Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 2014 Look-Ahead

February has come and gone.  It was a month, as most of them are, this one only twenty-eight days of our lives.  Those days are not coming back, so I do hope you spent them well.  Reading this blog is clearly one of the best ways of living a life, just behind a constant 24-hour orgy, and being the Padishah-Emperor of the Moon.  However, if you are one of the more confused and less fortunate souls in this world and require a guide to planning your life for the next thirty-one days, here is a Look-Head for March, 2014.  First, the Movies:

300: Rise of an Empire (March 7th) - This is the long-awaited sequel to the 2007 film "300", which was based upon the Battle of Thermopylae in the Greco-Persian Wars.  "300" was innovative in that it proved to modern audiences that even 2500 years later, we can still make disgusting racist propaganda films against an empire that died out hundreds of years before the birth of Christ.  I'm not sure what this title "Rise of an Empire" refers to:  no empires rose during the Greco-Persian Wars.  Judging from the trailers, "300: Rise of an Empire" features the Battle of Salamis, the tide-turning naval battle where (spoilers) the Greeks win.  However, the Wikipedia page tells me that "Rise of an Empire" will also involve the Battle of Artemisium, which occurred at the same time as Thermopylea, and for some reason, the Battle of Marathon, which was a generation earlier.  So this movie is a prequel, midquel, and a sequel, so it is altogether just as confusing as its title.  On a fairer note, Eva Green looks like a perfect choice for the Persian commander, Artemisia.  On a less fair note, the star of this movie is apparently some bland White guy.
-- Chances to Be Good:  30%.  Focus on Eva Green, we might have a movie.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman (March 7th) - This is an adaptation of the 1960s cartoon characters, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, who used to travel through time in between episodes of "Rocky & Bullwinkle".  Let us hope that "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" fares better than Rocky and Bullwinkle's horrifyingly awful feature film from 2000 - not that I wish to unearth any repressed abuse memories within my audience.  DreamWorks is producing this creation, and it has some very crisp animation.  Unfortunately, nothing in the trailers seems to really "pop" for me.  It might make for some very basic family entertainment, or maybe it will surprise us all and be something special.  Time will tell.
-- Chances to be Good:  50%.  The little blond girl in the trailers wears too much eyeliner.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (March 7th) - Wes Anderson returns with what appears to be every actor ever for his largest and most quirky comedy yet.  I know Anderson's style is somewhat divisive, making for some extremely weird movies with generally all the same unique esthetic, but so far this director has yet to lead me astray.  This film, set in the 1930s in some glorious storybook hotel setting, seems to be Wes Anderson at his West Andersonest, with the quirk meters going off the scale.  Perhaps this will be too much of a good thing, or maybe he will continue his winning streak as all of Hollywood funnels into his Hungarian pink dollhouse of a movie.
-- Chances to Be Good:  89%.  Or so states this movie's current Rotten Tomatoes score.

I am starting to understand the appeal for this.

Need for Speed (March 14th) - With Paul Walker's untimely demise, this means 2014 will not be receiving the fantastic gift of automative godliness known as "Fast & Furious 7" (or whatever that movie winds up being titled).  So instead we have this off-brand equivalent, based upon a racing video game franchise I have never once played.  "Need for Speed" stars Aaron Paul, an alumni of "Breaking Bad", who may not look the part of an action star, but certainly has the voice for it.  Perhaps he'll pull it off.  I know I want to see some hardcore car-fu this March, and hopefully this movie will scratch that itch.
-- Chances to be Good:  60%.  I do not see a Vin Deisel for this franchise's resident Paul.  We all know that the Fast and Furious Godhead demands a Deisel for every Paul.

Veronica Mars (March 14th) - I vaguely recall there once was a thing called "Veronica Mars", apparently now there will be a movie.  I have not seen any trailers for this, and its release appears to be somewhat under the radar.  I have no idea, honestly.
-- Chances to be Good:  ???%.  Was Veronica Mars a series of teen detective novels published by Scholastic Books?  Was it a comic book?  Was it a TV series?  A video game?  I have no idea.

