Month: March 2018

The rise of a new Legendary… Hero?

The rise of a new Legendary… Hero?

This update came a little out of left field, but it’s exciting as a small new addition to the game.

Between Fjorm, Gunnthrá, Ike and Ephraim, we’ve gotten Legendary Heroes matching all four seasons that Fire Emblem Heroes cycles through (Water, Wind, Earth and Fire respectively). While it seems as though that would be the end of these characters being released, apparently there are going to be multiple heroes for each season.

Which in hindsight makes perfect sense from a ‘releasing hyped up units to get players to spend money’ standpoint.

But I digress.

Today we’re starting that second round with:

img_7784

… Grima.

I’m just going to call her Grima instead of Robin because we already have other Robins and in my head it just makes more sense this way.

I know I’m not the first to make this connection, but Grima isn’t exactly a hero. In fact, the male version of Robin overcome by the spirit of Grima was a part of the villainous banner not too long ago.

But I guess now we’re just going to bring along the literal Fell Dragon, destroyer of worlds and civilizations, as a hero meant to lead our armada in the Order of Heroes.

I wonder how Lucina feels knowing that the force she’s spent her whole life hoping to stop can now be in charge of her and give her massive blessings?

img_7792

… Yeah I’m not going to get a response anytime soon am I?

That said, I do actually want to say that Grima looks pretty beastly and powerful for a number of reasons.

  • RobinFell Vessel
    • On top of being a hero(?) who can confer the benefits of the earth blessing on her allies, Grima comes with a bunch of great skills. Her weapon is the same as male Grima. Expiration lets her hit regardless of distance and hit her opponents on their weakest defensive stat. She comes with the special attack Bonfire, which boosts her damage based on her defense, and three passive skills: Dragonskin, which grants her a defensive boost when attacked while also neutralizing her flying weakness, Cancel Affinity, which negates the effect of the weapon triangle, and Resistance Smoke, which lowers the resistance of everyone around an attack target by seven.
    • These skills, combined with the fact that this Grima is our first ever colorless manakete unit who also happens to be a flying unit (ala Myrhh) but with the natural ability to cancel out bow effectiveness AND weapon triangle effectiveness… Well, she just sounds incredible. Hopefully her stat spread matches and makes her a new meta staple, because that would be awesome.

The crazy thing is, this banner has even more great stuff beyond just the colorless flying dragon that negates half of her own weaknesses.

Considering it’s coming out just straight up in the middle of the spring heroes banner, you know Intelligent Systems is looking to siphon up all of our money at this rate.

On top of the Fell Dragon, this eight percent five-star banner also offers up:

I usually pick my character colors to fit who the character in particular is, but in this case I’m going to have the colors correspond with what weapon-type on the triangle they are. It’ll be easier with 12 units available.

When the Halloween banner first came along, Nowi and Sakura were the units I wanted to summon. At the time, all I got at the time was Jakob twice over.

Granted, Jakob has become one of my favorite units on my armored team, but still. I want my cute costumed girls, man.

Just don’t call the police on me… I know how creepy that sounds.

Because at least those three units are high up on my desire sensor, I’ve already spent a good few orbs on summoning from this banner.

My free summon has so far been the most lucrative pull, funnily enough:

img_7791

Lyn may not be the colorless unit I wanted to pull considering I already have her, but she’s got some great skills to pass along if nothing else.

Nothing else has come of my efforts so far (though I’ve summoned normal cleric Sakura a number of times and that has given me multiple heart attacks). However, part of that is probably because I am trying to show some restraint.

I want to keep my orb count above 50, so I’m only summoning when I get to about 70 on the off chance that all five of the pulls in a session are worth going after.

Luckily, Grima also came with a few extra additions that have offered players orbs considering the Tempest Trials have now passed.

The first thing is a special map connecting to this Legendary Hero specifically.

A Legendary Hero-specific map for some extra orbs is a new thing entirely, and honestly I hope it’s a feature that returns. I quite like having the chance at some extra orbs and a special map – even if this one is the same special map from the aforementioned Tempest Trial.

Coincidentally, this banner also corresponds with the start of a series of special maps related to a DLC update for Fire Emblem Warriors.

img_7785

Man… Fire Emblem Warriors… Talk about another game I wanted to play that I never got around to.

While it’s too bad I never did get to play the game (outside of one session thanks to my friend Kaleb), I suppose I can’t complain about having some free orbs.

Plus the song that plays is a top-notch Awakening remix.


That’s about the extent of what I’ve got for Fire Emblem Heroes today. Like I said, this addition was small but cool. I’m definitely excited to try to summon this new version of Grima.

Actually, that gets me thinking… What if I paired the two Grima together and created the ultimate destructive selfcestuous power couple?

Sheesh, that just made me more excited to summon her. Here’s hoping it works out I guess!

Also, here’s hoping I can balance doing that with work/school stuff. And with playing more Duel Links, since a new character just dropped over there.

img_7781

You know you’re at an overpowered place in a game when you unlock a brand new character about an hour after the special event starts.

But now I’m rambling about a totally unrelated subject, so I’ll leave it here.

What do you think of the new Grima? How game changing is she going to be? Feel free to discuss it in the comments down below!

