Being fair to TMNT

The trailer finally hits the web and Michael Bay has, once again, set out to start off really strong- then shit all over your childhood. I wasn’t exactly a big fan of the Transformers movies after the 1st installment, and I wasn’t really into the 1st movie like that anyways. I was raised in the 90s, so I barely got a taste of Transformers, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- I fucking lived for Saturday mornings to watch four gigantic mutated turtles “raise shell”. So seeing this trailer was both exciting, and at the same time everything that I knew Michael Bay had set out to do; so I’m not really surprised about how the movie is gonna turn out to be based on the trailer.

FIRST. I’m gonna point out all the things that hurt me a little inside. These fucking turtles make so much noise! I thought they were fucking Ninjas?! Granted, in the movies before this, the only time they showed any REAL Ninja abilities was in the CG movie that released in 07. BUT FUCK. These turtles make the most noise EVER. However, to be fair, trailers were meant to grab your attention so I can kinda understand why the loud noises were implemented. The biggest thing that bothered me was the fact that they looked like giant, green, muscular, mutated babies. Michael Bay really turned this one on its head.

“Oh hey let’s make the Transformers look really fucking cool and modern, but let’s make the Turtles look like the most undesirable creatures in the world..Let’s shit on the hearts and minds of all the generations who have watched TMNT and turn it into something that only I can be proud of- duh.”

Is how I imagined Michael Bay saying something about the ugliness of the turtles. BUT ONCE AGAIN JUST TO BE FAIR. I’m pretty sure if we saw the Turtles in real life, they wouldn’t exactly look like cute little Squirtles. I understand the reason to make them look hideous (kinda), because they want people (mostly younger kids who have been robbed of TMNT) to freak the fuck out and realize, “WHOA these turtles are fucking amazing! Sure, they look like shit- but they are so AWESOME.” Besides, guys, face it- Not everyone is a complete TMNT nerd. Not only should the movie appease the people who absolutely love TMNT, but it should also make the casual movie-goer happy they went to see the movie.

My honest opinion, I kind of expected TMNT to end up like this. Once I heard Michael Bay, I immediately threw all my hopes, dreams, and expectation to the wind. I’m happy I did it really early, because I’m actually not upset. I’m going to see the movie, because I’m not expecting to be completely amazed by this film.

OH Megan Fox. Yeah, she’s in the movie too.

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This Is A Man’s World

Guilty Simpson- Man’s World (Prod. by J Dilla)

This song’s haunting sample produced by Jay Dee (RIP) samples This Is A Man’s World by James Brown (RIP). A combination of Guilty Simpson’s rough voice, and amazing story telling through rap paints a remarkable picture for listeners. I can’t help but be reminded of my father and my experience growing up with him whenever I play this song.

I know a lot of people who had issues with their fathers growing up. Some people had a good relationship with their fathers, some didn’t, some had a love/hate relationship, and some people didn’t even have their fathers growing up. Growing up, I was envious of people who shared an open relationship with their pops. They receive advice from their fathers, and get the kind of love that a child deserves

My father was an Infantryman in the US ARMY. Growing up, he was hardly a loving man. I remember one time me and my brother got punished for a whole day. I forgot what we did, but I remember he had us kneel on dry rice for hours on end. When we got tired he made us write “I am stupid, and I cannot use my common sense in any situation. I will exercise situational awareness next time I decide to be stupid in any given situation.” That shit sucked.

We lived in military housing, so one day after school got out, I didn’t want to carry the garbage from school back to my own garbage can. There was this stupid rule where we needed keys to lock and unlock our garbage can, so I decided to leave my garbage somewhere else on the way home. One month had passed by since that, and my dad came back home from work furious as fuck. He whooped my ass, and brought a bag of the trash I left behind. He told me, “You’re gonna take all this trash to the recycling center. and recycle it properly.” I reached for the bag, and he grabbed my hand, “One paper at a time.” Well, this recycling center was two blocks away from our housing complex, so for the entire day I was recycling paper one by one.

He didn’t beat my ass daily, and I wasn’t abused like crazy. His time as a noncommissioned officer, and as a soldier, gave him the ability to hand out punishments creatively. They were embarrassing, and effective. He treated me and my brother like his own soldiers. We didn’t call him sir, we didn’t call him by his first name, we called him Dad. In the Army a Noncommissioned Officer (SGT-Master SGT) were simply called Sergeant, Sarn’t, or SGT such and such by their soldiers. They are never called anything outside those names. I called my dad “sir” one day and he went on a fucking rager, “Don’t call me ‘sir’, I work for a fucking living.”

