Weekly Update (11/4/14): Speeding Up a Bit, Halloween, and Whatnot

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Greetings peeps!

It’s been a while, but I am still alive and here to give you all an update. Sorry for the lateness, though. How are you all? I’m doing well myself. This week was extremely busy for me, but I did have some fun while I was at it. My Halloween was certainly a fun one. As you can see, I was Sub-Zero this year.

I’d be lying if I said this was the greatest costume ever, but it served its purpose. I meant to post a little review of the costume this week. Unfortunately, I was preoccupied. I will run it down quickly here though.

The costume I got was a jumpsuit made of linen, a few plush armor pieces, and a rubber mask. The jumpsuit is this costume’s best feature though mine was slightly (I stress slightly) torn when arriving in the mail. The armor pieces are standard for the most part, but have some problems with the paint job, the size, and the build. These come with Velcro strings which may or not break on you immediately (one of the forearm pieces did for me). On top of that they were made for people with much bigger arms than I do. Adjustments would’ve been nice so I wouldn’t have had to staple them so they could fit. A lot of people often condemn the mask. I’ll admit that I would’ve preferred a linen overhead mask over the rubber face mask with a strap, but other than being difficult to breathe in it wasn’t that bad. Just don’t go on thinking you’ll have the perfect mask.

If I was grading this, I’d give it a 3 out of 5. I personally wore it without the mask most of the time. I also decided against the forearm armor since one of them broke. It’s a standard costume, but don’t go in thinking you’re getting the highest quality possible.

Halloween was the most eventful part of my week. I applied to my colleges on time, and it is starting to get cold in Florida for a change. Solid week. But let’s talk blog news.

I’ll make this quick. If you want to know what I have planned, check out my last update. What this is going to mainly be is the status of the blog for the upcoming weeks.

Okay! So last week was pretty busy week just like the week before. Unfortunately, not a lot of it was spent on that paper. It is currently halfway done and due next Friday along with a PowerPoint, poster and poem/song describing that era. I’m predicting that considering the need for production of the PowerPoint should take focus next week that the paper should realistically be done be weekend’s end. The PowerPoint won’t be much trouble for me, and the poster can be made in part with members of my family.

Now I told you guys last week that I had another project that took me off guard. Last Sunday’s update was on the heels of what I predicted to be the most stressful day ever. Once I walked into class Monday the teacher brought some relief to me because this project is so not difficult. All I have to do is research my desired career and make a Photostory of it along with interviewing a person from that field. There is a paper to do, but that’s not due till later that week. The Photostory and interview are due Monday while the essay is due next Thursday.

The toughest part is the interview, but I might be able to make it happen. If anyone here knows a software developer/engineer who wouldn’t mind answering a high school student’s questions for about 10 minutes, please let me know.

What does this all mean? Well it means that content will still be seldom until next weekend. The only reason I was able to get this update up was because I had election day off from school; and that’s still time away from my schoolwork. However, if I can succeed in getting this first paper done by Sunday (which will be my next update), then I might be able to get things rolling here again. However, I promise you guys that there will be content coming after November 14 for sure.

I have several drafts about snowmen, burgers, selfies, and more coming your way once stuff clears up. I thank you all for your understanding the past week and apologize for the inconvenience. Believe me when I tell you it pains me to not be active on my own blog. However it won;t be long now.

Until then, thank you for your patience and for reading this post. Like I said, regular content will start coming out in about a week. Please stay tuned because there’s a massive party with booze when I get back to business as usual.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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Weekly Update (10/26/14): Slowing Down, Another Milestone, and Whatnot

Greetings peeps! Welcome back to the weekly update, where I ramble about the life of me and of the blog.

Another fine Sunday it is today. Hopefully you’ve all had a great week. This week was homecoming week for me. With homecoming week comes the character themed days at school, the fancy decorations, and the pep rally. It was a lot of fun seeing a whole bunch of Nickelodeon stuff the whole week. I participated in Fairly OddParents day as Chester and the pep rally day by wearing my senior class color from head to toe.

I also applied to my colleges (finally). Just have to send the documentation and everything is golden. All that I’ll need to do is hope to be accepted.

Overall, pretty cool week if you were me. It’s this upcoming week I’m worried about. But I’ll get to that. Let’s get into the blog news.

Last week was another standard one with 3 posts exactly. There was a glitch that made my Smash Bros post appear to be published Friday night when I posted it yesterday afternoon, so click here if you haven’t seen it. I’m proud of what I did this week, and am also glad to be approaching another milestone. Here are my post plans.

I still have tons of shows to cover. If you don’t see the Selfie post today (which is the next show I’m covering), then it will be posted some time this week for sure. Then my remaining shows will be Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, Gotham, and Red vs Blue. I am also adding a show to be covered eventually: Scorpion. Those will be posted eventually.

