New new new NINJA TURTLES

TURTLES

(New x3, considering the original cartoon, the live action show and the 2003 animated series)

Just recently the first two episodes of the new new  new TMNT cartoon came out. Right off the bat the theme is fucking stupid – it’s essentially a techno, thugged-out version of the original. Kept the chorus but changed the rest of the lyrics to really lame rap. Good news, though! The creators are embracing Don’s sexual attraction to machines and in spirit of “Donatello does machines” he now “has a way with machines” and if you don’t think that that’s just awesome on their part you should probably not be reading this article. Seriously, go away.

The most notable difference from the previous cartoons is that it is now CG – with a rather interesting style. Thankfully they did not go with a style similar to the movie where the turtles looked like anorexic lizards wearing trophy-shells of the turtles they killed. There are many Traditional Japanese and futuristic influences in the style. The juxtaposition between the old ways of the turtles, the space age technology of Crangs is rather odd, but I assume that as the show goes on the turtles will adopt more of the sci-fi stuff. Yeah, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

The cartoon seems to have younger kids as the target audience, compared to the 2003 installment which was as badass as the turtles can get without spilling blood and the ageless masterpiece that was the original series. Surprisingly combat is a lot better and more ninja-y than before. As their main enemies are the Crang who travel in robotic humanoid exoskeletons Leo and Raph can actually use their weapons to hit them – it is rather mind-blowing, I know. There’s a lot more whackyness going on here than there was in the 2003 series and the gang is back to having pupils, making them look infinitely friendlier. But that’s not it… Now they have IRISES, too! The next cartoon should make them wear clothes. Sure, why the fuck not. Maybe abandon the whole  “TURTLES” thing! Nah, in all honesty they look kinda cool. On top of all that Mikey has freckles and Don has a gap in his teeth – so now all you genetically unfortunate kids can feel better about your tragic nature by comparing yourselves to sewer-dwelling turtles.

Plot-wise this show seems like it will revolve around an alien race of Grang, (or Utroms, as they were called in the 2003 cartoon) who I believe are aliens rather than BEINGS FROM DIMENSION X, like the original Grang was. It goes without saying that Shredder will be another nemesis of the green four, but there is something questionable: is he going to be human or a Crang? I believe that he is in fact human. To support that I will draw a few parallels with the older cartoons. In the original series Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki were both human when their feud started. In the 2003 series Splinter started off as a rat and Shreder was an Utrom. If this show will follow one of the storylines word for word it seems that it will be the former one. And may I add that Shredder never looked this goddamn badass before.

One of the most important points I’d like to bring up is that APRIL ISN’T HOT! There is NO excuse for this. Even if it is aimed at kids she could still be hot – the kids wouldn’t get it and the older audience would appreciate it! Maybe it even help some kids get over cooties and thus abolish sexism at an earlier age! There is literally no good reason for her to not be hot! Story? She’s 15? No! The creators probably just want to keep sexism around. Furthermore making her unhot is nothing short of blasphemy – she has always been an idol of hotness, no matter the medium, no matter the decade, she was someone all guys could find attractive and all girls could look up to because she was nether an ugo or a slut. Well, guess what – now she’s just a ginger, semi-cute teen with freckles. One does not go against decades of great tradition for no good reason, dammit. So please, tell me, show me WHY!

Yeeeeeee...NO!

And guess what else! Don still fell in love with her!

:(

Even harder than ever before. It’s kinda cute… but mostly just sad. No matter how many “love vs. adversity” stories we’ve been fed over the years it is beyond obvious that she’ll just keep saying what a great friend he is and how she never wants to lose him as a friend, yada-yada. He’ll just keep quiet about his feelings and do some machines or some shit. Let’s face it Don, you’re a nerdy fucking turtle and this cute redhead will never love you. How would you even kiss, anyway? Have you seen your dumb mouth? This relationship isn’t cute, it’s downright tragic.

There was also no Casey Jones yet…

WHERE?

