Saturday, 30 May 2015

Machinima News: The Series That Never Was... (5/30/2015)

For the Reycralibur reboot, I've been playing with the idea of an action-comedy staring Opal and Aile. This is despite the fact that I wanted to avoid have Link as a main character like he is in almost EVERY Smash Bros. machinima. That's all I got, because something else has been on my mind lately: Sonichu.

A few years ago, I came up with an idea to produce a Brawl machinima remake of Sonichu. It would have been a loose adaption of the main story, minus issues #7, #8, and #10, for various reasons.. What can I say, it's Sonichu, there were few good things I can take away from it, and this is coming from a guy who liked the Mario movie. The series would have stared a completely new heroine, instead of a Sonic/Pokemon-knockoff, while several other characters would get completely new backstories or be written out altogether.

Years later, I'm still itching to do the reboot, but I'm too lazy and Brawl machinima isn't very popular anymore, outside of works by the Digital Shadows anyways. Still, I've saved the textures I would have used for the reboot; all I really need to do is to rewrite the script. Besides, it was going to be a back-to-basics machinima series anyways: no over-the-top animesque openings or anything. Part of the reason why I don't do Brawl machinima anymore is because I was so focused on video quality and hacks. Nowadays, I'd stick to textures hacks, and I'd pick my fast & easy Dazzle over my over-complicated Hauppauge PVR anyday.

Maybe, if I get some time alone this summer...

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Let's Talk (Legends) Football

When you love, or at least like, something, you have to be critical about. You have to call bullshit when you see it. I'm about as big a fan of the LFL as I am of sports in general; not very much. But I do enjoy watching games which means, according to TV Tropes, I'm too cheap to buy Cinemax for this shit. Then again, fuck TV Tropes, because the LFL has come a long way from being cheap fanservice. ...All the more reason why I have to be critical, because there is still some shit I have to get off my chest. It's not T&A, but it smells like TNA.

First and foremost, the name. They used to be known as the Lingerie Football League, but now they're called the Legends Football League, which sounds like the name of some shitty fantasy league made by four year olds. I guess the "Ladies Football League" was too sexist. Their performance gear looks almost identical to the uniforms they wore under the Lingerie banner, which makes me wonder how female wrestlers flew under the radar for so long. Then I realized I don't even give a shit.

Let's talk broadcasting, because that's the name of the game. The LFL's broadcasting partners in the past included MyNetworkTV, MTV2, and their own YouTube channel - complete with YouTube-quality production value. Given their reputation, these are types of networks you team up with, not because of your potential for growth, but because they really need the ratings. Hence, their current partner, Fuse, who seeks to "expand beyond music programing". By which I mean, they would rather do this than focus on music.

That's fine, but this tape-delay bullshit is really starting to piss me off. Whereas pro-wrestling companies post their shows within two days of taping, those living in the United States have to wait a full week to watch LFL games on Fuse, while the rest of us have to wait another week to watch them on their YouTube channel. This basically means that their website is off limits until the end of the season, unless I want to see spoilers for the games. Even worse, as of writing, the rest of this week's game STILL hasn't been uploaded to YouTube: ten hours after the second quarter. I might as well see if someone DVR'd the Fuse broadcast, and uploaded it to a pirate site, because this is juvenile.

They supposedly have leagues all over the globe, but really, only the one in the USA is active. Canada's league has been on hiatus since 2014; Australia's league has run into some legal trouble, on top of losing their broadcast deal with 7mate; and rest aren't even worth talking about. At this point, Canadians would be better off joining the WWCFL. The only difference is that I won't see them, or any other women's league for that matter, on national television anytime soon, because mainstream sports networks are sexist and only care about ratings.

There are just so many things wrong with the LFL, it's stunning that this is the only women's sporting event I can see on a regular basis. Yet I can't stop watching, because it's far more entertaining then regular football. I just wish they would take things a bit more seriously and get their shit together. Seriously guys, because a girl could run this shit better, focus on building your franchise before you go global and ditch the green screen, then you brag about how much you are better then the NFL.

Until then, leave the bragging rights to an actual women's league.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Lighting a Fuse

You may know Fuse for The Whitest Kids U'Know, Billy on the Street, being the American version of MuchMusic, or for being MTV with music videos. However, if Fuse's upfront announcement and the changes that follows prove anything, it's that the network has gotten a new nickname: MTV 2.0

The deception goes back to when, instead of being bought by Diddy and his music network, the far more successful Revolt, Fuse was sold to Nuvo TV and Jennifer Lopez. In the months since then, Fuse News was cancelled, and the network introduced such fare as Miami Ink reruns and LFL games. Keep in mind that the latter previously aired on MTV2, further cementing the notion that Fuse Media favors ratings over actual musical content.