I decided to hold off on commenting on Marvel and DC’s news since it’s old news by now. However, I will cover the trailer to Avengers 2 soon (I hope). I also still have a Frozen post I want to make. I’m pushing it now, but I’ll try my best to put it up.

7th Gen In-Review will be coming as well. It will be covering indie games. There will be a Sony and Microsoft related post some time in the future as well.

Lastly, I am approaching my next view count milestone. If you do not know, I make a post giving you guys a little piece of myself, usually in a Top X-number list, every time I get 100 views. My 600th View special will be posted by this week’s end. The subject matter of this post will be the first to break away from the traditional topics covered on this blog (movies, gaming, and television). Hopefully you guys will enjoy.

Now for the biggest news of this post. This is technically blog news but I vow to give you guys background into what’s going on with this site. It’s the least I can do to thank you all for your support. So this will also be part of the general life stuff.

I want to just let you guys know that this site will see less activity for a little while. The reason is because of this academic clusterf*ck (sorry, but that’s the perfect word for this situation) I have going on the next couple of weeks. Today begins an incredibly busy time for me.

You see, I’ve had this project to do in Economics that was assigned for a while and due November 14. It;s contents include a (at least) 10 page research paper, a Powerpoint presentation, and potentially a poster. All of this will revolve around an economic era, in my case the 1920’s. Now that’s all fine and good. I’ve started last week and am totally capable of writing the paper making the Powerpoint.

What caught me off guard though was my English project that was assigned recently. The contents as far as I understand now include a 3 minute video presentation, another paper, and an interview. All of this is to discuss what my future job will be. That’s also fine if it wasn’t due before the Econ project.

These 2 projects are incredibly comprehensive on their own, but together it’s a mighty big headache that will most likely take up all of my time from now until mid-November. On top of regular school tests, community service hours that need to be fulfilled for scholarships, signing up for additional scholarships, other projects including one I’m doing today for another class, regular homework, and impromptu family activities, my hands are full. So something has to give, and I am already cutting leisure activities like YouTube and gaming. All that’s left is this.

Now let me be clear. I’m not leaving altogether, nor am I dropping the blog entirely for the next couple of weeks. This isn’t exactly a hiatus. I’m just slowing down the amount of blogging I do for a small while. There will be posts up every so often like the ones I just described. However, instead of promising you guys 3 posts per week the next week or so, there won’t be an exact number.

Once I get some of this stuff off my plate and/or under control, everything on the blog goes back to normal. In fact I’ll be posting much more after November 14th since Thanksgiving will be soon after.

In a nutshell, the new posting limit per week will be 1 until further notice. Thank you for your understanding, but this is what needs to be done. I’ll let you know next week if I’m going back to 3 posts or not.

That’s pretty much it for right now. I’ll try to get the Selfie impressions up this week and the 600 View special up by next week (it may be a quick one anyway). Thank you all so much for your support. If this post seems a bit blue I apologize. I hope you all have an amazing day and an amazing week. And in case I don’t get to say it the day of, Happy Halloween to you all!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Analysis: Super Smash Bros for Wii U Nintendo Direct

I’ve been itching to talk about Smash Bros again for a while now. I was hesitant to address the rumors that have been surrounding the Wii U version considering how fantastic I have been at predicting Sakurai’s plans so far (that’s sarcasm by the way). Now that we have concrete facts surrounding this game thanks to Thursday’s Nintendo Direct, I think it’s safe to open my mouth again.

I come bearing much great news to all of you waiting to get your Smash on when the game hits Wii U. We have a lot of good news and some subjectively bad news. All around, I’ve personally come away from the event smiling. I’ll be covering Nintendo’s 53 “facts” by number range. I’ll be skimming over some points, so if you want more details watch the direct for yourself here.

Holy Multiple Players, Batman! (Facts #1-4)

I love how the direct tried to start slow with things we already knew like the unlockable characters and HD, then immediately drop a bombshell. The multiplayer of Super Smash Bros will be made even crazier by upping the ante from 4 players to 8. On top of that, certain stages have been made bigger to compensate the 4+ player matches. Suddenly the monstrous scope of Palutena’s Temple makes sense.

Only Super Smash Bros could pull 8 character battles off. It’s interesting since this series was the first series to really do 4 player battles correctly. When you look at it that way, this is next level stuff! I’m all over it. Now your big, at-home Smash Bros tournaments can be made that huge deal more exciting. I’m actually surprised this wasn’t in the 3DS version, but I expect it to get to there eventually.

The one downside I have is that this seems to be local multiplayer only. It was clearly stated that the chance of having 8 players online is slim at best. Doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but when it does it’ll make your online battles plenty interesting.

