That’s right; there’s no chapter this time! It’s all review and discussion for the latest Star Trek film! And that would be Star Trek Beyond: the third installment with the rebooted crew of the NCC-1701 Enterprise. Zounds, what a glorious future of storytelling we have in front of us. I can’t wait for reboots of Picard’s crew, Janeway’s crew, and Sisko’s interstellar baseball team. Continue reading
Looks like the first draft of Abandonment Party 3 is done! You know what that means! Time to talk about Warcraft! That’s “Warcraft” the 2016 film–and like my books it also takes years of delays to see the light of day. So let’s discuss it! Or just watch me discuss it with myself!
Today I want to talk about something that can happen at the end of a story. Well, it mostly happens at the end of video game stories. It might have happened to you: the final stage has been conquered! The antagonist that you’ve been chasing for days has been defeated! But zounds–what’s this!? A new foe has appeared! Some giant creature that no one ever expected! Some horror that wasn’t even hinted at before or ever explained!
Over at TV Tropes it’s called “Diabolus ex Nihilo.” Or “Giant Space Flea from Nowhere” if you’re talking about a video game.
So let me give you an example from a video game. Of course. Like I’d read a book. Here come spoilers for Final Fantasy IX. (Now out on Steam. Dang, I should have put it on my birthday list.)
You may have heard, but the United States is going through a difficult decision this year. There are two political sides vying for control, each with their own candidates and ideals. Some put up an honorable front; some use vile deceit to achieve their goals. But one side MUST be chosen. Yes, that’s right–! The new Fire Emblem games are out!
What? As if you NEEDED more Trump jokes. Anyway, there are two versions you can buy: Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest and Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright. In both games you design a lead character that starts out in the nation of Nohr. That’s them on the left. They raise you as their own family, keeping you locked away in a castle. But zounds, it turns out you were kidnapped as a child: The guys on the right, the Hoshidans, are your TRUE blood relatives! What to do? These mighty nations are at war, and BOTH want you to join their cause. The first five stages let you sample each side of the conflict and then, THEN you must choose who to align yourself with.
I didn’t really know all of that before I went into Gamestop, though. I just made the cashier show me the boxes and I picked the cool guys in dark armor. I still had to make the choice I spoke of earlier, however. The other faction’s side is available as DLC if you own either physical game. And at half price, too. Very nice.
Alright, now for the actual gameplay. I’ve heard that Conquest is the tougher of the two, and what I’ve seen so far is quite difficult. However, these levels are without a doubt the most entertaining levels I’ve seen in a Fire Emblem game. The previous game, Awakening, had two big problems: all the enemies on the map would just rush you, and the reinforcements would appear from nowhere and rush you on the TURN THEY APPEARED. What a crock. Fates brings things back to how they used to be: some enemies chase you, some stand guard, and the reinforcements give you a turn to react before they start running around.
Not to say this is all easy, however. The reinforcements ARE timed for maximum pressure. Did you just engage the boss? They’ll pop out of the nearby stairs. And most levels have effects that either you or the enemies can trigger. Freeze a lake. Flatten a wall. Use wind to blow entire armies all over the place. And if you think you’ll be able to creep forward in formation at leisure, think again: some of the missions are timed. “Beat the bosses in 20 turns” sounds like long enough to do what you want, but in the end I was pulling out all the stops just to get the final hits in on the paired up generals. It’s hectic and awesome.
And yes I’m playing on the mode where any unit death is permanent. You can play with “rez mode” turned on, however, so go ahead and do that if you want.
There is something else you need to know: There is way more “sim” crap in this game. You can make a main base. Build shops and statues. You can get married. You can make a little treehouse where your spouse will show up on the bottom screen and kiss you from your character’s point of view.
Most of the sim stuff is optional, though. I only married off my main character for the support stats: everyone else is single. I mean, it’s not like I care about that nonsense. Just get me into the next thrilling battle, am I right? I certainly don’t fantasize about buxom women ogling my avatar.
Ha,ha,ha. Enjoy the chapter. I have to go, uh, fight more battles.