‘Redshirts’: My latest spark of inspiration

‘Redshirts’: My latest spark of inspiration

This isn’t exactly something I’ve done before on my blog, but it has admittedly been a long time since I’ve personally done anything like this so I figured it would be worth a mention.

Today I read an entire book in one sitting.

One sitting minus a lunch break, but disregarding that I’ve been enveloped in John Scalzi‘s Redshirts from about 10:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. or so when I started writing this.

img_7776
I have become intimately familiar with this novel in the last 12 or so hours.

It’s been forever since I’ve gotten to just focus on reading a good book, and I thank Spring Break for giving me the free time.

If you’re a fan of science fiction television, or interested in metanarrative fiction in general, this is a story for you.

Redshirts posits a very specific, interesting question and runs with it fast and hard: What if the “redshirt” characters, those who are the ill-fated attractors of death on shows like Star Trek, become cognizant of the fact that their lives and their fate are inexplicably woven by forces beyond their control?

In essence this is a simple concept, but it goes way deeper within the novel and has certain unexpected twists that make it a truly worthwhile read. It’s hilarious throughout and described as a piss-take at science fiction television tropes, but there are also very emotional moments that extrapolate the experiences of the characters into serious and inevitably positive messages for the human experience.

It’s an uplifting piss-take in the end, even if you may shed a few tears along the way.

I learned about the book from the podcast “Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project,” which if you can’t tell from the title stars former Mythbuster’s star Adam Savage alongside Will Smith (not that Will Smith) and Norman Chan.

That podcast is also worth a listen I might add, as I’m still currently working through the backlog in my morning commutes.

With all this said, I’m obviously burying the lede a little. If I were just reading this book off of a podcast recommendation, why is it worth annotating the hell out of like you can clearly see I did above? In fact, why is it worth talking about on my blog beyond just the slight humble brag of having read all 300 pages in one glorious sitting?

To make a long story short, I’ve been working on my Senior Honors Project at Cal State Fullerton. The project is a multi-year long undergraduate thesis of sorts within the University Honors Program, and one of many distractions I have this semester.

The project I’ve decided to work on is based on Redshirts, in that I’m hoping to write a subversive genre trope novel with an underlying message of sorts about humanity. Except I’m imagining a story based in medieval-esque fantasy genre tropes along the lines of what you’d see in Dungeons and Dragons, Lord of the Rings, the Legend of Zelda and so on.

Part of my self-driven work in the class preparing to start this project has been to read through the book and annotate it up so I can have a good idea of how to base things when I approach a potential mentor to oversee my writing.

I haven’t exactly had a lot of time to read it until now, and boy do I regret waiting so long.

Thus, if you take anything from this suddenly weird and indulgent life-update post of sorts: Go read Redshirts. I promise you’ll thank me for it.

Oh, and stay tuned for that honors project hopefully getting worked out eventually. Once I begin the actual writing process for my novel, I might start putting out chunks of it here on the blog to garner feedback and log my progress.

Entertainment Beat Report – March 23, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 23, 2018

I could have put out this Beat Report yesterday I suppose, just to keep it aligned with my actual Comm 436 class schedule… But honestly I’ve been fluctuating between Thursdays and Fridays so much with this mini-series that I really don’t think it matters.

So I’m just going to use the midterm for the class that happened yesterday and the fact that I published two blog posts and want to space things out a bit as excuses for my laziness.

That said, let’s see what was news in the world of video gaming this week.


Mario measurements marked via phallus pixels

Let’s be serious for a second.

This is undoubtedly one of the greatest pieces of journalism I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.

Kotaku staff writer Gita Jackson wins all of the awards this week for taking mathematical calculations done by a Twitter user based on the promotional art for Mario Tennis Aces that assesses how large Luigi’s junk is, and using that result to extrapolate on determining the official sizes of other characters in the Mario universe.

That’s real, people.

My inclusion of this story above the actual big news this week may be a joke, but I genuinely do think this is an amazingly funny story that’s worth a little bit of your time to read.

Never before have I seen the word ‘penis’ put into a story three times in such an unironic way, and it’s just wonderful.

But that said, on with the real headlining news this week.


The 2018 Game Developers Conference

As much as I’ve been checked out from the gaming scene this week, undoubtedly the biggest thing that happened was GDC 2018 in San Francisco.

The annual conference took place from March 19 to 23 in the Moscone Center and frankly has so many different things to talk about that I’m not entirely sure where to start.

At the Game Developers Choice Awards, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won Game of the Year. It was joined in the pantheon of winners by Night in the Woods, winner of the Excellence in Narrative award and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Cuphead, which got Best Visual Art and Best Debut Game, Horizon Zero Dawn, which won Best Technology, and more.

Atari showed off a prototype of its newest upcoming console, which is crazy considering they have not had one since the Atari Jaguar in 1993.

More game developers were kept out of the conference thanks to President Trump’s travel ban, according to a Polygon article.

Really all of this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything that happened over the conference’s four days. It’s worth going back and just looking over everything that happened as far as announcements and speakers and whatever else, but I don’t think I’m going to delve too deep right now.

There’s more news to discuss, after all.


‘Sea of Thieves’ launch faces server problems

Rare’s latest game, the much anticipated pirate swashbuckling simulator Sea of Thieves, has not had the smoothest sailing opening to the public.