Name Your Place! (Facts 4-9)

 

 

There will be a crap ton of stages exclusive to the Wii U version whether by structure or by its own merit. But that’s not the big news. Some of these stages provide new ways to play, some are exclusive to certain modes, and all of them look awesome.

The 2 main ones detailed were Great Cave Offensive from Kirby and Jungle Hijinx from Donkey Kong Returns. The Kirby stage implements “Danger Zones” which will instantly kill you when you hit them with 100% damage or more. The DKC stage includes foreground and background areas with the use of Donkey Kong’s iconic barrels. If you jump in them too soon after you use a barrel, it’ll explode and give you damage.

Among the many stages includes Miiverse, which will not be available at launch. It is a Battlefield type stage where Miiverse posts submitted by everyone will appear in the background. It’s a pretty cool way to get your posts in the eyes of millions.

Some stages even have dialogue mid stage. The ones shown were of the Star Fox stages where you can hear intercom conversations. You can also activate dialogue by means of Pit’s downward taunt.

I love the idea of the danger zones and barrels. They add some strategy to the stages and allow for some creative possibilities for battles. I especially like that special care was made to make it fair. The Miiverse stage looks decent enough. Not too many bells and whistles, but that’s good depending on who you are. The dialogue is interesting, too. Quite a callback to Melee’s Adventure mode.

Like a Boss (Facts 10-11)

 

The Wii U version will include stage bosses that will shake up your battles. There were 2 shown: Metal Face on the Gaur Plain and Ridley in Pyroshere.

It appears that, in the case of Ridley, the defense officially rests on that debate. I feel bad for the die-hard advocates of a playable Ridley who had their dream crushed, but I think Ridley makes quite an interesting stage boss. You get a lot more for defeating fighting him since he joins your side, and his defeat gives you an extra KO point. Metal Face also looks intimidating. The fact that he can destroy entire platforms already has me intimidated.

Comeback Kids and a Smashing Playlist (Facts 12-21 & 40)

Here we see the returning Smash modes such as Coin battles, Stamina battles, and Special smash. Masterpieces also return from Bralw, but with a bigger library than before and a direct link to buy the full versions. We also get a little insight on the music which will be included with the game. There are about 3 times the amount of songs as there were in the 3DS version coming from a plethora of composers.

Not too much to note here, but I do commend the amount of music available for fights. You can tell they’re really passionate of the selection, too. The Masterpieces get a lot of slack for justifiable reasons, but it’s a great way for younger kids to advertize these games to those too young to have played those classics.

Back With a Vengeance (Facts 22-25; 27-28)

We also see some more familiar favorites with some new changes. Classic mode remains similar enough, but now focuses on how well you survive the trials rather than just completing them. There’s also a greater risk-reward system for difficulty level. All-Star mode is similar to the 3DS version but in reverse order. Event mode has seen little to no changes. The Stadium mode is also the same, but also supports multiplayer now. The Target Blast mode is also similar to the 3DS, but also supplies a bigger bomb after the second round.

Again not much to comment on here. The one with the greatest change is the Classic mode, and I actually like the new intensity scale.

All a Board (Fact 26)

So, this is the mode from Amazon’s leak that’s been causing a stir. The newest mode is Smash Tour, a board game mode that has you spinning a wheel to collect items and fighters on the board. When you run into opponents, you fight with what you have, and the winner can take a character from the loser’s roster to use.

When this was being talked about weeks before, I was skeptical. Compared to Smash Run on 3DS, I didn’t see how a Mario Party type mode would be like. With gameplay footage and a little more insight, I am now shedding those worries. It’s really cool looking in execution.

Hand Me Another Mode (Fact 29-30)

Then we have Sakuria’s Master/Crazy Hand tease. These 2 new modes are Master Orders and Crazy Orders. Master Orders allows you the chance to gain prizes but with only one shot to complete the trail until you reach Master Hand. Crazy Orders takes this a step further by making you pay for entry with gold until you reach Crazy Hand. Like the casino, you must gamble carefully or lose it all.

I’ll admit that when I saw the image tease, I originally thought that they made Master Hand and Crazy Hand playable. I’m quite the idealist that way. However, I do like the alternative. I’ll admit that there’s a part of me that likes to play my luck, so I have to be careful with Crazy Orders.

Additionally, Crazy Hand has a new form called Master Fortress that comes after Master Core when playing at higher difficulties. This is a really cool form, acting like a stage in and of itself.

Have it Your Way (Fact 31-34; 47-48)

As we all know by now, there will be no one way to play Smash Bros on the Wii U. There are 7 controller types available for the game including the Nintendo 3DS. With the 3DS, you can also transfer custom character info and weapons. But you already knew that didn’t you?

The Wii U gamepad’s features were also elaborated on, but the only thing new involves screen shots which I’ll get to next.