Divergent (March 21st) - Not another teen fantasy series!  Yup here we go again.  I do not know if I am fully ready for this movie, consider my anus is still bleeding from last month's "Vampire Academy".  Basically "Divergent" is made to ride the coattails of "The Hunger Games" just as the book it is based upon rode the coattails of the Hunger Games books.  Apparently it is the future, and this dystopia is based upon a caste system dividing society amongst personality types.  Our resident young White leading lady is immune to fear or something, so cannot be put in a caste, and thus must Mary Sue her way to overthrow the evil government, ruled by Kate "I-Have-Six-Academy-Award-Nominations-Why-Am-I-Here?" Winslet.  Also a romance with some bland White leading man.
-- Chances to be Good:  15%.  Jai Courtney has a supporting role in this.  Run away.

The greatest movie never made.

Jodorowsky's Dune (March 21st) - In the 1980s, David Lynch directed "Dune", a huge confusing mess of a science fiction movie.  It is also one of my favorite movies of all time.  "Jodorowksy's Dune" is based around an attempt a decade earlier by Alejandro Jodorowsky, an advant-garde French-Chilean director, to adapt the Frank Herbert novel, "Dune", with art design by H. R. Geiger, and music that would have been made by Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd.  Ultimately that production failed due to having far too much ambition for a science fiction production before the release of "Star Wars".  Also it would have been the second coming of Christ, so the vile Satanist conspiracy that rules Hollywood had it smothered.  However, this documentary will show audiences exactly the movie they have been missing.
-- Chances to be Good:  100%.  Read that paragraph again.  Look at the space ship.  This is a story that needs to be told.

Muppet's Most Wanted (March 21st) - The Muppets return.  Enough said, going to see it.
-- Chances to be Good:  80%.  Jason Seigel is gone after starring in the wonderful "The Muppets", but I think this franchise can survive without him.

Noah (March 28th) - Darren Aronofsky is one of the better directors of our time, and his last movie, "Black Swan", was fantastic.  "Noah" is an interesting experiment, the first major Old Testiment movie released since, I believe, "The Prince of Egypt".  The film is set in the fantastic magical world of Antediluvian (Pre-Flood) civilizations, where according to myth, angels mated with women and bore giants.  I am guessing Aronofsky will avoid the weirder elements of the Book of Enoch and such simply to show what is already a pretty weird story of a man building an Ark and saving all of the world's animals.  The trailers look like a great piece of filmmaking, I get goosebumps every time I watch the creatures of the Earth calmly march into Russell Crowe's wooden ship.  This appears to be simply the Old Testiment put on screen, no frills, simply a story of faith and the power of God.  Which, unfortunately, it not a genre very well represented in modern Hollywood - and when its done at all, it is usually truly awful.  Maybe Aronofsky can do it well.
-- Chances to be Good:  90%.  Unless you are a teenaged atheist allergic to the concept of faith, you will probably enjoy this movie.

"We Bought a Zoo 2:  Noah's Ark"

Sabotage (March 28th) - Arnold Swarzenegger is BACK!  ...Again.  The third or fourth time now.  I am going to be frank right now:  "Sabotage" is going to be a piece of shit.  The trailers promise a fairly generic action crime movie, and I am certain you will not even get that.  Why?  Because this is written by Skip Woods.  The very same Skip Woods who brought us "Hitman", "X-Men Origins: Wolverman", and most terribly, "A Good Day to Die Hard".  So expect yet another bad day to go to the movies.
-- Chances to be Good:  -10%.  Yes, it has less than no chance.  Skip Woods.

The Raid 2 (March 28th) - "The Raid" has to be the very best action movie I have ever reviewed on this blog.  It was a few hours of slam-dunk neck-stabbing action, simply wonderful in every way.  People did awful things to each other for my amusement.  And then when they failed, they got stabbed in the neck with a florescent tube.  Just magic.  "The Raid 2" actually looks like something far more, a huge "Infernal Affairs"*-style epic, with a much longer, darker, and more intense storyline than before.  It is quite a thing to see "The Raid" not only get a wide Western release a few years ago rather than an awful remake starring Jai Courtney or something, but now its sequel is getting an even better treatment.  This movie is going to rip out your balls, shove them down your throat, and play a game of table tennis on your stomach.  Or if you're a woman, it will get you pregnant with a hurricane and shatter your tits.  This  might be the best-looking movie of all of 2014.
-- Chances to be Good:  110%.  No way this will fail.  Call me delusional.

Now video games:

This is the in-game engine, not the cartoon.

