Mini-Update (8/12/17): Back To School, Writer’s Block & Whatnot

Greetings peeps! What’s new in the world of you?

It’s been quite a while since my last update, and since I’ve been kinda quiet that past couple of weeks, I figured I’d just make one now. Sorry again for not a lot of content coming in lately, but I’ve just been in a weird funk when it comes to ideas for blogging. After completely skipping out on Comic Con posts for the first time in 3 years, I’ve just been having trouble finding something to talk about. I don’t know why, either. I guess nothing in the news has caught my attention just yet, and that has affected my posting schedule. So, I appreciate you guys’ patience as I get my head back in the blogging game. At least while I can. Continue reading Mini-Update (8/12/17): Back To School, Writer’s Block & Whatnot

SBox Soapbox: Should The Simpsons Continue As a Movie Series After the Show Ends?

It’s so hard to believe it’s been a decade since our favorite family on television adopted the Spider-Pig, escaped to Alaska, saved Springfield from being destroyed at the hands of EPA, and discovered the treasure of Imaweiner. The Simpsons Movie was a huge success both financially and critically when it came out in 2007 and still stands out today as one of the best animated films of the 21st century. I know that latter statement is quite a big claim, but I stand by it. That movie was damn good with all the charm, wit, and borderline insanity you’d expect from The Simpsons show. Easily one of the best examples of how TV to film adaptations should be, and one I’d recommend to anyone.

So with that said, where’s the sequel? Continue reading SBox Soapbox: Should The Simpsons Continue As a Movie Series After the Show Ends?

SBox Soapbox: A Rundown of Disney’s Live Action Remakes

It’s no secret by now that Disney is currently in the business of recreating their animated classics into new live action films. This trend has been especially prevalent during the past three years. What you may not know is that Disney has a long list of other remakes planned for the next several years. You’ve probably heard about a couple of them, but you may not know about some of the even weirder ones set to come after this year’s Beauty and the Beast.

Today, we’ll be looking at all of Disney’s announced live action remakes as I give my thoughts on each project. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: A Rundown of Disney’s Live Action Remakes

SBox Soapbox: D23 2017 News Round-Up

Over the weekend, Disney fans everywhere were treated to an onslaught of news, trailers, and info as the company held the fifth ever D23 expo. A biennial convention dedicated exclusively for all things Disney, the convention has become a coveted tradition for Disnerds, Pixar-tards, Marvel maniacs, and Star Wars geeks to get the down-low on upcoming Disney movies. And those who attend the convention in Anahiem get to experience much more with exclusive products, panels, events, and even… exclusive footage… Huh, so that’s what jealousy feels like.

Normally I don’t pay much attention to D23, but upon learning about it 2 years ago I decided to actually keep my ear to the ground this time. I’m very glad I did, too, because I left the convention period with so much joy and anticipation that I simply have to share it with you guys! So here are some of the big news updates that stuck out to me and what I thought of them. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: D23 2017 News Round-Up

Thank You! (The Ranting SBox 3 Year Anniversary)

Greetings peeps! What’s new in the world of you?

Guys… I don’t even know where to begin with this post, so bear with me if I start to become scatterbrained. Today is July 14, 2017, which marks a full 3 years since I made my first post on The Ranting SBox blog in 2014. 3 years! That’s totally insane. I mean, last year around this time I made the comment about all the milestones this blog would’ve met if it were a human child. Now this blog would be holding conversations, dressing itself, and would definitely be potty trained by now. That’s right! This blog is officially reached the potty training level. I’m so proud! Continue reading Thank You! (The Ranting SBox 3 Year Anniversary)

SBox Soapbox: 8 Video Games That Would Make Great Netflix Shows

When it comes to video games crossing over into other mediums, the results have been mixed at best. For example, video games and comics tend to work well. Video games and movies tend to not. However, one of the more overlooked combinations that may actually be more effective than you think involves video games and television. Historically speaking, games tend to make some pretty successful TV shows. Continue reading SBox Soapbox: 8 Video Games That Would Make Great Netflix Shows

SBox Soapbox: Should Crash Team Racing Be Remastered or Remade?