There have apparently been so many server-related problems afflicting players that Rare is taking the game down tomorrow to perform maintenance. That’s not really a super good sign as far as first impressions go.

The game has also received middling reviews (here are a couple of them: 1 – 2), so whether or not this one is as big a staying power as people were anticipating it would be is in limbo at the moment.


‘A Way Out’ offers players opportunities to play together without spending a lot

This one was a suggestion straight from my buddy Mitchell.

A new prison break-themed co-operative game, A Way Out apparently allows players to join a friend’s session of the game so long as they have the demo. No need to buy two copies, according to an article on Kotaku by a familiar writer.

This is an interesting concept put into the game by the developers at Hazelight… Though I can’t help but cynically reflect on the fact that this feature existed on the Nintendo DS for years.

Though if it’s inclusion here implies the feature may make a feasible comeback in the near future, who am I to complain?


Sort of a shorter report this week, in part due to my aforementioned laziness and in part due to me not exactly coming across a lot of ‘big news’ to go over.

I mean sure I could talk about the Deviljho again now that he has been unleashed in Monster Hunter World, but you can just check out my last report for details on that.

In the meantime, it’s about time that I head home to start Spring Break. I’ll likely post a few things over the week with whatever extra time I scrounge up, but for the most part I think I’m going to just relax and enjoy it a bit.

If there’s any other gaming news you picked up on that I didn’t, let me know about it in the comments below!

Special Heroes spring into action

Special Heroes spring into action

Let’s address the elephant in the room up top here. I totally missed out on the last Fire Emblem Heroes update.

I know that objectively isn’t a huge deal, especially considering how often I have the chance to talk about this game. But the update I missed was a particularly big one, so I feel bad about it from the perspective of my keeping a running log of how the game has evolved since it launched last February.

What can I say. Sometimes breaking news takes precedence over personal pleasures.

To lightning round my thoughts… The Chrom/Morgans banner didn’t treat me too well, even if I did eventually get a male Morgan.

img_7711

Not the one I wanted necessarily, but he’ll do.

The story added behind the banner was intriguing, and it did tease Gerome being added as a Tempest Trial unit, which means a lot to me personally since I can now ship Fire Emblem’s Batman with Lucina disguised in the mask he gave her before they travelled back in time.

Awakening was a wild game in hindsight.

But anyway, that pairing has basically been my creepy shipper’s dream since forever, so I’m ready to run with it.

The blessed garden and rival domains maps that were added are fun additions to the game, and I really don’t have anything too negative to say about them.

Plus, Eirika got a dope weapon upgrade that helps her get more buff.

So all in all, I don’t have much to complain about regarding the last big update. It gave me something fun to keep up with while I was stressed out over my work.

But with all of that said, let’s not forget that we’re here to talk about the spring 2018 banner with all of its new bunny-themed glory. Since I’m 300 words in already, time to jump on it.


img_7725
Outfits like these also invite other things if I know the internet well enough…

Last spring we were blessed with the familial partners of Xander and Camilla, as well as Lucina and Chrom, all in silly suits wielding weapons like eggs and carrots.

This spring, we are once more blessed with the familial partners of Sharena and Alfonse, who are joined by Catria from the original Fire Emblem games and Kagero from Fates. All still in silly outfits. All still using eggs and carrots as weapons.

Glad to know some things never change.

But are the new fearsome foursome as desirable as the last springtime heroes? Let’s find out.

  • CatriaSpring Whitewing
    img_7761

    • Of all the Whitewing sisters who appear in… I believe three of the 14 or so Fire Emblem games made up to this point, Catria has always been my favorite. She always fit that unrequited love trope with an affection for Marth that I appreciate. Out of all the dumb writing tropes, it’s probably my favorite. But even past that, she’s just a cutie – and as her voice chat suggests in the trailer for this banner, a cutie with a passive aggressive attitude that’s amazing. Combine that with her new status as a cavalier that massively debuffs enemy units with high resistance, and she’ll be a unit to look out for.
    • Added note: She kind of does the Squid Sister hand pose during her attack animation, and it’s great and I love it.
  • SharenaSpring Princess
    img_7760

    • The sister half of the Askran royalty has moved from a lance to a green mage egg in her celebration of the spring. On top of a cute outfit and a golden goblet,  she carries an eclectic set of skills that seems to make her somewhat of a fast mage counter. I don’t have too much more to say about Sharena unfortunately, since she’s kind of the least stand-out of these special heroes in my opinion… But I suppose it’s hard to go wrong with firing off a tornado of carrots.
  • AlfonseSpring Prince
    img_7759

    • Alongside his sister, Alfonse has moved from a sword to an axe and rides on horseback into battle carrying… A giant spoon. It’s actually incredible to me that players could feasibly start making teams based around units that use giant spoons. But that said, at least the skill set surrounding his spoon makes more sense than Sharena’s skill set does. He has his typical healing special attack that gains boosted damage thanks to the spoon, and his other skills increase his combat strength while subsequently lowering the opponent’s defense. Pretty choice, even if he has to beat a few bunnies into submission in the process.
  • KageroSpring Ninja
    img_7758

    • “No matter how I dress, I carry the honor of my clan with me,” Kagero says while running into battle wearing a Playboy bunny outfit. It’s pretty ridiculous honestly, but that’s made up for given that Kagero is arguably the most interesting unit in this bunch. As a flying dagger (carrot?)-wielder, she presents a totally novel combination that may breath some life into the dagger-throwing lifestyle as a whole. Especially since her weapon weakens the opponent and boosts her built-in Glimmer special attack. It’ll definitely be something to look out for.