All in all it’s a rad cartoon, nonetheless, and I’ll keep watching it. I don’t mind that it’s aimed at a younger audience because that means that new generation will grow up loving the pizza-munchers like many before them have. This is a new step for TMNT and I have high hope that it’ll be a good one. CAWABUNGA!

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes – Rumor and Fact Roundup

About a week ago Ground Zeroes was revealed in a 10 minute trailer and a 4 minute extended demo. The internet exploded with speculation and conspiracy theories, just like how every announcement of an MGS title is followed up and so I’d like to shine a little light on all the things that can be taken away from the trailer… + some outlandish theories.

  • First FOX ENGINE game

-first premiered at E3 2011

-new, really powerful engine created by Kojima Productions

-multi-platform

-abandons standard MGS physical model – very slick (prominent cover system, smooth stance transitions, etc.), very western-styled

  • Motherbase is still present from PW

-may have nukes as “word of our capabilities gets out, and we’ll have the whole world to shut us down”

-has an inspection coming up to check for weapons

-XOF waited for Snake to go save Chico and Paz to go to MSF motherbase and set them up before the inspection or expose the weaponry

-And app that will allow players to customize and traverse base in full detail from a smartphone

  • From FOX two phantoms were born: MSF and XOF

-XOF:

– “Xenogenesis of FOX”

-new antithesis

-led by mysterious man with a burnt face

  • Big Boss

-“back on FOX”

-about 10 years older than in PW

-old as “even age hasn’t slowed [him] down one bit”

  • Open world

-some takes place in Cuba, but other parts of the world will most likely be accessible

-cease everything you see in the distance

-approach to missions from many angles

  • Piloting vehicles

-drive cars, armored vehicles, tanks

-first time piloting a non-mecha transport in MGS

  • No permanent HUD

-only reticle (PW style)

-item switch appears “on” snake, a-la Dead Space

  • Hitch a helicopter ride out of anywhere

-customizable tune when the helicopter arrives

-can get you spotted

-can get shot down

-called by throwing a flare

  • Paz and Chico are imprisoned

-Chico’s sister, Amanda, or Paz was already killed but Snake does not know it.

-were used to lure Big Boss out of the motherbase

-Snake’s arrival was anticipated

  • BONUS RUMOURS AND RANDOM CRAP

-Chico has some audio device in him: perhaps a countdown (he has a bomb inside him meant to kill Snake when he rescues Chico)

-May be VR because strange orange lines appear on the screen sometimes (or just loading)

-May be set in 2 different times: “ground zeroes” may imply multiple GROUND ZEROes

  • Movie

-Avi Arad is set to produce the movie

-made under the umbrella of Columbia Pictures

-no cast or director is attached yet, but Hideo Kojima expressed his admiration for Christopher Nolan… although that may be more of wishful thinking on his part, and not in fact a subtle tease

-no script details confirmed whatsoever: no setting or even protagonist

-an up and coming, not famous actor will be playing the role of Snake

Mundane Game Mechanics That Would Be Awesome In Real Life

There are just some things in games that we take for granted and never really give much thought. Some of them are purely informative and some are actually extremely useful. Being the thoughtful and bored guy that I am I noticed myself picking them apart and fantasizing about how awesome it would be if they were real. I’m not talking about stuff like stopping time or super strength or whatever, but uh…

Stats

Stats - Blacklight: Retribution

Have you ever thought what it’d be like if all items in the real world had videogamey stats? Probably not as there’s a good chance that you have better things to occupy your mind with. Well, I have and let me tell you, it would change the way we do everything. Shopping – you can make clear decisions on what to buy depending on what you want. Take pants for instance; you can choose depending on durability, speed, agility, defense, style and etc. no longer will you have to put up with pants that even a kitten can tear to shreds. Also those with no sense of style can hide it very effectively.

People – you can make fun of people for having lower stats than you in something and be absolutely factual about it so that they can’t argue back! You can pick your fights depending on the standing of your stats against the opponent. Maybe you can take him out in one punch, maybe you can dodge until he’s all worn out and then attack or just run the hell away if there’s no way to win and he has everything higher than you apart from speed and stamina.