Trophy Terror and Amiibos (Fact 35-39 & 41)

Nintendo also showcased the new trophies for this addition of Smash. They also show new ways to display them, new ways to get them, and new ways to use them. The Photography mode stands out to me since the Wii U gamepad provides new opportunities than that of the Snapshots from Brawl. They also detailed the Amiibo figures that were showcased at E3. I’m certainly getting at least 1.

Insta-Smash (Fact 42-46 & 49)

Here we recieved details of the game’s online features. Obviously there is online multiplayer, but there’s also the cool new addition of having a local player join you in “With Anyone” mode. You also get notifications that appear on the main menu. In the future, you can even create online tournaments that allow for up to 64 players. Use of the built-in mic on the Wii U gamepad can be utilized before and after online battles. Nintendo also recommended using a wired connection when playing online.

Everything looks good as far as I see. Having 2 local players fight online is also a nice addition in case I decide to team up with a friend and conquer the world together. The one thing I don’t like is the limited ability of the chat. Hopefully a patch will fix this so that I can have the battle and the banter that comes with it.

My Ring’s Inside! (Fact 50-51)

One of the downsides to Brawl’s new Stage Builder mode was the limited options for what could’ve been a really cool feature. The Wii U plans to change all of that. Thanks to the Wii U gamepad, building stages provides a good ton more possibilities. By drawing obstacles and platforms on the gamepad, you can make crazy stages. Better yet, you’ll be able to share your creations online soon after the game’s release.

I definitely plan to use the Stage Builder on the Wii U. Looks like I can make the ultimate deathtrap after all

And Now, The Moment You’ve All Been Waiting For… (Fact 52-53)

The event ends with the announcement trailer of a newcomer of high request. I’m sure you know exactly who it is. You know him, you love him, you’ve been raving about him for way too long. The trailer’s newcomer is… Bowser Jr!… Wait, what?

As a surprise to no one, the newcomer trailer for Bowser Jr and the Koopalings was shown here. However, this was just the disguise to something much bigger: the announcement of Mewtwo as future DLC. He will be available sometime in Spring 2015 for all players who bought both versions of Super Smash Bros 4.

Once again, Sakurai continues to surprise me. I’m not sure which was the bigger shock: the fact that he wasn’t in when Smash for 3DS released or his reveal as DLC. Either way, I am ecstatic for this announcement. What makes me even more intrigued is what this means for other characters who weren’t placed in yet. Could we see characters like the Ice Climbers appear as DLC, too? Only time will tell, but for now I’m glad to see many Pokemon fans rejoice in such unison.


Overall, the Wii U version of Smash Bros is looking extremely promising. I’m glad we got some new details on the game and for the announcement of DLC. I’m happy, but what about you guys? Let me know in the comments what you thought of the Direct.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Analysis: “Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them” Movie (A Harry Potter Spin-Off Trilogy)

Who doesn’t know the story of Harry Potter? He’s the everyday London boy who is informed one day that he is a famous wizard and will go to the most prestigious wizard school in the world in order to one day defeat the evil Lord Voldemort. He’s been in the limelight for a pretty long time. He has a bestselling book series that started in 1997 spanning seven epic books. He took the world by storm in 2001 and onward to 2011 with the blockbuster movie series of eight. Since then, where hasn’t he been?

The Harry Potter movie franchise is my favorite movie series of all-time. Sorcerer’s Stone is one of my favorite individual films of all-time. I love every second of the films, all the characters, the lore, the stories, and pretty much everything about them. I can even recite several of its fictitious spells. Seriously, I love the movies.

When the series finally ended, I was in the camp of optimists that hoped for another Harry Potter book/movie. Since then we’ve heard many things about whether J.K. Rowlings would continue the series and if we’ll ever see another Potter adventure again. Though we may never get another Potter film in the style we have always known, we are getting our wish in a way.

Enter Rowling’s 2001 book titled “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. This is a textbook used by Harry sometime within his first four years at Hogwarts. A film adaption in the form of a trilogy was announced in 2013 which will share a universe with the Potter series. With its recent release date announcement of November 18, 2016, I feel the need to investigate.

Due to the nature of the book, the story doesn’t have much of a synopsis at this time. What we do know is that it will take place 70 years before the Harry Potter movies- specifically in 1920’s New York. We will naturally have a new protagonist, Newt Scamander, the fictitious author of the textbook the book is based on. The films will follow his life story.

A little background on Newt, he is what is known as a magizoologist (a person who studies creatures of a magical quality). He like most other Harry Potter characters went to Hogwarts as a Hufflepuff. (Finally, the first major Hufflepuff character). He ended up working for the Ministry of Magic soon after. His career is quite diverse having worked briefly in house-elf trade, the beast division, dragon research, law passing, and creating the “werewolf register”. As a connection to the original movies, his grandson Rolf would become the husband of Luna Lovegood. (Poor Neville).