In this case “the force” is my next awesome chapter. True, the entire world was worried that I had lost the will to write it. My friend Matt even asked me if I had something called “writer’s block.” How silly! Not only did I have Christmas to deal with, but my brother got into a bit of an accident. He NEEDED me to be there for him these past couple of months, and family–family always comes first.
It had NOTHING to do with me getting Xenoblade Chronicles X, Tales of Zesteria, Yoshi’s Wooly World, and a new Gameboy.
It MIGHT have had a little to do with getting Fallout 4 though.
Wait, wait, first I DO need to say something about The Force Awakens. Earlier last year I made a post about it, and how it seemed as though the seventh film would be just a repeat of the originals. I HAD NO IDEA it would really be EXACTLY like the first movie. This is the world I live in, future historians: Where the masses CRAVE the same story to be told over and over! I mean, why even put up a “Spoilers” tag if I want to discuss this movie!? You’ve seen it, one way or another! Woo! I’d go over all the similarities but in this case it would be way faster to just tell you what managed to be different:
- The new Death star got the spread gun power-up from Contra and fires three shots.
- One stormtrooper finally realizes that his gun always misses, tosses it down, and beats up someone while using a lightsaber-deflecting baton.
- A different stormtrooper realizes that he is a bad guy and decides to be one of the story’s protagonists instead.
- The new droid in this movie, BB-8, uses a Dhaston orb as its main method of locomotion. Congratulations, Tyle: at some point your dad’s company will be selling self-balancing roller balls to galactic robotics manufacturers!
But the rest was the same! Can you imagine? Anyway, I did get to see one great film this winter. That’s right:
My brother got it for me. He also wrote all over it. But who cares!? Frieza has been resurrected with the dragon balls! Goku must face him once more! CAN he overcome his might!? The wicked space tyrant has powered up a bit since the last cosmic battle, but you know our favorite Saiyan has been honing his skills as well!
And now that I’m talking about MY favorite series it’s totally okay for a movie to recycle the same villain, hero, plot devices, characters, and ending!
Chapter twenty-six, begin! Continue reading
Things don’t always go as planned during the first draft. Mackaba, the lovable criminal that was supposed to stay out of these chapters, has decided to step up and interfere with what I–the almighty author–had in store. This has lead to a confrontation: Both in the story and with me.
Well, sort of. You know I use music to motivate my writing: it’s all set up ahead of time on iTunes. It’s all in a list, in an order that matches the outline of events that I keep in my brain.
But the new Mackaba event in this chapter is not on the list! What shall I do!? Write without music? I suppose I could. But why do that when I can waste time poking around on the internet instead? It’s justified. So that’s what I did; I drove all the way to the record store to see what the great contemporary artists of the world have to offer.
Ha,ha,ha of course I didn’t do that. I played some pretty amazing video games this year, so let’s head over to YouTube and find the best CLIMACTIC music from all of them!
And if you’re at work right now–all the better! Just play these songs and stare at your computer screen with burning intensity. Type really fast too and your boss will assume you’re getting stuff done since such worthy tunes are playing. You’ll probably get a raise. No need to thank me.
Wow it’s my one hundredth post! I wasn’t going to say anything but then I remembered that’s what blogs are for. I’ll try to keep this humble, though.
First, I want to thank my billions of fans. You guys–gosh, I’m tearing up–you guys really get me. You understand! You know that I’m the kind of person that doesn’t like to feel pressured. That’s why you never bombard me with messages down in the comments! Or speak to me at all! And you know I’m a frugal guy, too; that’s why you all enjoy my work without paying me much money!
Thank you! As a reward for your understanding I made another fake Hearthstone card. This one is Parlay:
Once again I forgot to write down where the picture was from but man–I can’t believe there’s a real guy out there with hair THAT poofy. He even looks all bitter and calculating.
The effect I came up with even reflects his body’s static nature. I made it paladin since it would seem most useful there. You could cast Equality and then bump the health back up to five. Not to mention all the damage from minion attacks you could just undo. The downside is that any buffs like Blessing of Kings would be erased as well.