When me and my little brother got older, my dad had retired, and my mom had left us behind. He raised us with no love, and kept the tradition going by treating us like his soldiers. Curfew was midnight, but we had to be home at 1145. When we got in trouble, we had to detail the house from top to bottom, inside and out, etc. My brother left the house, and I left the house as well.

My relationship with my pops now is better, however I will never forget how I was treated. I don’t look at it as a sad memory, but as something that taught me things in the long run. His lessons were a preparation for my future career, but they are also the foundation for my belief that I refuse to raise my daughter in the same manner that I was raised. I respect the man for his ability to step up and raise two knuckleheads, and I apologize for causing him headaches. My pops wasn’t a bad man, regardless of his stoic personality, the Guillermo anger issue, his undiagnosed PTSD, and his inability to properly voice his emotions. He is a caring man, a man who thought about other people before he thought of himself. He is a hard worker, because he knows that luck doesn’t always get you what you want. He is a proud man, having served in This Man’s Army for 20 years as an Infantryman- he reminds me constantly that he could still “out-soldier” me any given day.

This song reminds me of my pops in so many ways. When I heard this song when I was 18, I immediately thought of my pops. He taught me how to be a man, and he taught me how to be a soldier. However I can’t help but think that, in my childhood, I didn’t need a SGT- I needed my father. I wasn’t a soldier, I was his son.

 

 

Pokemon: Minus and Plus Rumors


TyranitarTube for you non-reading people out there

 

OH SH*T. I’ll always ride with Nintendo, regardless of poor sales for the Wii U. I am happy to say that heard a Rumor around the interwebz, pretty late, but at least I came to the party. The rumor right now is that Nintendo is that they are working with Gamefreak and Pokémon to bring another game. Dual Pixels published some stuff that their little inside man informed them of, and I lost my shit.

>GameFreak were one of the first development studios inside Nintendo to receive Alpha-Prototype hardware, now have been upgraded to the Beta-Prototype hardware above.

>Have a few areas marked out, TONS of concept art traveling between Pokemon Company and Nintendo Co Ltd.

>GameFreak plans to completely overhaul the basic systems of battle, simplifying the process.

>The development team is “going to put a lot of ideas they have wanted to do for years in this game”.

>Two versions already have code names, possibly final: Pokemon Plus and Pokemon Minus.

>Theme is “Old Tradition VS New Exploration”

>New region, no name yet, is based on South East Asia with one large peninsula and many smaller islands.

>Three new starters with no names: Water evolves into Water/Steel and is a squat, teardrop shaped humanoid that has a jar filled with on its head as it evolves it grows taller and the jar bigger until it needs another set of arms to hold it on it’s head. Fire evolves into Fire/Fairy and is a tiny cute goat with fire blowing out of its horns, it’s horns and look evolves more menacing until it has curly ram like horns and a motorcycle hot-rod-like look. Grass evolves into a Grass/Electric and starts with a leap for a face with a nubby root as a body and evolves until it grows into an electric producing palm tree with each flower petal having a different face.

>The main legendary for Pokemon Plus is a Shi Foo Lion-looking Psychic/Ground-type that has multiple faces, the Pokemon Minus legendary is a Ghost/Fairy type that has two dashes for eyes and is a hurricane-like appendages with many arms and hands.

>More traditional Pokemon-like gameplay will be on the Handheld controller while an all new gameplay aspect will be on the Terminal unit.

>The “Pokken Fighers” render that was teased was running on Alpha kits, Beta kits now have advance cell shading. Going for very detailed “living anime” look.

>The new “Team” villains are described as a bunch of “Sohei Zelots”-types who have discovered the player’s best friend as a reincarnation of a special type of person who only is alive every 100 years. They believe the old system where people were given a Pokemon egg and they stick to that Pokemon until they die and who’s function in society dictate what role that person is. They are against the “modern” trend of Pokemon Trainers and capturing multiple Pokemon and are making a holy pilgrimage to evoke the old Legendaries to turn everything back to normal. They keep the player away from their friend, saying the special one (who can do amazing things like mega evolve Pokemon without the use of a mega ring) only love is that of Pokemon and not people. It is planned to be reveal later that for the special one to fulfill their role in society they must be mortally sacrificed to awaken the legendaries.