I was initially skeptical of a movie talking place that far before the Potter films. At that point, how much connection would you have to the initial series? Now that I got a little more insight, I actually do see where you can go with this kind of story.

I like the idea of this character. While I don’t exactly have much grasp of his personality yet, his experiences could make for some good possibilities. We have little to no major Hufflepuff characters in the entire series so far. Seriously! We had pure pandering to Griffindor and Slytherin in the HP films and at least a couple Ravenclaw characters. This could bring about a new perspective.

They also picked a pretty good time period for the film. 1920’s New York brings can highlight a great era in American history. Speaking of which, Harry Potter took place almost entirely in the UK. There are now additional opportunities with a US setting. It’ll be cool to see how the magic is handled in other parts of the world.

But what will the movie’s plot specifically be about?

Given that Newt was born in 1897, he would be at least 23 in this movie; far from Hogwarts age. This will probably be his misadventures during his early career as a Minister of Magic. What particularly? Maybe we’ll see him in house-elf trade for a short time, bringing a conflict of morality subplot. However, I think the main cluster of the first movie will be him in the Beast Division. That’s just my prediction.

Will there be cameos? There better be!

You need every opportunity to tie this into the HP series to get the casual viewer interested. If you go with his house-elf trade thing, you could easily make a Dobby and/or Creature cameo. If you flash back to his Hogwarts days (which they probably will), Dumbledore is a shoe-in. Maybe you can have the ancestors of the HP characters.

But enough predicting and dreaming on my part. Now we get into the technical aspects. As of right now, we have a couple of essential components already in place.

The screenwriter is none other than J. K. Rowling herself. There is no better fit. When you think about it, this movie series is kind of like her making 3 new books only on the big screen by default. I say this because the Newt trilogy can’t exactly be found in any of her books. So, we’re in good hands.

A director has been selected for at least the first movie: David Yates. Yates directed the final four Harry Potter movies. The best decision you could of made with director is to get someone who knows the Harry Potter series. This is also a great pick just for the sake a familiarity. On that note, David Heyman returns as the movies producer.

Filming will take place at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, where all the Harry Potter movies were filmed. It conveniently also houses the “Making of Harry Potter tour”. I would also predict that filming could take place in-part in New York. That’s probably not happening because of how different 1920’s New York is from 2010’s New York. However, it could happen for the sake of area convenience for simple walking scenes or edited panoramic views.

We also know the release dates for all three movies. The first movie will release November 18, 2016, the second on November 16, 2018, and the third on November 20, 2020.

The first one has a lot of competition. The weeks before its release will have DreamWorks’ Trolls,  Universal’s Skull Island, and Marvel’s Sinister Six. The weeks after has a Disney movie by the name of Giants followed by a Star Wars spin-off. Coincidentally, Fantastic Beasts is a spin-off movie among a bunch of other spin-off movies. It’ll be interesting to see which is more successful. If you ask me, it depends on which franchise has the most star-power: Harry Potter, Star Wars, Spider-Man or King Kong? the DreamWorks and Disney movies are beasts all their own. I think Fantastic Beats could outdo Sinister Six, but not Star Wars.

2018 could be a piece of cake for Fantastic Beasts 2, but that’s contingent on what ends up being announced around it. It’s too far to give an accurate picture, but the only major threat it can have is with the Marvel movie that comes out 2 weeks earlier and the Disney movie that follows it the week after.

The third movie is impossible to predict. It is practically the only movie announced for 2020. DC’s cinematic universe announcement doesn’t even go that far. So who knows?

There is only one big thing beside the plot that we don’t know: the cast. We do know who is apparently not in the film, Daniel Radcliffe. He has already stated he has no involvement with at least the first movie. That may also scratch off Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as potential cast members. To be honest though, I kinda saw that coming. What I’m interested to find out is who they get to play Newt. My guess lays with a fresh new face. I’d actually be surprised if they get a known actor, but that’s not out of the realm of possibility either.

Overall, I see some pretty great things coming from this spin-off trilogy. As long as they at least try to make some ties to the original films and show that in the marketing, I believe this can be a successful movie. Either way, I’m clearing my calendar for this movie.

What do you guys think? Are you excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Will you see it? What do you hope to see in the films? And do you think that it can compete? Let me know in the comments and we’ll discuss it together!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Weekly update (10/18/14): The Measly B, Fantastic Beasts, and Whatnot

Greetings peeps! Welcome to my weekly update, where I ramble about my life and the blog plans.

How is everybody this fine day? I’m doing well myself.