To be honest, this banner has a bizarre bunch of units gathered together. The Askran nobles make sense together, but Catria and Kagero are a little out of left field. Fortunately they look fun to use, so at least they make worthwhile additions.

I blew a lot of my orbs on the recent Awakening-themed banner, but I’ve been able to recover a good amount with the ongoing Tempest Trials, so if I’m frugal I should have chances to hit the spring banner for some time since it lasts a month.

My only real hesitation, frankly, is something a bit more… Silly and lore-based.

I’ve been playing Heroes under the assumption that it creates a certain canonical order to the Fire Emblem universe. Essentially, I imagine Heroes is the “real world” that has access to a variety of pocket worlds to summon units out of.

In that regard, it only made sense that the Order of Heroes units would be singular entities for forever. In the logic of the universe, it makes sense to be able to summon clones of Chrom from the Awakening pocket world, but there would only be one Sharena and Alfonse.

Because of that assumption, this banner unintentional demolishes all of my thoughts about the world of Heroes.

If you can summon clones of the real world figures, does that mean that Askr and its nearby nations are a pocket world of their own? And if so, is the reality of Heroes just clones summoning other clones to use with some bizarre imaginary sense of superiority in the one group we perceive as the main group?

Perhaps…

But perhaps I’m over thinking the logic of a Nintendo mobile game that’s clearly designed to absorb all the money out of its players’ wallets.

Especially considering your player character, the summoner, technically is a representation of real world you that has been sucked into the game world.

So just consider all of this rambling a dumb aside that I just felt the need to lay out in text.

Given that I manage to keep this up for a while, I’m just going to skip ahead to the story section and not go over my experiences summoning on the banner. But that isn’t because I haven’t gotten anything out of it yet.

It’s because I already have all four of the heroes and don’t want to make you all jealous.

Yeah, that’s it.


As a paralogue, this series of missions doesn’t impose as much of a commitment as some of the last few hefty, dialogue-filled main story chapters have.

Though compared to other paralogues it does have quite a bit of dialogue considering what’s happening and who the Order of Heroes meet in this side-tracking adventure.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You tired of rabbit puns just reading the level names on this one? Well good, because I’m not planning on making any more.

A year has passed since the last Spring Festival hit Askr and its related realms. It’s a rare experience in my book, seeing how it has been a year in-game as well as an actually real life year. Not often do those kinds of things line up in the world of video gaming.

I suppose that’s the magic of mobile games.

Seriously though, the first spring banner coincided with the fourth paralogue mission set in the game. This second spring banner is the 19th paralogue mission set. I still remember going to visit the L.A. Weekly the same day the first spring heroes hit… Just where does the time go?

Ahem. Anyway.

Without too much build-up, the Order of Heroes arrives at the festival and quickly runs into their opponents this time around:

Undoubtedly the best thing about this entire experience is just watching Alfonse get more and more cringey as he watches himself deal with all of this bunny stuff.

This would basically be 100 percent me if I were in his shoes.

Arguably the only thing that gets anywhere close to as entertaining as Alfonse being upset by his current situation… Is seeing both Catria and Kagero being equally upset about their current situations.

I’m pretty sure the only reason these two characters in particular were chosen was that we can make jokes about them being so loyal to their causes that they’re happy to look like absolute morons and throw both carrots and eggs around.

I honestly cannot complain about that.

Frankly there isn’t much of a story to talk about in this paralogue leading up to the last fight. My interaction as a player has mostly focused on just appreciating how passive aggressive Catria is here.

But then when the final battle does start…

SEE, I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE!!

Somehow my inane rambling from the beginning of this post that I wrote a couple of days ago managed to predict the exact conversation everyone was going to have throughout the course of this miniature story.

Unfortunately, Alfonse only has a brief amount of time to describe a really lame excuse about multiple realms before being cut off to battle. The battle itself isn’t all that hard, and everyone winds up friends afterward.

No sign of a time or space paradox to be had.

Everything is cute, sure… But boy you can’t imagine how much I would pay to see some sort of messed up paradox from main characters meeting their main character counterparts.

Oh well, maybe I’ll just play through the story again with Marth to see if I can break programming and embarrass the hell out of Catria.

She has an unrequited crush on him, if any of you don’t know the context there. Still a sucker for unrequited love.


Boy, it’s amazing how I managed to bookend a post that I’ve written over the course of a couple of days with equally creepy shipper’s lust, isn’t it?

Speaking of, despite writing most of this post early on to make sure I wouldn’t be up too late writing during the update itself, it’s somehow 2 a.m. already. I’m pretty exhausted from running around campus the last few days (which I talk about in the post with my article archives put out earlier this morning), so I think I’m going to wrap this up quick and head to bed.

If I manage to get any of these spring units, I’ll try to put out the information somewhere.

But in the meantime, what do you think about these new heroes? Or about my paradoxical confusion?