South Park: The Stick of Truth (March 4th) - This is a PS3/Xbox 360 turn-based RPG based upon "South Park".  In this game, you play as a New Kid coming to South Park to join in the local children's fantasy adventure.  Knowing "South Park", you will get caught up in an unusual adventure against Crab People or Jewish homosexual aliens or maybe even eat your own parents as a bowl of chili.  Thanks to THQ becoming KIA, the game wound up getting delayed for awhile, but it was eventually resurrected by Ubisoft.  I am expecting this to be a major event, "South Park" and RPGs, its a weird combination.  I've actually played the demo, and it is quite funny, but I have yet to see if this turn-based RPG is any good.
-- Chances to be Good:  70%.  Remember the "South Park" game on the N64?  Or am I officially old?
-- Chances I'll Actually Play It:  30%.  Money is tight.

Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky (March 11th) - What??  What is that title?  Is the challenge of this JRPG to pronounce its name?  Eschatology is the theological study of the End Times.  I am guessing this game has nothing to do with that.  I have never played an Atelier game, I do not think I am going to start now.
-- Chances to be Good:  ???%.  Again, what??
-- Chances I'll Actually Play It:  0%.  Money is tight.

Dark Souls II (March 11th) - It appears everything in March is going to be an RPG.  The original "Dark Souls" and "Demon's Souls" are considered some of the better games of the last generation, and I suppose I am really missing out by not playing them.  These games promise extremely dark gameplay that is extremely tough, but apparently extremely rewarding.  So it is extreme on every level.  My only issue is the art style.  Even though this is made by Namco Bandai or Bandai Namco**, it has a very Western RPG esthetic, which never was my preference.  Western RPGs are always so dirty and drab looking, they're really depressing to look at.  This is why I never played "Skyrim".  But lately I've been trying to expand my gaming pallet, so I think "Dark Souls II" might be worth an investment.
-- Chances to be Good:  80%.  I like getting my ass raped over and over again video games.
-- Chances I'll Actually Play It:  100%.  Money is tight, so the review is not coming soon, but eventually.


Titanfall (March 11th) - "Titanfall" is the great system seller for the Xbone, so I guess it plays a similar role as Leni Riefenstahl played for Hitler.  Last year the Xbone promised to be nothing but pure evil, a nightmare scourge of gaming that would enslave us all and force us to eat nothing but a diet of ground meat made from our unborn babies.  Now it is merely the lamest console on the market right now.  Anyway, "Titanfall" looks like a great fun FPS game featuring giant robots.  However, I will never play it for two reasons:  1) Xbone, and 2) it is an online-only mutliplayer game without a storyline.  So it is basically everything I do not want in a video game.  I suck at FPS mutliplayer.  People stopped playing "Halo 3" because every multiplayer map was flooded with my corpses, it was impossible to move anymore.  I would rather people have fun with "Titanfall" so I will selflessly continue to play "Bravely Default" instead.
-- Chances to be Good:  90%.  Gundamz.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  0%.  Money is tight.

Yoshi's New Island (March 14th) - Between all the New Super Mario Bros games, "Zelda: A Link Between Worlds", "Donkey Kong Country Returns", and this, it appears Nintendo is starting to have a very serious problem:   nostalgia.  I get the sense they have truly and finally given up attempting to do anything new, and now are simply feeding the ever-hungry demon known as "the past".  Nintendo's history of gaming is better than anybody else, they are masters of their craft.  "Yoshi's Island" was a great game.  If I wanted to play it on my 3DS, I should just be able to download it.  I should not need to play the game again just with different levels.  If that's all you want as a gamer, go ahead, have fun.  "A Link Between Worlds" was very good, but its reverence to the past stopped it from being truly great.  I'm sure everybody will have fun with "Yoshi's New Island", but so what?  Its the safe choice.  Masturbation instead of putting yourself out there and dating.
-- Chances to be Good:  100%.  Of course.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  10%.  Maybe if I find a copy on the ground and I have nothing else to do.  I beat "New Super Mario Bros 3DS" one afternoon about a year ago that way.  Also, money is tight.

Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Remaster (March 18th) - I beat "Final Fantasy X" almost a decade ago.  I wrote a walkthrough about it.  I think I am good there.  I once played "Final Fantasy X-2" and I was unable to sustain an erection for about a year thanks to that experience.  If you haven't played "Final Fantasy X" before, buy this.  If you have, then play something else.
-- Chances to be Good:  N/A.  We know what these games are already.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  lim{s\to 1}(s-1)\zeta(s)=1.  I played them already.  I already own one of them.

Metal Gear.  Metal Gear?!

