-empties slowly again, and you lose another HP. Don't want to lose HP? Flip back to 2D. That’s pretty much it. Also, yes, I said HP. This is still an RPG, after all. I already described how it works in Part 1.

So yeah, starting now, every level will contain a part of the story. It’s like they felt like it was an obligation that every level contained a bit of the plot. The rest of Level 1-1 lets you try out the few power-ups in this game, especially the MEGA STAR of awesomeness. To end the level, just hit the Star Block at the end.


July 17, 2015

Super Paper Mario (Part 1)

Super Paper Mario review
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8

(If you don't want character stuff, just skip to the game's cover, below.)

I don’t want to do this. I just don’t. My mind is somewhere else right now… I mean, I’ve got to plan out the blog’s second anniversary! I… got a dentist appointment! …I… got a date with a hot chick! Oh no, you wouldn’t believe that. Um… I’m gonna get a liposuction! …Nah, that’s not believable either, I’m too poor. Look, I don’t want to review Super Paper Mario, alright? And the reason is right there:

I just don’t want. The review of Scott Pilgrim VS. The World ended in a horrible way for me. Would you like it if I came up to you and played every single one of your worst moments in a loop? Would you start feeling like an asshole? Yeah, well, I’m the asshole it happened to. Let it be clear that I try to keep a rather friendly attitude towards both my readers and the games I’m reviewing, but the past two years have been a mess. Just a mess. It’s like every next bad game I’m reviewing is driving me closer to the edge. It’s been a while now, but I knew at some point all this pent-up rage would be used against me. It’s like I have… a problem. Anger issues, to be precise. Mostly because of some motherfucking games that aren’t worth shit- Okay, okay, I’ll stop. See? My fuse has never been this short!

I saw it coming when I was reviewing the Super Mario Brothers movie… At that moment, I knew something was off. Especially after this whole song where I started pinning blame on everything. Then there was PlayWith Birds… that was shit. And then I flipped out at Mario Kart DS. MARIO KARTDS! Which is, in all fairness, an awesome game with one shitty thing to it. One! And I went all AVGN on its ass! In fact, I think I’m doing this right now. Oh, but there were signs long before that… I mean, this could be seen all the way back in 2013, when I expressed my lack of enjoyment towards games such as, say, Castle of Shikigami III… or perhaps it was any of the other bad games I’ve reviewed… Maybe it was, I dunno, Mario Pinball Land that pulled my trigger? Unless it was Garfield: The Search For Pooky? Or Reel Fishing: Ocean Challenge? Or that game I can never remember, I just know it’s about puzzles you can play on paper? Or maybe it was the fucking Bit Boy! Or Mario Party 2! No wait, I got it, it was that Gamer flick! Yes, that stupid movie! No, it was Pop-Up Pursuit! Shit, I say! This is all shit!

Oh no, I think I know who it was… It was AnubisII! This shit-ass--crap-tabarnak-osti-motherfucking game! I could sense it that fateful November 21st, 2014, when I reviewed that paragon of awfulness. It’s like… something broke in me. And from that day on, I kept on seeing bits of my life go to shit. People I held in high esteem turned out to be horrible. I lost my job and haven’t found one since. I overspent at G-Anime. And I’ve become so jaded about life.

I think I have a problem. And it’s turning my passion of reviewing games and movies into a chore. It’s making it harder for me to enjoy reviewing games.

Am I gonna need twelve steps to get rid of it? Ah, whatever. Better get this review started, maybe I’ll figure it out during that time...

So, Super Paper Mario is the third game in the Paper Mario series. It came out for the Nintendo Wii in 2006. The Paper Mario series is known for being an RPG series, and yet Shigeru Miyamoto decided to go a different route for that one. Oh, it would still be an RPG, but most of all, it would play out like… a PLATFORMER! Oh, the genius! And, I’ve got to admit, it works very well; when you kill enemies, you get points. When you reach a certain amount of points, you level up. Mario’s HP and attack power increase. Have I mentioned that all the enemies in this game had an amount of hit points? It takes a single stomp to kill a Goomba, but you can find yourself having to stomp another enemy a few times if you want it dead. Mario is given complete freedom, however: You can basically attack at any moment, any number of times, like in a platformer. You don’t have to wait for the enemies to attack you first, like in RPGs.

July 15, 2015

Minions: Are They Worth It?

Yes. Yes they are.