Let me know in the comments down below if you’ve got any opinions!

March 21 and 22, 2018 Articles Published

Yes this is a silly sounding title, but I to distracted and missed a day so I have to catch up now.

Somehow I wound up publishing three articles this week. A breadth of articles for many different sections. It has admittedly been exhausting… But also fulfilling in a deeply personal kind of way.

But also ALSO good for the fact that it fills the coffers of points I need to pass Comm 471. So that’s a plus.

The first story I was working on is actually the second one that was published. Hopefully that won’t get too confusing as I try to lay things out in the order that it all happened.

My last 471 desk rotation was with opinion. Though I haven’t had the most time to work for that desk specifically, I did quite enjoy writing my surfing piece not too long ago.

Because of that I wanted to write another piece before getting switched over to the lifestyle desk. Unfortunately, it took me a while to come up with anything I actually had a serious opinion on that was worth writing… But eventually I came to the idea.

During the national walk-out high schools across the nation participated in to protest current gun control laws, something that happened which I found particularly interesting was multiple Viacom networks halting their programming during the time of the walk-out in support of the students.

One of those networks was famed Spongebob cash cow Nickelodeon. Now I love Nick. Or at least I have in the past, to be fair I haven’t exactly watched anything there in a while.

But I do love the fact that the children-centric network decided to support children in their political escapades.

Now, that’s not necessarily taking a stance for or against gun control. I do have my opinions on that, but to be frank I don’t feel like I’m knowledgable enough to be able to present a case one way or the other. I just happen to think that we should encourage everyone to be as active in our democracy as possible so it can continue to thrive.

If that encouragement happens to come from a television network, so be it. They certainly seemed to do everything amicably enough.

While I have been working on that opinion piece for some time, part of the reason it did not come out until today was because I got sidetracked doing a different story.

On Tuesday, I sat down with Vincent Vigil, the Director of Student Life and Leadership at CSUF. When I covered Lydia Ayala’s resignation as sports clubs coordinator a few weeks back he was out-of-town, so I wasn’t able to sit down with him about it then.

So I sat down with him this week to talk about it. And the information I got actually stood out enough that I jumped into high gear to get out a story that night.

That’s right, once again my sports clubs rabbit hole left me doing a rushed deadline night story. Gotta love the high pressure side of the job, am I right?

Following leads I got from my chat with Vigil in that he was overseeing the clubs and beginning the process to seek out her replacement, I started to reach out all over the school. Both over the phone AND on foot. I wandered around back and forth quite a bit that day.

Eventually I was able to get my hands on the Assistant Director of Student Life and Leadership, the financial chair of the Sports Clubs Inter-Club Council and the Director of C-real — an organization which handles things like external reviews that has a name I don’t really feel like writing out in full here. It’s in the story, don’t worry.

Oh, and did I mention, in the middle of doing these interviews I also got pushed off on a couple of others and got a call from the Cinema and Television Arts professor who I spoke to for some general background regarding my opinion piece.

Needless to say I was exhausted that night, and the exhaustion carried over to yesterday when I had a day packed with classes and Boom events.

So that should make the long story (relatively) short in explaining why I didn’t post about my news article yesterday, and am instead lumping it together with my opinion piece today.

God am I looking forward to Spring Break.

If you want to see my news piece in its entirety, you can check it out here. For my opinion piece on Nickelodeon, look no further than this link.

Or, in a radical twist, if you’re interested in seeing my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan, check it out over on the right!

March 20, 2018 Article Published

Got a fun one for everybody today. None of this dreary breaking news or government business.

No.

Today we’ve got Kirby.

This past weekend was a fun one between getting Star Allies for the Switch and going to see Hollywood Babble-On with my dad. It didn’t exactly help my exhaustion levels, but that’s what Spring Break is probably going to be for next week.

So long as I don’t abuse the freedom by not sleeping ever…

But that’s beside the point. Unless of course that lack of sleeping comes as a result of playing more Kirby. Which is a very strong possibility.

I’ve been having a great time playing the game thus far, as it is frankly difficult to not have a good time playing a Kirby game. That’s one of the main points I hit in the review I wrote for the Daily Titan today.

One of the other points, unfortunately, was the fact that the game strikes me as being so easy and quick-to-beat that it may not be worth the pricy $60 investment for some.

It will be worth the investment for me personally thanks to my obsessive desire to collect every puzzle piece, beat the time trial and arena modes with each character type and ultimately achieve a 100 percent completion rating. Plus, the game will undoubtedly make for a fun multiplayer experience with my friends over the break and going into the near future.

I won’t go super into detail about my thoughts and opinions on Kirby in this blog post because I do delve into it more succinctly in my review.

On top of that, I’m also planning on possibly publishing a separate “Director’s Cut” review here in the future. Either that or a post I’m imagining describing how the game goes wrong for my tastes.

But for those, we’ll just have to see what time allows.

For now, if you want to read my review in its entirety, you can check it out here. I’m always excited to get to meld my passions together after all!

You can also see my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right.

One Night at the Improv

One Night at the Improv

When I turned 21 about a month ago, one of the presents my parents got me were tickets to see the live show for one of my favorite podcasts: Hollywood Babble-On with Ralph Garman and Kevin Smith.