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (March 18th) - Once again, I have no idea what Hideo Kojima is thinking.  Rather than simply releasing a "Metal Gear Solid V", he is releasing two games.  So it is similar to "Metal Gear Solid 2", only with the opening portion being released as a standalone game.  "The Phantom Pain" looks simply amazing, it is one of the best looking games that our future selves are very selfishly playing right now.  "Ground Zeroes" looks like a game that is entirely one US base inside Cuba, but it will introduce us to the more open-world experience of next-gen Metal Gear.  I have heard some disappointing news that this game is very short, but this is a cheaper title.  I will wait for reviews, but I am pretty sure this is the game of March 2013 for me.
-- Chances to be Good:  80%. Snake, what's wrong?  Oh, nothing.  Cool.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  100%.  However, I do have a frightening fear that this game will end up added onto "Phantom Pain" anyway and this will be thirty dollars I will not get back.

inFAMOUS: Second Son (March 21st) - Confusingly this is the third "inFAMOUS" game, but I guess it is the second sequel, so maybe the title is appropriate.  I never could find a particularly good reason to ever play an "inFAMOUS" game, and "Second Son" is not really convincing me otherwise, what with being PS4 exclusive.  That's one more PS than I have!  If you like running around an open world environment with weird mutant powers eating people, then you can play this.
-- Chances to be Good:  60%.  Its the third sequel.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  20%.  Money is tight.

The Witch and the Hundred Knight [sic] (March 25th) - This is a Nippon Ichi action RPG Rougelike Hack n Slash.  You play as the Hundred Knight, a summoned being of some anime witch, wandering around the world doing her grunt work, until you inevitably die and the cycle repeats forever.  So it is the combination of two things I do not particularly love:  Rougelikes and Nippon Ichi.  Sorry, faithful readers, but I have never understood their appeal.  The games are so silly that it never feels like anything I am doing is very important, everything is just a huge joke.  And it is not really my kind of humor:  not nearly enough cannibalism.  From the gameplay I have seen, your character looks almost impossible to see on the screen, and the story is a waste of time. 
-- Chances to be Good:  20%.  Easily the worst looking major release of next month.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  -400%.  I will so not play this game that unborn alternate reality versions of Blue Highwind are already setting fire to copies in another universe.

* AKA:  "The Departed" for us Americans who love to remake foriegn films.

** They seem as confused as anybody as to which way their name goes these days.


  1. I remember in FFX theres an item combo of Riku's that deals 99,999 damage, i didnt read aobut this anywhere, so its not one of those nifty secrets only for the hard core gamers. It was an obvious combo, that it ruined my FFX experience on so many levels. Why was this made so easy and possible? It made no sense. And then in the final battle everyone just gets immortal status. why wasnt this just a cut scene? I'm still confused to this day.
    Well..i guess they knew i was probably gonna end up grinding anyways so just fuck it. who needs gameplay in an rpg anyways? The story was good however, and for my 13 year old tastes Yuna was hot.

  2. Giving Second Son a 60% chance to be good, just because it's the third installment? Okay. Fine. Let's just ignore Super Mario Bros 3, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Castlevania 3, Metal Gear Solid 3, Zelda: Link to the Past, Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, Super Metroid, Kid Icarus: Uprising, and Devil May Cry 3, among many of the other great third installments.

  3. If you ever happen to trip over a copy of inFamous, I’d actually recommend picking it up. The gameplay isn’t the best thing ever (especially not in the first game), but the storytelling and general feel of the game is what makes it good. I wasn’t particularly interested before I got a free copy as an apology back when PSN went down for a month, played it mostly because “hey, free games!”, and loved it.

    A lot of games make you a hero and have you save the world. Not so many really make you feel like one. The game doesn’t give you superpowers and force you to save anyone, it puts you in the body of a confused bike carrier who’s suddenly a walking battery and framed as a terrorist. Cole has no reason to save anyone, it’s up to you if you want to stay on the narrow path and make sacrifices to save others… or just want to go nuts with your powers and kill anyone who stands in your way.
    These choices and the not half bad writing (ignoring some terribly written sidequests that generally make no sense) add up to a game that certainly doesn’t have the best gameplay ever, but gives you a feeling of power and weight of your actions unlike any other game I’ve played.

    Also, inFamous 2 is ten times better than the first game by miles, and all the teasing they’re doing for Second Son gives me some high hopes for it, despite not having Cole anymore.