>Routes connection the island together are water bridges but clumps of island are connected together by underwater tunnels.

>There is a “Stone Slowking” statue that is a parody of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, Thailand.

>Many Pokemon from Hoenn and Sinnoh will make a return.

>Variety of Pokemon Gyms, one is a mail system that only uses flying types and focuses on sky battles. One only uses baby Pokemon, one is implied to be a real vampire and uses Ghost and Dark Pokemon. There is also a military like leader who uses Fire and Steel Pokemon.

>The island gameplay with Gym Leaders and the Elite Four island can be played entirely on the Handheld and can be blown up on the Terminal for home play.

>New Pokemon Type similar to Shinies, no details yet on how they work but I’ve been told they “change the game significantly”.

>The “Mainland” is an MMO-like environment that is exclusive to the Terminal and is shared by both versions.

>Players all over the world online can chat, trade, intermingle and experience new-updated story lines on the mainland.

>Pokemon Band is a new mechanic introduced to get people involved who do not battle, a co-operative experience where Pokemon dance and make music together to achieve the highest group score.

>Pokemon Bank are actual locations on the Mainland and Handheld areas where people can import past Pokemon, mainly from Pokemon X and Pokemon Y into the new game.

My biggest thing with this, is if they’re gonna release the game to 3DS. I’m really hoping they continue to keep the Super Training mini-game that they introduced in X/Y. I am pretty excited that developers are taking a risk to try new things, because I felt like they were holding back with their previous Pokémon game. Here’s to hoping the best in Pokemons’s new venture!

 

Artist Spotlight: Julianne Manalo

Bruno Mars- When I Was Your Man (Acoustic Cover)

It’s not every day that a pretty girl follows me on twitter, but one day I got a follow from this girl. I immediately become suspicious, so I used my awesome Batman-like skills to search her on YouTube. She DM’s me, and it couldn’t have gotten any more awkward. She thanked me for following her back, and I basically told her I stalked the hell out of her. WHAT I MEANT TO SAY WAS I checked out her videos on YouTube before, because checking out covers is a way to pass the time when I’m bored.

I wanted to start a monthly or twice monthly thing where I introduce up and coming artists who deserve to be listened to. Julianne is no exception from that. I like her voice, and the professionalism that she shows in her videos. I enjoy the hell out of her cover songs, and I really like her original song Invincible.

If you want to know more about Julianna Manalo you can check her out at:

http://www.juliannemanalo.com/

Twitter

YouTube

70,000 people, Glorious Helix-senpai, and Lift Key-kun

 

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If you haven’t already heard of “Twitch Plays Pokémon” on twitch.tv- you have not internetz enough to be on the webz ever again. 14,000,000 people watching 70,000 people play a game towards a common cause of being a Pokémon master has never. been. so. funny.

The whole concept of the game was created to be a “social experiment” where a group of people play one Pokémon game typing the commands left, right, up, down, select, start, a, and b into the chat box. The bot playing the game then takes that information, and makes Red do the action that was typed. The problem with this is that there are 70,000 people playing this single game making decisions to catch Pokémon and battle gym leaders, and getting to the next town. All of these actions playing by yourself do not take that long, but because everyone is putting in different/same commands- these common tasks take hilarious hours. I went to bed one night at 11 pm and woke up at 6 am to see that everyone was still stuck in Team Rocket’s hideout. People have been checking their items during battles to pull out the all-mighty helix fossil and lift ticket, but Oak won’t let you use it because he knows the power those two items hold. You can almost feel the frustration of people who actually have hope that 70,000 people can work towards a common goal to, at least, collect 8 badges- fuck that. People would rather back-track to the Dark Cave and fight Zubats and Geodudes, so the programmer added a new system where players can choose between Democracy and Anarchy.

The Democracy and Anarchy thing works like so:

Anarchy mode is the “classic” mode, where everyone’s inputs are applied immediately.

Democracy mode is vote-based and has a more sophisticated input system.

In order to switch from one mode to the other, the mode that isn’t active needs 75% of votes as indicated by the dotted line, the current percentage of votes is indicated by the black line.