The word to describe last week for me was “unbalance”, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. It was my last week of the first quarter of school. What that entailed was a first couple of days of struggling to keep my head above water academically. My final grades as of right now are 5 A’s and 1 measly B. I’m approximately 0.25% away from an A in that class. There’s still hope though. A last minute making up of points is being offered this week which may put me over the edge. If I’m successful I will have straight A’s for the first time in 3 years and the second time in my life. Hopefully that goes well.

After that, I had Wednesday off because the school was doing a test I did 2 years ago. The general rule is “if you aren’t taking it don’t come”. That was fun for what it was, but then I was unexpectedly absent on Thursday. It was basically like a weekend before the weekend. Then I went to school Friday where I did nothing. Now it’s the weekend; a 3 day weekend mind you. I feel like I’ve been on vacation more than I felt like it’s another week. That’s why I say unbalanced. Screw it though. All that time I had to myself is a breath of fresh air.

In other news My baby egg project technically ended Wednesday, but due to what I just described I turned it in Friday. Once you completed the project, you throw the egg in the trash and move on with your life. (How poetic). I also ordered my Halloween costume so that I can give out candy in style. I’ll let you know how my Sub-Zero costume turns out. I have also been sickish for the past week. (If I’m not back next week then I probably had Ebola). Oh and we have planeed our Christmas vacation this week.

And that’s my week for the most part. Now for the important part of this post: the blog news!

Standard week for post I say. I hit my standard of 3 posts, though I planned to do more. So here’s what I have in my repitiore for the future. I’ll start with movie related news. Why shouldn’t I though? Last week was a HUGE week for movie news, and I plan to comply with a post covering it.

Before I get to that, I still have a Frozen related post I will try to get to soon. My goal is to make it before the release of Big Hero 6 in November. Let’s just say it’s best that way.

While we’re on the topic of Disney, Marvel dropped something quite massive last week. I will do my best to cover something related to the news surrounding Captain America 3 and Iron Man. I’ve been meaning for the longest to talk about Avengers on this blog anyway.

On the flip-side, DC also had a good serving of announcements slightly after. I’m not quite sure what I want to do with that, but we’ll see if it comes up here sometime (no promises).

Which leads us to something else announced by Warner after their DC bombshell. I have a working draft in order to discuss the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I’ll try to get that up on Monday.

Any other movie related posts can be expected at other points of this and next week. You’ll notice a good amount of movie posts coming as I get past the TV related topics… Speaking of which.

This week will have probably 2 TV related posts as I promised weeks ago. My remaining TV show impressions are with Gotham, Selfie, Once Upon a Time, Red vs. Blue’s finale, and Supernatural. This week I’ll probably do Selfie and Once Upon a Time.

Keep in mind I probably have to make those next week because of the movie related posts. Besides, I think it’s best to wait for the fifth episode of each show.

RvB I am very late to the party for, but I might have a decent compromise. I’ll get that done as soon as I can.

And now for video game related posts. Like last week, not much is planned. But there are 2 specifics I can discuss with you.

The past couple of weeks have been discussing this whole “No Parity” thing. I initially didn’t plan to cover the parity thing, but there’s a much deeper point brought up by this issue. I’ll elaborate later. It will discuss what the graphical capabilities can mean for the 8th generation and probably the 9th generation. If anyone watches ReviewTechUSA, you may know what I’ll be talking about.

Lastly I have another installment of 7th Gen In-Review to make. I would like to announce that it will cover Indie games. expect that in the next couple of weeks.

There will be other game related content on this blog in the future. This is just what I have planned.

That’s all I have for now. Thank you all for your continued support, and welcome to any new followers I have. It’s been another great week here, and I hope you enjoy what’s coming.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

My Top 5 Favorite Movies (500 View Special)

For almost a century, the motion picture has become a powerhouse of the entertainment industry. For all, a movie is an extremely popular and respected form of art. For some, watching a movie is a fun little pastime. For others, a film is an experience. For others still, its an activity they do every so often to pass the time. For me, it’s much more.

People watch their first movie in near instants after we exit the hospital from birth. What starts out as an enigma in a big black box that we can stare into would become a go-to activity for me. In my family, gathering around and watching a movie is our version of family bonding time. It’s always common to see movies where we are. Hell, we have 3 large bookshelves filled to the brim with DVD’s, Blu-Rays and VHS’s. It’s never exactly been just a hobby with us or for me. It’s the glue that brings us together. That’s why I have such a passion for film and owe a lot to the artform.