This tiny aspect of game mechanics would mean the most well-informed decision making since ever and would no longer leave it to guesses and gut-feelings.

Highlighting of Useful Objects

 Highlighting - Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Many games have interactable and useful objects highlighted, like Deus Ex Human Revolution, for instance – it has a bright orange tint over everything useful and Metal Gear Solid has the items spinning a foot above ground. This would mean that one would no longer have to spend eons searching for a lost object – they would see it right away. Take this situation as an example: you’re looking for a tiny DS cartridge in a pile of useless stuff in your drawer. It would be extremely hard to find amongst all that crap, but not if it’s spinning a foot above all other things or is bright orange while everything else is just gray with a slight orange tint! Mundane game mechanics come to the rescue again!

Mini-map

Minimap - Metal Gear Solid 2

Ho boy, this is something very dear to me as an idea. Sometimes it just sucks to be in a new place, be it a city, area or house. Imagine you need to know where all the useful places are, like shops that sell a specific candy, or the location of a nearby bathroom! They would be highlighted as a current quest location on your mini map and you could walk there right away without a bother.  Let’s not forget those times when you just want to get from one class to another without running into anyone but have no way of knowing where they are or when you need to sneak into a top secret nuclear research facility to take out a group of mercenaries threatening your homeland with nuclear annihilation. Well, now you have full awareness of their locations, and you can go about avoiding people/snapping necks without having to worry about running into someone you didn’t mean to run into.

I was once lost in the subway, I didn’t know which exit to town I had to take to get where I needed to be and I looked up to the top-right hoping that there would be a map there to help me out. I felt like a fucking idiot. In my defense I was playing the hell out of MGS2 at the time, but nonetheless. Yes, we are coming close to it with smartphone GPS and soon Google Glass may provide a real-life HUD, but for now the completely correct mini-maps with item and personnel location remain in the realm of games.

3rd Person View

3rd Person View - Skyrim

A fair amount of games has third-person view which give almost full awareness of the surroundings and yourself. It expands the viewing angle to 360 degrees instead of the usual angle of approximately 150 degrees that humans see with their eyes.

Not only can you know what’s behind you at all times you can know exactly how people are seeing you, so perhaps you want to hide really well but don’t know if the top of your head is poking out. No more would one have to watch the shadows as they’re walking alone at night, you can look behind and in front of yourself simultaneously. I know that if you’re reading this there’s no way you’re a geek who gets picked on in class but nonetheless: if somebody’s throwing pieces of paper at your head you can casually avoid every single one to make them think that you have spider-sense and just look cool. Or make it absolutely clear about who’s the culprit so that you can corner him later and web him to a lamp post.

Perhaps you’re trying to park and you’re not sure if the car is going to fit –you can clearly see the car in its entirety and park without a prablam. Third-person view would help out not only in everyday situations, but also in butt-pirating preventions along with pissing off assholes, and that’s pretty great in my book.

Hacking

Hacking - Blacklight: Human Revolution

Real-life hacking involves an extensive knowledge of programming which is something relatively few people possess, while in videogames it’s ether a simple puzzle or a quick time event that anyone with half a brain can perform. Surely it would be a horrible if everyone could just do that and all your devices could be unlocked by a 5 year-old and no information could be protected: even governmental facilities and banks would be as vulnerable as a teenage girl lost in a biker club.

To counteract this there would also be completely uhackable terminals that only your sexy female informant friend can hack over the phone. So again, only those with sexy female informants would be able to do that, which means that only about 7 people in the world would be lucky enough to have all the electronic gadgets in the palm of their hands.

How you could avoid getting your information stolen? Use rock PCs and rock phones. Nobody can hack stones, so you’re in the clear. You can also live under them and that’s great. Or just write on paper and put it on a pin-board, those things never have the poly-count high enough to distinguish the letters, it’ll only be squiggly lines to others.

So there they are, just a few game mechanics that we never praise but would make the world quite a bit more awesome.