I grew up with Despicable Me- No, scratch that. I didn't grow up with the series. I went to watch the first movie for my 18th birthday, back in 2010. I went to watch the second film in theaters, too. And now, the prequel, Minions, which I saw yesterday, July 14th. To say the theater was packed is an understatement; I was going for the 7 o'clock showing, but they announced they were full... So I bought a ticket for the 9:30 showing. Hey, why the Hell not? It's not like I fall asleep easzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Whoa! Sorry! Okay, so, before talking about the plot, I might have to bring up something. Some say the Minions are the new Anna and Elsa. You know, Frozen came out in 2013, and we still see these two girls' faces everywhere. No, seriously! I'm tired of seeing these two! My tolerance to the Minions is a little higher because I really like the off-the-wall comedy of their franchise. But I'm so tired of Anna and Elsa. I just wish Disney would stop beating that cash out of Frozen (and its main characters) like it's a giant money piñata. The Minions are slowly heading that way, which makes me afraid I'll someday tired of seeing them everywhere... but for now, I adore the little yellow guys.

So, um, the plot now. We follow the Minions. The beginning of the movie shows us the Minions as their species started, as amoeba at the beginning of Life itself, then as fishies underwater. They're lucky, they kept finding new, bigger masters. They finally evolve to the point where they can walk on land... and promptly join a T-Rex. Long after the poor dinosaur falls into a volcano, we see the Minions join the first humans. After which we see their incompetence, leading to each and every one of their masters dying brutally; a Pharaoh, a King, Dracula - frikkin' Dracula! - and Napoleon. That one didn't end well, forcing the Minions to retreat into a large icy cave. At first, they live happily; they even start building their own society! But something's missing. As a result, a brave Minion named Kevin decides to go out and find a new despicable master to follow. They need that. It's in their name. They're Minions. He "recruits" Stuart and Bob, and thus the three leave.

They make their way to New York in 1968, where they become amazed at the evolution of technology. Televisions, lamps, electricity! Eventually, they learn about a "Villain-Con" taking place in Orlando. That's where they can find a new master! They try hitchhiking a ride there, and are lucky enough to find a family that will bring them there. In fact, they're going to Villain-Con too! They're a whole family of bank robbers! On the way, the family's daughter shows them some of the villains who attend the con looking for new minions. The main attraction is the first female supervillain: Scarlett Overkill. The family reaches Villain-Con, and the Minions end up attending Scarlett's conference.

During said conference, Scarlett throws a dare to all the villain in the room - to steal a ruby out of her hands - and almost everyone fails... well, except Bob the Minion. As a result, they're hired by Scarlett. Brought back to her mansion, where she lives with her husband Herbert, Scarlett exposes her latest plan: Stealing the Queen of England's crown! They supply the Minions with gadgets and send them into mission. But there's something odd about Scarlett... somethiung tells me she isn't as nice as she pretends to be... I know, big shock, right? She IS a villain, after all. I mean, I got the feeling she'll drop the niceness is the Minions fail...

So yeah, you can tell where this is going. However, there are plenty of jokes you'll never see coming. This movie isn't just for little kids, either; there are plenty of jokes that will go way over the kids' heads. And no, I don't mean offensive humor here.

See, this movie takes place in 1968. And the action takes place partly in the United States, but mostly in London, As a result, there are plenty of references to 60s culture, from the black-and-white televisions to hippies to Richard Nixon. The best, however, might be the soundtrack, which includes plenty of songs from that decade. The movie opens with The Turtles' So Happy Together! The Doors' Break On Through (To The Other Side) plays while they're at Villain-Con! Plenty of little touches for those who know the 60s.

Visually, this movie is great. Whether it's the huge amount of detail in the city scenes (in New York or in London), the visual comedy or the innocuous details, this movie hits the right notes. Same for the tone; despite its increasingly-menacing villain, the story tries to stay lighthearted. One of my few complaints would be that the three trailers for this movie tend to spoil some of the best jokes, as well as some of the best scenes. But then again, that's what trailers do. I just hope Hollywood learned from Terminator: Genysis not to reveal every single damn plot twist in the trailers... I'd also say this movie tends to be a bit unfocused. Maybe that's because of all the twist and turns and jokes they tried to cram in. Thankfully, that's a minor issue. The characters are enjoyable (Sandra Bullock as Scarlett steals the show more than once) and the laughs are frequent but the heartfelt moments manage to hit us nonetheless. The winks to the Despicable Me universe are great (among others, Gru and his mom can be spotted at Villain-Con), and the running gags too (like the bank-robbing family showing up at almost every important villain moment).

So, do I suggest it? Yeah! Kids will love this movie! Adults will most likely love it, too! And for those who aren't fans of the Minions, well... wait till you see this movie, you might start liking them. Of course, if this is not your cup of tea, don't go watch it... but for an hour and a half, it's a good ride.

July 14, 2015

List of musical references in my "Scott Pilgrim" review

This is the end of the contest. I wanted you guys to look for plenty of musical references in my review of Scott Pilgrim VS. The World. Well, here's my list. It might be incomplete, so if I seem to have forgotten a few, be sure to tell me.

