Thursday, July 03, 2014


First off, setting up the bomb:
Bockscar, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima as seen by the Sandmich at Wright-Pat
Ooof, the only thing more difficult than dropping that bomb was getting the picture of that plane out of iPhoto, Ha! ha, um, next...


I wanted to mention the noise about places like Target and Starbucks frowning on people 'open carrying' firearms in their store.  This puts them in the same category as radical companies like, oh, the nearby gun shop.  Open carry has it's place, I suppose, but as a self defense measure it's stupid.  Adherents liken it to having security sign on the front lawn and a big dog in the house.  It's all that, along with a post-it on the sign with the alarm code and a side of bacon to feed the dog.  The effective deterrent of concealed carry is the possible threat but if a criminal can see where the firearm is they can plan how to negate it (or worse, take control of it).  This would get complicated, along with much else, if everyone was open-carrying, but you see what I'm getting at, perhaps....

Lastly, some video game noise:
Devil May Cry 5


I was like a lot of other people in that my love of the previous games biased me towards wanting to hate this game.  The previous games were strange ducks in that they were English language games developed by some great minds within Capcom in Japan.  After the last title was (in my mind unfairly) maligned Capcom turned the game over to a British development studio.  I have to say that the results are fairly spectacular.

I'll step back for a second and note that I played this game with a note of sadness in that one day in the not too distant future I will be too old and slow to play a race car of a game like DMC5.  This game has the smoothest combo system of any brawler ever (including the likes of God of War and its many, many clones).  With the exception of a few boss fights there was never a time where an enemy landed a hit on me where I could blame the game.  The developers give the players all the tools that they need to completely control any situation, provided that your reflexes are up to snuff.  Some days are better than others: on one particular replay through a level I played like my hair was on fire and was slicing and crushing enemies like they had something bad about a pizza that I had made and it turned out at the end that I had played through the whole level without being touched.  Unfortunately most of the time I found myself grunting "oof, should'a caught that, perhaps twenty years ago...".  

Anyway, top notch art, music, challenges, and most of all, gameplay; it's not to be missed if you still have the chops to pull it off.

Unfortunately, I do have to shave some points off since the later boss fights feature copious 'unfair' hits and something about the story didn't sit right with me; just a light touch of Bush Derangement Syndrome along with a force play at the end to make sure that the story fit with the Devil May Cry canon.

Remember Me
NeoParis can never hope to be as good as NeoTokyo

Which brings us to the brawler made by a French studio.  The French aren't too dissimilar from the Japanese in that they can't help but bring a whole truckload of their historical baggage to any story-telling experience.  At different times in the story class warfare is played up, along with smugness within the rebel cause, snooty indifference from the ruling hierarchy and, of course, a storming of the NeoBastille.  Unlike DMC5's ultra smooth combo system, the system used here is all French dictate which features a series of button presses which must be pushed in the proper order and timing in order to work.  Where DMC5 rewards button pressing ingenuity and freedom, Remember Me punishes any drifting from the rigid control scheme.  With that being said, this game is gorgeous as some art department poured their heart and soul into this title (rarely has in-game art so closely matched the concept art).  As well, whereas most video games get loose with the story as the game progresses, I thought this one actually tightened up and surprised with an ending that inferred the superiority of individuality over the statist "ends justifies the ends meme" that can crop up at times (Asian games being especially egregious offenders in that department).

Points chopped off for the nasty combo scheme and, ugh, copious 'expository dialog'.