The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy has finally been released, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve been a Crash Bandicoot fan ever since first playing Crash Bandicoot 2 when I was just 2 or 3 years old. It was the first game I ever played and the reason I fell in love with video games in the first place. So, you know I was drawn to this remastering of the first 3 games like a moth to a flame.

I’ve been playing the crap out of The N. Sane Trilogy ever since I got it during its launch weekend and have not been disappointed with what I got. The graphics are superb, the gameplay was tweaked just enough to feel modern yet familiar, the soundtrack is life itself, and the new additions, while admittedly minor, are just enough to make the purchase worth it. Sure, the loading screens are a bit annoying, but the game itself is just what I wanted it to be. I highly encourage fans of the original games such as me to pick this game up when you get a chance. It’s a new take on 3 classics that I just know you’ll enjoy.

That being said, this trip down nostalgia lane got me thinking about the other big Crash Bandicoot game on PS1. What of the 4th and final Crash game to be developed by Naughty Dog, Crash Team Racing?

Released in 1999, Crash Team Racing was the first spin-off of the series and a staple of the 5th generation racing game scene alongside Mario Kart 64, Diddy Kong Racing, and Daytona USA among others. The game was beloved by critics and fans at the time, selling close to 5 million copies during its initial run. It’s still regarded as one of the most beloved PS1 games of all-time as well as one of the most beloved racing games ever made.

The game definitely had an impact, which is why I’m sure some fans may have been disappointed to see it not included in the N. Sane Trilogy. Granted, I’m of the opinion that it didn’t belong in this collection. It’s not a platformer like the other 3 games, it would require a whole new engine to get right, and how can you re-release CTR without online multiplayer? It would be a huge undertaking for Vicarious Visions to take on that game on top of the other 3 games. Plus, then you’d have people asking “Well, where’s Crash Bash then” (which is an entirely different conversation).

That’s not to say that I don’t think CTR should be reworked. It absolutely should. CTR is a fantastic game that aged well, plays well, and would be well-received by every human on the planet no doubt. This is especially true after seeing how great a job Vicarious Visions did with the N. Sane Trilogy. However, this does come with the question of how it can be done.

One idea is to remaster the game in the same way they remastered Crash 1 through Warped. It could be an add-on to the N. Sane Trilogy via DLC or its own separate title independent from NST. I can see the benefits of both plans. Clearly such content wouldn’t be free DLC, considering the amount of work necessary for making the game again. Giving the game the necessary gameplay tweaks, artistic recreations and new content wouldn’t come cheap. In fact, it may be so big an undertaking that it would probably be more worth it to release it as a downloadable PSN /physical title. It could be called “Crash Team Racing: The N. Sane Edition”. Sell it at $20, add online multiplayer, and you’re golden.

However, this comes with a couple possible roadblocks. Would it be worth it to Activision or fans to remaster one game for such a small price. From a fan’s perspective, sure, I’d pay $20 or so for a CTR remaster. (I’ve done it for DuckTales and I’d do it for CTR). However, I can imagine some gamer’s finding just 1 new take on an old game to be a bit less worth it. One of the major appeals of remasters is that you get several older games on superior hardware for the price of a full, new game; which would place a standalone CTR remaster at a disadvantage. If it came bundled with Crash Bash, that’s another story. Then again, that would make the package cost more, and I’m not sure enough people are fond enough of Crash Bash to justify that purchase. I would, but maybe others may not.

Then from the developer’s perspective, a remaster may be relatively easy to make considering they’re going off the original code, but it may cost a bit too much and take too much time to rework faithfully. Plus, is there really enough content in the game to guarantee a CTR remaster would sell. Sure the game has 5 modes and 15 characters, but modern racing games are still relatively packed with content. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing has at least 24 characters in it (depending on platform), and Mario Kart 8 has a good 26 characters (before DLC and not accounting for the Deluxe version). For modern standards, the game may be a bit too small for modern audiences.

That’s why some may favor a second option a bit better: a full CTR remake. Not a remaster, but a from the ground up, standalone, new features included, remake.

Fun Fact: Back in 2010, Activision was looking to develop a CTR remake developed by High Impact Games before cancelling it for unknown reasons. It was honestly a pretty good idea. Considering the enriched Crash Bandicoot history that exists now, you could expand your roster to include characters like Crunch, Nina, and Tawna. You could also bring in one-off characters like Pasadena Opossum from Tag Team Racing, The Evil Twins from Twinsanity, and Emperor Velo from Nitro Kart. Hell, throw Spyro in while you’re at it. Beyond that, a full remake would be considered a brand new game at $60. This justifies the cost for online server maintenance, and allows Vicarious Visions to add new tracks to beef up the game even more.