1.      We come from the land of the ice and snow (Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song)
2.      Teenager In Love
3.      Sex Bomb
4.      Rock You Like A Hurricane (The Scorpions)
5.      99 problems but [this role] ain’t one (from Iggy Azalea’s Fancy)
6.      Money For Nothing (Dire Straits)
7.      Owner of a Lonely Heart (Yes)
8.      Get Lucky (Daft Punk)
9.      My Hips Don’t Lie (Shakira)
10.  Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)
11.  You Can’t Always Get What You Want (The Rolling Stones)
12.  I Was Made For Loving You (KISS)
13.  What’s Love Got To Do With It? (Tina Turner)
14.  Metric
15.  Loving, Touching, Squeezing (Journey)
16.  Muse
17.  Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen)
18.  Speed of Sound (Coldplay)
19.  Burning Down The House (Talking Heads)
20.  Tenacious and destructive (A pun on Tenacious D)
21.  You Oughta Know (Alanis Morrissette)
22.  Shinedown
23.  Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple)
24.  Forget You (Cee Lo Green)
25.  Mama, just killed a man… (Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody)
26.  Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple)
27.  Beck
28.  Skyfall (Adele)
29.  Achy Breaky Heart (Billy Ray Cyrus)
30.  Shocking Blue
31.  Canadian Idiot (Weird Al Yankovic)
32.  Hate To Say I Told You So (The Hives)
33.  Let It Go (Idina Menzel)
34.  Another One Bites The Dust (Queen)
35.  Cold As Ice (Foreigner)
36.  Nevermind (Nirvana album)
37.  It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (REM)
38.  Unbelievable (EMF)
39.  Mad World (Gary Jules???)
40.  Static Anonymity (Metric album)
41.  Mainstream (Metric album)
42.  Soft Rock Star (Metric)
43.  Metric
44.  Thrift Shop (Macklemore)
45.  All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor)
46.  The Police
47.  The White Stripes
48.  I’m Sad, So Very Very Sad (From the Scott Pilgrim VS The World Soundtrack)
49.  I kissed a girl, and I liked it… (Katy Perry’s I Kissed A Girl)
50.  Toxicity (System of a Down)
51.  Master of Puppets (Metallica album)
52.  Chop Suey (System of a Down)
53.  Roxette
54.  What a downer system! (System Of A Down… again)
55.  Children of the Damned (Metallica)
56.  Should I Stay Or Should I Go (The Clash)
57.  [They] are young, so why set the world on fire? (from fun.’s We Are Young)
58.  Lose Yourself (Eminem)
59.  Another Brick In The Wall (Pink Floyd)
60.  Somebody That I Used To Know (Gotye)
61.  Green Day
62.  Sympathy For The Devil (The Rolling Stones)
63.  Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel)
64.  Imagine Dragons
65.  We’re Not Gonna Take It (Twister Sister)
66.  Break Your Heart (Taio Cruz)
67.  It’s Only Rock’N’Roll (But I Like It) (The Rolling Stones)
68.  Scream and Shout (
69.  Smash Mouth
70.  Dirty Work (Rolling Stones album)
71.  …less twisted side of Scott’s sister (Twisted Sister… geddit?)
72.  Down With The Sickness (Disturbed)
73.  Baby Got Back (Sir Mix-A-Lot)
74.  Between The Buttons (Rolling Stones album)
75.  A tower of stone, with the flesh and bone… (from Rainbow’s Stargazer)
76.  (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)
77.  Brown Sugar (Rolling Stones)
78.  Sharp-Dressed Man (ZZ Top)
79.  Man of wealth and taste (from the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy For The Devil)
80.  Get Off My Cloud (Rolling Stones)
81.  Under My Thumb (Rolling Stones)
82.  Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke ft. Pharell Williams)
83.  Ruby Tuesday (Rolling Stones)
84.  Black And Blue (Rolling Stones album)
85.  Let It Bleed (Rolling Stones album)
86.  State Of Shock (The Jackson 5)
87.  Phoenix
88.  Let’s Get It Started (Black Eyed Peas)
89.  Too Tough To Die (The Ramones)
90.  Through the fire and the flames he’ll carry on! (Dragonforce’s Through The Fire And Flames)
91.  Garden of sound (…Soundgarden!)
92.  Nine Inch Nails
93.  Pull Me Under (Dream Theater)
94.  Metal Health (Quiet Riot)
95.  Pretty Fly For A White Guy (The Offspring)
96.  Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus)
97.  Renegades of Funk (Rage Against The Machine)
98.  Beat On The Brat (The Ramones)
99.  Out Of Our Heads (Rolling Stones album)
100.  To learn how to love and forget how to hate (from Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train)
101. Europe
102. The Final Countdown (Europe)
103. End of the Century (The Ramones album)
104. Rocket To Russia (The Ramones album)
105. Best Song Ever (One Direction)
106. Black Sheep (Metric)

107. Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated? (Avril Lavigne’s Complicated)

There, that's my list. It was difficult to sneak in so many musical references, so I hope you enjoyed.