In fairness, Fuse has been struggling, thanks to services like Vevo and even, if your lucky enough to live in the right city, TheCoolTV. I don't fully understand what Revolt or AUX are doing differently, but it's clearly working better than what Fuse has been doing. It would have made more sense to position Nuvo TV as a general-interest network and for Fuse to broadcast more alternative programming. Aside from sports entertainment and comedy specials, Fuse could also air anime or some cult series; anything would be better than some random reality show.

But instead, Nuvo TV will "fold into" Fuse, which just some mumbo jumbo corporate bullcrap for: "We're shutting down Nuvo TV and may or may not replace it with a new music network." Like, seriously, I HATE it when they talk like this! If your gonna say something, JUST SAY IT! Anyways, Fuse Media will eventually launch a new music network called FM, which is probably just an equivalent to Much and MTV's digital networks. You know, the ones that nobody watches.

If I sound critical, that's only because Fuse is going down the same road MTV and MuchMusic did. The difference is, MTV is always evolving with its audience, Much is a disgrace to Canada and it's music scene. I will say that Fuse's current and upcoming slate of shows do show some promise. With an animated comedy, reality shows about dancing, and some new talk shows, Fuse might just burn a little bit longer and a bit brighter.

Then again, is it even worth it?

I'd Love to See a New Crash Bandicoot Game...

My favorite racing game was, hands down, Crash Tag Team Racing! When it comes to the Clashing mechanic, Mario Kart ain't got shit - Double Dash, maybe, but not Mario Kart. Some of you would agree with me, except for the fact that this was the first game to be developed by Radical Entertainment, or as I'd like to call them, the "Crash Killers".

On top of CTTR's unnecessary platforming element, and character changes that might have made hardcore fanboys cringe, The "Titan Trilogy"'s mediocre repetition killed the main series. Thanks to a bunch of crappy handheld games, including the infamous Crash Boom Bang, the franchise hit rock bottom. To be fair, as far as the main series goes, the post-Naughty Dog games didn't exactly get the same reception as Sonic or Mega Man games get nowadays, but they weren't terrible either. It wasn't until after Crash Tag Team Racing was released that the franchise started going downhill.

What really pisses me off though is the way Activision has been talking about the games since. When Eric Hirshberg talked about "finding a way to bring Crash back", he was clearly taking about doing to Crash, what Activision has already done to the likes of Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. Skylanders, for all the undeserved blacklash it got, was a blessing compared to that. Since then, whenever someone, or something (#4ThePlayers), brings up Crash Bandicoot, there's always an Activision rep right around the corner to deliver some half-assed statement about how they would love to bring the series back.

Instead of talking about bringing Crash back, Activision should have already done it. I hate it when a publisher hogs the rights to a franchise they don't give a crap about, when they can easily sell the rights to someone who does and make some extra cash - Konami, I'm looking at you. When all is said and done, I do believe Crash is need of a reboot, or at least, a snap back. But I highly doubt we're gonnna get one anytime soon. It's about as likely as Mega Man making a comeback.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

My Favorite Kidcoms

Let it never be said I have an unfair bias against kidcoms, because there ARE some good ones out there.
...Some good ones...

Nickelodeon, you know I like you, but when Big Time Rush ended, so did my reason for caring. Ignoring the fact that the show was clearly a ripoff of JONAS and was just a vehicle for crappy tween music (safe for the infectious theme song), BTR was actually a spiritual successor to Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. A very quirky show till the end, unlike the crappy teen drama JONAS became.

Personally, when it comes to Disney Channel, the only show worth watching is Girl Meets World. It's not very funny, but it's every bit as mature as it's parent series. Whereas most shows rely on a cookie-cutter formula, GMW is a bit more realistic and a lot more down to earth. It might as well air on ABC Family, because it's clearly better than every other show on Disney Channel.

Although I'm glad Disney XD is moving away from this genre, I still have to say Lab Rats keeps me coming back for more. Hey, when a kids show decides to end a season with the main trio exiling themselves after their secret is reveled only for the bad guy to come from out of nowhere and blow up the secret base, trapping the supporting cast in the rubble, I HAVE to give props. Someone was clearly taking lessons from Mainframe on how to do a cliffhanger. My only gripe is that they don't go down this route more often, every other episode is just generic slapstick and puns, and that laugh track is NOT helping.

The problem with kidcoms these days is very much the same problem first-person shooter games had when Modern Warfare 2 came on the scene; Every other show looks the same, feels the same, and is very much the same. The only difference is the setting and characters, unless said character is a Chelsea Daniels knockoff, because stupid people are funny (oN yehT erA !toN). I'm just saying if I have kids, and that's a strong if, I would like to know they're not watching something that they wouldn't have their kids watching.