This would still come with one drawback — you know, besides the price being higher. Such a plan would also give Vicarious Visions the ability to go off-script (or more appropriately off-code) from the original game. This opens the game up to potentially play radically different from the original, and you know what they say about fixing something that ain’t broke. Basically, a remake could serve to tarnish the original game. Then again, it also could be a good thing for the game. After all, the NST tweaked the control of the original 3 games and I still enjoy it. Maybe they’ll take care to improve the gameplay while also maintaining the feel of the original CTR. As a result you have a whole new take on a classic game.

Additionally, when you discuss a remake of the game, you have to ask yourself if now is the time to make it happen. Should such an idea wait for after the series has a new, original platformer under its belt before going straight to a racing game? Would it allow for new characters to be introduced and new ideas to be formed? Alternatively, would the hype around NST still be there in a few year’s time, and what if a new Crash game fails? A remake definitely comes with a lot of ifs and buts to the point where Activision may not be willing to take the risk just yet.

It’s interesting to think about CTR being remastered or remade. It’s an idea I most certainly love and would support either way if and when it comes up. Though, of the two options I personally lean more towards the remake idea. It may take more time to happen and sure they could potentially make the game worse, but the NST impressed me so much that I trust Vicarious Visions to make it work. Plus, imagine a CTR remake coming out on the game’s 20th anniversary in 2019. That would be awesome! Though if they decide to instead remaster the original game with online multiplayer, I’m totally fine with that, too.

Should there be a Crash Team Racing remake or remaster? Which option appeals to you most? Would you support either option, or would you rather they leave the game alone? Leave your thoughts in the comments below so we can discuss it together!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBox Recommends: Spider-Man — Homecoming (Movie Review)

Note: SBR never spoils. You are safe. Enjoy!

Welcome back to SBox Recommends, where our motto is “Every film has its fans”. Here I review a movie and then determine who will like it best and who will like it the least.

This was far and away my most anticipated film of 2017. I’ve loved Spider-Man with a passion ever since Tobey Maguire first played him when I was 4 years old. I’ve seen every movie and loved them all (yes, even the bad ones), and few people were as excited as me when Spidey was finally announced to join the MCU. This excitement was further solidified by the fact that the character stole the show in Civil War last year, and making us all wish this movie would just come already. And come it finally did. Was it worth the wait? Continue reading SBox Recommends: Spider-Man — Homecoming (Movie Review)

SBox Stories: One Year with Pokemon GO

On July 6, 2016, players from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States first got their hands on the popular AR game, Pokemon GO. A venture between Google, Niantic, and Nintendo which used scraps from a similar Niantic title called Ingress, Pokemon GO would quickly go from a nifty little idea to an overnight global phenomenon. It’s hard to even fathom that the rise of Pokemon GO was a whole 12 months ago, but time sure does fly when your trespassing on someone’s backyard trying to catch a Squirtle.

I’ve been playing the game since the day it came out in America and am still a semi-active player of the game to this day. I’ve had some fun, witnessed the game’s many ups and downs, and engaged in general tomfoolery with the game from the very beginning. In honor of the occasion, I thought I’d walk you through my personal experience of playing the game the passed 365 days. At the same time, I’ll share my thoughts on the state of the game right now and what I think about the game’s future. Continue reading SBox Stories: One Year with Pokemon GO

2016 Movie Countdown: The Complete List & Why I Cancelled It

Every year for the passed 3 years I have held a small tradition on this blog called the (Annual) Movie Countdown. The idea was to compile a list of every single film I saw the previous year — both the ones I reviewed and the ones I didn’t — then, starting in January, cover each film from worst to best in marathon fashion. This is my way of retrospecting the previous year in film while also discussing films I couldn’t review fully for any number of reasons. It’s an idea I loved from the beginning and one that I find to be the most fun, if not a bit ambitious, posts to make. Continue reading 2016 Movie Countdown: The Complete List & Why I Cancelled It

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