Unfortunately the show sells out rather fast well in advance. So we weren’t able to get tickets closer to my actual birthday.

But hey, the timing doesn’t matter all that much. I still got to go after all! Had a blast too while I was at it.

img_7706
Here’s me and my dad in a very lousy picture taken with poor club lighting.

My dad and I have been listening to Hollywood Babble-On together for a long time now. Back in my high school days, probably starting as far back as my freshman year, it would be one of the staple podcasts in our wheelhouse of things to listen to on the way to school in the morning.

Now, for a little bit of context assuming most of you won’t know about it, Babble-On is a dirty, downright raunchy show. All the portions that don’t have Ralph yelling about this or that celebrity doing something dumb and awful usually involves some level of sexual or morbid humor. It’s generally objectively terrible stuff… But terrible stuff delivered in just the most hilarious way you can imagine.

If you’re an awful person who loves the entertainment business like me, you’ll probably enjoy it.

That said, getting to experience the show live with the guy who got me into it was a whole new kind of experience.

We started in the main bar area at about 8:30 p.m. or so and had dinner, which guaranteed us a reserved spot at the show. I had pizza and he had a burger, which were both pretty damn good I’d say. Dinner also included a couple of hours just sitting around and talking about life, since the show didn’t start until 10:30 p.m.

img_7708
Somehow got a much better shot of Kevin (left) and Ralph (right) than I did of us…

We got relatively lucky at tonight’s show, as it was the first Babble-On performed since Kevin has been out of the hospital from his recent heart attack.

… Okay, us getting lucky about getting to see a show because someone else survived a heart attack SEEMS like a statement centering the focus somewhere it shouldn’t belong… But hey, you’re on my blog. If you want a more personal perspective about Kevin’s well-being, just follow his stuff.

If tonight is any indication, he’s doing way better.

That said, if nothing else the aftermath of that experience made for a fun first 20 minutes or so.

Did I mention that the show was nearly three hours long last night? Because it was, and we didn’t leave the Improv until 1:15 a.m. or so this morning. Don’t get me wrong, we had a blast, but it’s going to be arduous to listen through the show again to see if we show up in the general background audience noise.

The shout out we sent in emails for was unfortunately not read during the show. But we were so close to the stage that I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear my obnoxiously loud laugh or a cough somewhere along the way, despite the fact that there were probably close to 200 people packed into that comedy club.

Because of the length of the show, I don’t think it would be healthy for me to lose much more sleep just to break the whole thing down. Long story short, it was super fun, I might link to the audio once this episode goes up and I probably won’t ever listen to Babble-On the same way ever again.

It’s an interesting phenomenon to think about, the fact that you can be imagining something auditory one way for years only to have that whole perception change when you finally see it in person.

Maybe I’ll look into that more and write about it one of these days…

But obviously that’s a tale for another time if I do.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that tonight served as another milestone for my being 21: I drank for the first time!

Yes, yes, that ever-present right of passage that literally nobody would ever let me hear the end of when I was making my way through the earlier parts of college and refused to drink. I figured if there were ever a good time to try alcohol, it would be at a raunchy comedy show at the famous Hollywood Improv.

img_7709

Given the fact that I have no idea how alcohol works, I let my dad pick out my poison. A White Russian he decided, as he figured it would taste enough like a milkshake to circumvent the bitter alcoholic content.

Unfortunately, that was but a pipe dream.

I’ll be honest, I barely got through half of the small drink I had. While my mom later argued it would have been better to go with something like a rum and coke, I just still don’t know if that would have been my thing.

Maybe I just don’t really understand the appeal. All I got out of the drink was a harsh, bitter taste that burned on the way down. Bitter without any flavor to disguise it.

I don’t know, I suppose I can try again later, but for now my first experience with alcohol was a failed one. Even if the venue surrounding the drink was unforgettable.

Though it is probably worth mentioning that as I suffered through one drink like a loser, Ralph managed to down three shots and four glasses of Guinness in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

So that’s one for the book of masculinity I’m sure someone is keeping.

Entertainment Beat Report – March 15, 2018

Entertainment Beat Report – March 15, 2018

I know this is exactly what I said on my last post, but I don’t believe I have a quippy opening to put up before this beat report. It’s just a standard round-up of the video game news from this last week thanks to some help from my friends that have way more time to pay attention to it than I do.

So I won’t waste too much time. Let’s see what the news of the week is in the video game world so I can continue to appease my lord in Comm 436.


New “Tomb Raider” film adaptation prepares for release

Probably the biggest mainstream video game news is the upcoming release of Roar Uthaug’s new adaptation of the 1996 classic game Tomb Raider. Or I suppose this adaptation is more based in the world of the 2013 reboot, Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born, but those are semantics we don’t necessarily need to go into here.

The new Tomb Raider will be out on Friday with Alicia Vikander (known most arguably for her work as Ava in Ex Machina) starring in the titular role.

As of this writing the movie has a 7.2 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database and a 48 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. While not fantastic, these scores are better than the 2001 Tomb Raider adaptation with Angelina Jolie, which got a 5.8 out of 10 on IMDB and a 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

So who knows, there may be potential for this to at least be a fun movie.