In democracy mode you can compile a sequence of inputs. left2 will move left twice, left2down2 will move left twice and down twice”

Which actually added for more hilariousness! I fucking laughed so hard when people used democracy to actually make it to the Celedon City gym, and couldn’t cut the tree that blocks the entrance to the gym- only for enough people to vote for anarchy to drag everyone back to Team Rocket’s hideout.

The programmer calls it a social experiment, and he may be right…but I cannot stop laughing at the fact that everyone has been stuck in the dark cave for almost an hour now- with no flash TM activated. Check the madness out though, it definitely is worth the watch.

www.twitch.tv/twitchplayspokemon

Naw Girl I Wanna Go Way Back

Sorry for being so late and lazy with blogging! Honestly, I had nothing to write about. I didn’t want to write a review on Link Between Worlds, because I was just so shocked by how short that game was.

HOWEVER, this isn’t about that. This is about listening to old songs from my youth. I generally grew up as a Hip Hop Head. I loved Hip Hop with every part of me. I felt it in my soul, and I felt it around me. Hip Hop was my lifestyle, and it was a part of American culture (because Hip Hop is a culture) that really spoke to me. I spent a lot of time listening to Nas, Big L, Cunninlynguists, KRS ONE, etc. that you literally wouldn’t see me not listening to music. Of course, being a young head, I talked a lot of shit about how mainstream rap was destroying and killing real Hip Hop- a lot has changed since then.

I normally listen to new artists and local artists, because it is unhealthy to be stuck in the past. You can’t say Hip Hop is dying if you haven’t heard anything 2000 and below. That is the case with most heads today. You listen to who’s actually dope in this time and rock with it. If it’s whack- then you don’t listen to it. Don’t get me wrong, I still bump “Low End Theory” any chance I get, but a lot of the songs I used to listen to got lost to memory and time.

Until I got deployed. I basically have all the time in the world to do absolutely nothing, so one day I started skimming around YouTube, and found a shit-load of songs that I used to listen to in my download days.

Nujabes- Lady Brown

This song brings back a lot of memories. Not a lot I have to say as far as the memory goes, but this song introduced me to Nujabes. It opened a door that still isn’t closed. However, Nujabes has passed away and he can no longer bless us with amazing beats- still he left behind a good amount at work that I still bump.

Atmosphere- God Loves Ugly

Atmosphere was on my iPod during a time when I felt my problems were big enough to make me depressed. Nowadays I look back at myself, and I wanna slap the shit out of him and say, “It’s gonna be okay, this is a trivial problem, it’s time for you to stop being emo, and start living the remainder of your high school life!” This song didn’t get me out of my depression, because that damn beat wants to hold you there. The intro really set me up too. Back in they days that intro was the thing that got to me lol. I literally used to think I was a piece of shit thanks to that intro. Then Slug starts to rap, and fuck.. there goes my mindset for the rest of the day.

Little Brother- Whatever U Say (Remix)

I got a new iPod right? My homie and me listened to the same music, so he loaded my iPod. On top of giving me The Listening on digits, I got the remix. I had just got my car, and I used to play this song on the way to this school to try and “graduate” in 2007. This song takes me back to cruising down Vegas Dr. trying to get to the Stratosphere to make a left, and end up on the ES of Vegas. Listening to the song right now reminds me of the cool mornings. Good times. BTW I graduated.

The Procussions- Miss January

It’s 07, me and this girl just broke up, because she outgrew me. It didn’t effect me like a previous break up had, but this song really helped me push through it. This girl’s birthday was in January, so I was with it haha.

Those are the songs that brought me back. I think it’s crazy how music can set off a trigger that takes you back to a time in your life that either brought you happiness or reminds you of the pain you felt. It can remind you of an old love, a good time, even the time you snoo-snoo’d with someone. What songs brought you back?

Looking At: The Division

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We’ve all had those conversations with our friends. We’ve all actually came up with a real plan for each other in the event of a apocalypse! I have, you have, my wife has, my nephew has, my dad probably did, and I bet you the president has a plan for an apocalypse. My friends and I would always talk about this. What weapons would we carry, what our movement plan is, shelter, and anything else that goes with survival. I thought we would make an epic team, but now– I can finally put our theories to the test. I can finally test the limits of our friendship and teamwork with Tom Clancy’s The Division.