I’ve seen a lot of movies in my time. So many films of so many genres, eras, and qualities. And that’s why I want to count down my personal top 5 favorite films of all-time. This will be in commemoration of my 500th view which occurred Sunday afternoon. This will be a hard list to make, but I’ll try. So sit back and enjoy as I list them off. Continue reading My Top 5 Favorite Movies (500 View Special)

My Quick Thoughts: The Big Bang Theory Season 8 (First 5 Episodes)

Oh the wonderful season of Fall, how I love thee! It has all the good stuff in it: The beautiful colors of nature, the two most fattening holidays of the year, the refreshing cool breeze. Unfortunately, I’m too old for trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving is more than a month away, and Florida has a restraining order against all signs of Fall in terms of weather and nature. (The Florida version of Fall is the same as all the other seasons: Summer). So what am I left with? TV shows of course!

The Fall season is when the big summer premium shows quiet down, and when the sitcoms and regular cable shows come out from hibernation. If you like TV and were twiddling you remote-flicking thumbs all summer, you’re bound to have something to watch now.

It turns out that I have quite the bevy of TV shows on my plate this year. There’s a lot of ground to cover in so little time, so let’s get crap started. The first show we are covering is Big Bang Theory!

I can definitely say that a couple of my predictions were a tad off so far, but no matter. My favorite sitcom is back in my life now, and I like it well enough so far. I’ll admit that they aren’t the funniest episodes the past couple of weeks, but Big Bang will always give me a smile or two no matter what.

The naysayers who were just months ago predicting that Sheldon was gone this season have already digested their words, so no need to say I told you so. I’ll admit that I wish they would’ve done something more creative with Sheldon’s return, but you can’t stray too far from the formula I guess. Everything is just business as always.

In fact, not much has changed at all. I thought this was going to be this dramatically changed season considering all the stuff we were left with back in May. Leonard and Penny’s wedding has been mentioned just in passing so far, and I thought that was going to be the big thing this season. There really is no “big thing” this season. I guess it’s for the best, though.

I do like this one new subplot involving Penny as a pharmaceutical assistant at Bernadette’s firm. I can see some great jokes coming from that. So far Bernadette is giving the impression of the little ball of sunshine that can and will blow up if set to.

I was getting worried about the Raj and Emily plot for a second. She finally made her appearance in episode 4, and I’m glad they did. It’s a shame that it looks like Emily and Penny aren’t getting along, and that probably means that Emily may be gone this season. Hopefully that’s not the case. Emily’s character hasn’t been entirely explored yet, but if they expand a bit on her, this whole Penny vs Emily thing could work for some decent comedy, especially with Raj in the middle.

The one story arc I was kinda right on was Stewart. He is becoming a bit more primary as a character, and I’m all for that. I didn’t expect the confrontation between him and Howard, but that works, too. It’s a great dilemma. Stewart gets along with Howard’s mom and tends to overstep his bounds. Howard is still a mama’s boy and gets jealous. That may have some of the funniest material this season.

I wish they kept going with the Sheldon teaching Howard physics thing. That episode was actually the funniest this season in my opinion. It would’ve been awesome, but who knows if it’ll find its way back.

Episode 5 so far is the only episode to stray from the central plot. I found that episode to also be one of the funnier this season. I liked how the guys try to make the next big thing and get constantly pulled into things like Back to the Future 2. I also like the role reversal with the girls, putting Penny in the position of the nerd with Amy and Bernadette as the wild party girls. It was probably the funniest this season.

It may sound like I’m undermining the main story. I don’t intend to do that. I do like the storylines being presented so far. Like I said, there is potential in the new subplots. If they can play the rivalries being set in the correct manner, we can have some of that hillarious character interaction that I always praise the show for doing so well. The only remaining subplot from Season 7 is the wedding. However, I still believe that this will be the main element of the season. With that said, they’ll have plenty of time to expand on that arc.

Really this season is starting off kind of slow, but I feel it’s just trying to build up. You have to set the pieces before you can play a mean game, and I believe that episode 5 was the start of that game. I look forward to seeing how everything will play out. They can go anywhere they want to at this point. So, let’s hop aboard this train and never forget to observe the stations. I think Sheldon would approve of that plan.


One show down, and several more to go. Expect a good bunch of television-related content from me the next couple of weeks. The shows I plan to cover in the future are: Selfie, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, Gotham, and Red vs Blue (finale). Stay tuned for those.

To my fellow Big Bang Theory fans, what are your thoughts on Season 8 so far? What’s your favorite episode of the season so far? What are your predictions for this season? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you.

For more Big Bang Theory content, you can check out my Season 8 Predictions from a while back, and my Top 5 Big Bang Theory episodes!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Weekly Update (10/12/14): TV Shows, Dogs, and Whatnot

Greetings peeps!

What a glorious day we are having right now! I hope everyone is having a great Sunday, and I hope you all had a great week. My week was pretty good. Academically speaking, I am technically 2 % away from having straight A’s. All I have to do is kick some major butt on Tuesday with these 2 tests and try not to screw up the A’s I already have. This is the last week of the first quarter, so this is my last chance. Also, I just filled out my first college application yesterday.