Popular Twitch streamer plays Fortnight with rapper Drake

A Twitch streamer named Tyler “Ninja” Blevins broke the record for most concurrent viewers at one time on Wednesday when he played the first person shooter Fortnite alongside Drake, a rapper known (in my circle anyway) for his  ridiculous dance in the Hotline Bling music video from 2015.

Of course he’s far more popular than that, but just to give everyone an idea of where I stand on this whole thing.

Now, when I say he broke records, I mean for non-tournament gameplay. According to the Polygon article I’m looking at, there were over 1.1 million concurrent viewers during an Eleague event in Boston. But for non-tournament events, Ninja’s stream nearly doubled the previous record by amassing 635,000 concurrent viewers at one time.

Apparently, Twitter analytics say that the top four trends that night were all related to the Drake/Ninja stream:

That’s pretty nuts.


Upcoming Monster Hunter World update detailed further

One of gaming’s biggest titles thus far in 2018 has been Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World. As a return of the long-time action-adventure multiplayer title to the Playstation side of the console debate, it brought huge changes to the beloved series that seem to have made the game a bigger hit than ever.

On March 22, it will receive its first major update.

Though that update will primarily be a series of added customizable armor sets and weapon balances, it will also feature the arrival of one of Monster Hunter’s most popular beasts:

The Deviljho.

Affectionately called the angry pickle, Deviljho is a fan-favorite Brute Wyvern that comes from the series’ third generation. It’s known for being a difficult fight with a creature design as terrifying as it is hilarious.

The Deviljho is also known for its claws, which in previous Monster Hunter games have facilitated the creation of items that boost player’s offensive and defensive capabilities.

There isn’t all that much to this piece of news, Monster Hunter just happens to be one of my favorite game series of all time, so I figured I would give it a shout out in my continued attempt to not be jealous of all my friends that are able to play it without me.


British Academy Games Award nominees announced

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) released their nominations for their 2018 games awards.

BAFTA recognizes 16 different categories every year, including “Best Debut Game,” “Best Narrative Game,” “Best Game Beyond Entertainment” and “Best Game Innovation” on top of the obviously expected music, performance and game design categories.

In what’s arguably the biggest category, six games are in the running for “Best Game.”

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • What Remains of Edith Finch

Out of the games I’ve personally played here, I’d want Mario to win, but would probably expect Zelda or Horizon to win.

Though I’ve also heard nothing but good things about Hellblade, so who knows.

Whatever the case may be, these awards will be presented on April 12 in Troxy, London. There are 45 games nominated in the 16 categories, so it’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out there.


Foundation asks Nintendo about putting Dragon Ball protagonist in Smash Bros.

Alright, this is a bit more of a ‘jokey’ news piece… But I’ve seen some other outlets pick it up, so I figure it’s at least worth bringing up as it fits into my interests.

Following the announcement of Super Smash Bros. coming to the Nintendo Switch at the Nintendo Direct last week (which I summed up in my last beat report), one of gaming’s oldest questions came back into the limelight with a much more serious twinge:

Will Nintendo put Goku from Dragon Ball in Super Smash Bros.?

See, as funny as this joke is when it’s just a joke, the fact that Funimation is poking at them about it makes everything that much funnier.

Plus Dragon Ball FighterZ is such a popular fighting game hit that perhaps the idea of Goku appearing in a party fighter like Smash is not so farfetched…

Okay it is farfetched. But interesting to consider all the same.


That’s all I’ve got this week, and it’s about time I wrap things up so I can make it to class.

As usual, let me know what sort of big gaming news you think I missed in the comments! Obviously I can’t be in five places at once, so I know there are some things out there I didn’t get to.

In fact the most obvious video game news I didn’t give a shout out to is the soon-to-be-released Kirby Star Allies. I’m really looking forward to that, and it’ll probably be the next piece of gaming news you see out of me personally.

March 14, 2018 Article Published

I don’t exactly have a lot of filler to throw in before this post gets going because I frankly don’t exactly have a lot to say about the story itself.

So I’m just going to get right into the thick of things.

My article published in the Daily Titan today was a quick and easy piece regarding the student government elections going on at Cal State Fullerton this week.

Probably the most interesting thing about the build-up to my writing this one was the fact that it wound up being one of the quickest stories I’ve ever written. At about 10 p.m. last night, my editor shot me a message over slack asking if I could write something about the president and vice president candidates running in the ASI elections this semester.

Now, I assumed this was because the candidates actually spoke at the Sports Clubs Inter-Club Council meeting that I attended on Friday, and she figured that I had personal contacts with all of the candidates as a result.

Long story short, I did not.

But luckily all we were really looking for was a summary of the candidates based on the information they included in the Official Voter Guide. Sort of a quick and easy translation job, if anything.

By the time 12:30 a.m. hit yesterday morning, I’d already turned in the piece. It actually only took me about a half hour or so to write the thing, but I was also spending some time with family and struggled with some computer issues trying to upload a video… You know, usual stuff.

The video was actually important because I did end up using quotes from the Inter-Club Council meeting I attended to give the story more flavor without me having to directly copy the candidates’ jargon in my own words. Wound up having to just show people the video off of my hard drive the next day because I couldn’t get it onto gmail without hours of upload time (even for a 12 minute video!), but it all worked out in the end.