The first time I saw the gameplay for The Division, I fucking praised the gaming gawdz. I dropped to my knees and pulled out my debit card yelling, “Take my money Ubisoft! Take all of my money and take my soul!” I literally thanked the heavens for an MMO shooter for consoles. With PC gamers being “blessed” with the survival MMO Day Z, and a plethora of MMO RPGs over the years; I got kind of jealous. Then they slap me across the face with a game that says, “Hey you! Do you want to play WoW? Do you want to play Day Z? Do you want to not spend money on a high end laptop to play an MMO RPG? TAKE A LOOK AT THE DIVISION.”

THE SKINNY

The Division is inspired by Operation Dark Winter and Directive 51, real-world events which “revealed how vulnerable we’ve become”; society has become “fragile” and “complex”. In the game a disease that spreads on Black Friday wrecks the U.S. with its stripper butt germs, cocaine, and shame. This causes the U.S. to collapse in five days. The player is a part of a group called “Strategic Homeland Division” or SHD–or The Division.. which is short for “bad-ass”. This group was formed to combat the threat, and do whatever it takes to “save what remains” in a massive multiplayer online situation. Which means you’ll be shooting AIs with your friends, and fighting to survive against (or with) other players.

The Division takes place in New York City, which I think is gonna be dope, because New York City IRL is booming with so much life that I think it would be a big warzone to actually survive in against other players, and against the AIs. It’s a 3rd person shooter with RPG elements, so the system kind of reminds me of Mass Effect and Ghost Recon had a baby. Visually stunning. Watching the trailer and seeing the snow fall and the environment around me made me feel like I was actually watching this shit happen in New York. The graphics are beautiful, and I expect no less from a next gen console. The shit that got me is the fact that you can control a drone from your tablet. You can leave the game for a little bit, get on the toilet, and control a drone to help your teammates. With the drone you can tag enemies for your teammates, and shoot predator missiles at the people you get into engagements with. This game was originally for next gen consoles, but PC gamers asked for it too. They always get what they want, so Ubisoft blessed PC gamers with the game as well. 

IMO

Like I said, I’m really stoked to have a MMO RPG Shooter make its way to consoles. With shooters being a popular thing in console games, and survival being a huge obsession since The Walking Dead; it only made sense to bring The Division to consoles. I was also really excited to have a game where you can play something with you friends online that didn’t involve kill streaks, TDM, and COD in general. This is the game that is gonna help me decide which friends I want to keep during and apocalypse, and even help me determine whether I’m ready for an apocalypse. With the upsides, usually come the downsides to releasing this game for consoles. This game might be Rated M, but I am almost sure that every parent in Murica will ignore the living shit out of this; that’s just how society is nowadays. There will be kids playing this game, and depending on their online maturity; they could either make the game fun or ruin the experience like they always do *cough* COD *cough*. One thing I also observed is the fact that trolls still exist. I’ve witnessed it on Day Z— during the beta where players were dying left and right, because other players thought it was fun to snipe noobs instead of killing zombies. I fear that this could be a problem with The Division on a different and more epic scale than Day Z. You are looking at console gamers, and I don’t mean all of us, but let’s be for real– console gamers are douchebags. Not all of them are gonna let you progress in this game. You’re bringing a shooting game that looks like it requires a little bit of maturity to a bunch of gamers who are getting their kicks from fast paced 1st person shooters like COD or Battlefield. I think since the option to fuck up another player’s day is available, it’ll be used more than the option to complete a mission. I also really fucking hope that Ubisoft doesn’t get greedy with power, and makes it so that you can buy these OP weapons and gear on some WoW shit. I hate that about new-age gaming. You can buy an OP weapon for $50 on the online store, but you have to fight long and hard to get an “OK” in-game weapon. I feel that we need to get away from that aspect of gaming, and just make the game fun with secrets and all the other good shit. Although I am excited for the game, I’m also worried that Ubisoft is baiting me on some bullshit. I feel like they’re luring me to their white van with the promise of good graphics and candy, and as soon as I reach for it–I get kidnapped.. never to be seen again.

Overall I may have my worries about the game, but I am actually pretty stoked for this game. I’ve been waiting for a good game with an open world to explore with friends, and my prayers were finally answered. The Division is slated to drop in the 4th quarter of 2014, hopefully they don’t push the date back like a line-up. Now I want to hear from you! What are you most excited about for The Division, and what are you worried about? Comment below!

Thanks once again for making it this far! Don’t forget to follow the blog, or follow me on twitter @ashezketchum I inform followers on that piece when a new blog comes out, and I like to think to myself..to the whole social network of twitter.