Speaking of things that are probably just going to be erased: let’s continue with the story! Continue reading
A few days ago I learned that Steve, the tenant in the apartment below mine, finally visited my site! That means I have ONE more fan! That makes, like, two fans! Maybe even three! And it only took me ninety-nine posts!
Yes, that’s right! The next post will be number 100! But how can I celebrate? By giving myself some made-up award? No! By making pretend Hearthstone cards depicting characters from my stories! True, I was going to do it anyway–and I just found out this was post ninety-nine–but who cares! The celebration is still on!
SPOILERS if you haven’t read my first, second, or third books. Yeah, I know the third book isn’t even done yet but that’s too bad. FIRST CARD:
The idea is that her gravity powers make things either heavier or lighter. And this effect would be a hilarious way to punish rush decks full of Leper Gnomes and cheap low-mana cards. It wouldn’t be TOO powerful if you stacked your deck full of higher cost minions, however. Dr. Boom would only come out one turn earlier. Unless you used the coin to get Mean out on turn four, that is.
But who cares about that–look at this picture! Why in the world am I trying to find an artist for my characters when I can just go search Google images instead!? Someone named “A. Teller” altered that photo and I like the way they think! Look: there’s even a floating police car in the right corner.
This chapter was fun to write. It features a certain character, and I think it’s finally time to give him the FIRST PERSON treatment. Have I talked about writing in first person yet? Well if I have then it’s time to do it again.
I’ll admit that I’m not really a fan of the style. I mean who wants to read someone’s innermost thoughts all the time? You hear all the little things they whine about; all the observations about life and the world they live in. I’m excluding blog entries of course. Reading those are always thrilling. But novels? Please!
I’ll use The Hunger Games as an example. I was following along with the series on Mark Reads, and of course I whined about the narrative style non-stop. Why do I need to hear every depressing thought Katniss has? How many times do I need to hear her describe soup dishes and desserts in meticulous detail!? The third person style seemed so wrong. But then!!
The story, after stalling for countless pages with fashion shows, eventually arrived at the titular games! It was here that I saw the advantage to writing in first person. In the setting of the arena, Katniss was alone. She was constantly hiding, scavenging, and plotting. With very few characters to speak with the voice in her head was almost welcome. And lo: the meanderings of her mind were actually important to the story at this point!
It seemed then that I was forced to re-think my views on first-person writing; indeed, it could even be preferable to third-person in certain situations. That is why I have decided to use the style when I believe it to be most advantageous to the story.
Do you agree? Did I make the correct choice about this chapter? Or would it be better off written some other way? DECIDE. Continue reading
Aw yeah did you hear the news from Comic Con? Batman and Superman! In the SAME film! Zounds, that almost never happens! Well, maybe once a year in each of their comic titles. And the “Worlds’ Finest” one-shots. And every issue and episode of Justice League of America ever. But otherwise this is new and exciting!
Yeah, right. What’s with these people, recycling material all the time!? There’s a Suicide Squad movie now too? Forget the comics; DC just released an animated version with most of the same team. How will this film be any better now that we have Will Smith playing Deadshot? Oh. OH. But THIS Joker has tattoos. Gosh, I can’t WAIT for the Inkmaster tie-in this season.
I’ll probably go see it but man, I can’t even get excited about movies anymore. My friend Matt told me he was going to see the latest Terminator the other night and I didn’t even blink. Okay. Whatever. So there’s another one. It’s just absurd. For crying out loud–I live in a world where they’re still making Star Wars films. Yeah, I saw the trailer. The ‘making of’ video. “We’re using real actors with practical special effects.” Oh, you mean like when you made these movies with the same cast members THREE DECADES AGO!?
I’ve mentioned this before, but this is one of the reasons I decided to write the Abandonment Party books: I needed something original to experience. So enjoy this chapter where the main heroes gather together against Shirka for the, um, what is it? Third time? Eh, ha,ha,ha,ha…. Continue reading