Even if the piece was one of the easier 500 word stories I’ve ever pulled together, it was an interesting exercise in a way. I tried to make sure each pair of candidates had equal time to one another in print, but doing so presented a separate challenge of trying not to make every line sound too repetitive with the last segment.

I think what I turned out sounds pretty good, with that consideration.

If you want to judge that for yourself, you can see the story here. You can also read my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!


Normally I’d end things off there, but while I’ve got you all under my spell I just wanted to take a minute to promote work that isn’t my own.

While it’s great that I got a story in print today (especially for the cache of points I still need to complete for Comm 471), the big news of the day was undoubtedly what my editors Amy Wells and Brandon Pho pulled together on their continual investigation into the dismissal of former Pollak Library Dean Clement Guthro.

I personally cannot work on this story because I had personal ties with Clem (after all, you can’t avoid conflict of interest when you worked directly under the guy for a while), but frankly I wish I could.

So far this story is really feeling like the Canin striking/Milo visit of this semester. It’s big, heavy news with a lot of underlying political intrigue that they’re starting to dig up. Seriously, one of the interviews they did yesterday had such a hard-hitting question that the source was silent on recording for 15-20 seconds. It was nuts.

Sure I had to basically lay out all of the news desk pages again while they were busy running around getting this together… But I volunteered to do so because I knew how hard they were working on the thing.

While my conflict makes me unfortunately ineligible to help them out more than I have with providing sources and transcribing interviews, it also makes me all the more appreciative of the job they’re doing. Clem was a nice guy when I worked with him, and the more I find out about what happened with him the more I really get to feel the impact of local journalism at a personal level.

Plus, the stories are just really well written in their own rights! So if you want to read a nice piece of journalism today, check out their article here. It deserves way more views than my candidate round-up, it’s worth a read and it’s honestly worth following their work on it from here on out.

But that’s enough brown-nosing for one afternoon, it’s about time I ran off to class.

March 12, 2018 Article Published

Here we are at last. This is the story that quite literally ran me ragged last week.

To get to why it was such an exhaustive one however, we should probably start from the beginning. So settle in for some storytelling.

The point of origin for this article came while I was at the Associated Collegiate Media convention (about two weeks ago now? Geez, time sure does fly…) and got a text from my honors program friend Mimi. She told me that during a meeting between campus sports clubs, everyone aired a ton of grievances against the Athletics Department about issues like field access for their games and practices.

As much as I was just chatting with her about it casually, my mind was working overtime  thinking about the fact that angry students meant a great story opportunity. To be fair, I do think that was the point of her telling me, so I don’t feel that bad about work taking over from there.

To start investigating the issue, I set up an interview with the sports clubs coordinator Lydia Ayala. We talked for about an hour, and all was fine and good… But then she dropped a bombshell on me.

She let me know that she was planning on resigning because she hadn’t been able to make much of an impact on the kinds of issues we were talking about.

After talking with the Advisor, the Editor in Chief and Walt Baranger – our resident ex-Daily Titan and ex-New York Times expert – we kind of decided that we should try to put something out before Friday to preempt her announcement.

Now, for context, we came to that decision at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. To preempt her announcement, we would have to go to print (online) by the end of the day Thursday, since the Inter-Club Council meeting where she was going to make her announcement was at 1 p.m. Friday.

Considering offices on campus close at 5 p.m., I really did have my work cut out for me.

For the next two days, I spent literally all my time eating, drinking and living this story. I ran back-and-forth across campus like five times easily each day and only got about an hour of sleep in between days. Seriously, I was up until ~7 a.m. Thursday morning just to transcribe interviews and write.

Luckily I had some help with other assistant friends like Kat Padillo and Brian Alvarado, so the work wound up being manageable.

Unfortunately… Timing was not on my side. Basically our entire editorial staff was in New York for a conference, so I really wasn’t able to get much attention for section editing and publishing the story. It was a shame, especially given the insistence of the advisory team I had helping me out and the amount of work I put into getting everything (I had like five interviews by the end of Wednesday, eight by the end of Thursday).

But that’s just how the business works I suppose.

When the pre-event reporting plan went out the window, I instead focused on the Friday event itself. I went with my camera to record video, I live tweeted while I was there and I asked our Photo Editor Gabe to come help me out.

In my general print-centric media ineptitude, I inevitably screwed up the multimedia aspect I had hoped to get. But I did some good live tweeting and Gabe got nice photos, so once I adjusted my story for the new time frame and added in the pictures and such it was all good to go.

I had also wanted a graphical element, and I had one of our Illustrators, Anita, working on that, but it was deemed to be “not visually appealing enough” so we cut it. I personally would have liked to have it there just as extra information for our readers, but I guess that’s just the price of not being at the top of the totem pole.

In the end, despite the heartache and exhaustion that came with this story, I think it turned out quite nice. After all, our job isn’t really about the struggle we go through to get the news out.

It’s about telling the news. Standing with the people when they have grievances and holding those they feel are against them accountable.

From that perspective, I would argue this is one of the most important stories I’ve written. It has plenty of opportunities for follow-up pieces as well, so long as the sports clubs feel comfortable working with me to get out their specific troubles.

With that said, if you want to read this article in its entirety, you can check it out here. You can also see my full archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!