As far as everything else, it’s been a pretty odd week. This week we have been dealing with my puppy going through her… um, cycle. So, Thursday we brought her to get that problem… um, fixed. It went well. To keep her from pulling apart the stitches on her… um, dorsal area, we have her wearing a neck cone. We also have her in a diaper for “I think you know why” reasons. And hilarity and difficulty ensues. We get the stitches checked in about a week, and it will all be over. In other news, I purchased my cap and gown and got a whole bunch of merchandise with it in the mail yesterday.

That’s the more interesting part of my week. Anyway, let’s talk the blog.

Last week was fairly standard in terms of production of posts. 3 posts is the usual standard for a week. This week I have a good amount planned, especially in terms of TV shows.

Last week, I made the decision to gather all of the TV shows I picked up from the past couple of weeks. That was a good idea only until I saw that one TV show was already near 1,000 characters. To give you perspective, I have 6 shows to talk about give or take a few. So it’s best to go about it individually, as planned. This works out as each show approaches the 5 episode range. So this week, expect a decent amount of TV related content. However, in order to maintain a decent pace, I will try to cover 2 shows per week.

This week, expect a Big Bang Theory post for absolute certain. Just one more revision to account for Monday’s episode, and we’ll be golden. Next I will cover the season 12 finale of Red vs Blue.

The other shows of which may or may not be covered include Once Upon a Time, Gotham, The Voice, Supernatural, and Selfie. I want to give these shows at least one more week so I can give a more detailed post for each show. The only one that could end up being pushed back further is Supernatural so that I can get 3 episodes represented. The only one that flat-out might not happen is The Voice since there’s not much to discuss. Either way, there’s plenty of TV show coverage coming.

Just to go one step further into the topic of TV shows, I have finally seen a show I’ve been curious about for a long time: Doctor Who. I started with the first season of the new series with who I believe is the 8th doctor (don’t quote me). I might talk about my experience with the show somewhere down the road, and I think I know of a way how. I’ll keep you posted.

As for movies, I have a couple plans in terms of movie related content. There’s the Frozen post that I still have as a draft. There’s a couple more Disney related things I want to do. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers still has some news in the making. There’s a more general topic of film that I’ve been considering for a while now. That will probably be really soon. I also want to cover something related to Harry Potter. And there are several review ideas that are on movies (probably not Annabelle).

But we still have one other aspect to consider. I’m getting close to another milestone. Some of you know what that means. That means I will be making a Top “X-number” list to commemorate what will be 500 views. I believe it will be my Top 5 favorite movies. That could change because that’s a hard list to make.

As for gaming, nothing in particular is planned right now. You see, unlike the other 2 topics I cover, gaming is something I can write very impromptu. Basically, whatever happens to come up in the near future, I’ll sit down and cook something up for you guys.

However, I will promise you guys that 7th Gen In-Review will be continuing. Once I have the results of the poll found in Part 1, I will start Part 2. There is just one more topic on Super Smash Bros I want to cover before the Wii U game comes out on November 21, and that is on the potential of DLC characters. And I want to start covering a little more of Microsoft and Sony related topics since I’ve been mainly focusing on Nintendo for a while. All of this and more will be coming.

One last thing to note, The Ranting SBox will begin to have a few design changes in the coming weeks, which include a brand new logo I will be adding with a potential banner. Just a heads up.

That’s it for me. Thank you all for sticking with me through another successful week. Please don’t stop being awesome, and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. Thank you for supporting my hobby.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

7th Gen in Review: Part 1 | Generation of DLC

Was the 7th generation of gaming the “Generation of DLC”?

Welcome to Part 1 of my new segment. Here, we will discuss and analyze the many aspects of what is now the previous generation of video game consoles. The goal is to find out what will this generation be remembered for most. Today’s topic involves what might be the 3 most hated letters among some gamers: DLC.

Now, DLC (Downloadable Content) was technically not introduced in the 7th generation- at least not in the nature we know of it today. The act of adding content to an already released game, while not commonplace and extremely difficult to pull off, goes all the way back to the Atari 2600 with their GameLine service. DLC was also part of several personal computers, phones, and consoles including the Genesis, Dreamcast, and Xbox. Then there was the Xbox 360.

Downloadable content in its most modern form was born and popularized by the 3 consoles of the mid 2000’s. It soon became commonplace to buy extra skins, avatars, characters, modes, upgrades, etc. Or you could buy entire games in digital form (which I will cover another time). This push was brought about by services like the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network as a way to tout their new online capabilities and ease developer struggles.

It was a novel idea. Perhaps it was one of the most important byproducts of the 7th gen. It’s main purpose is to allow developers the means to add new features that could have not met time constraints or were thought about after release. This allows games to be released much faster and for the consumer to get more content on their game. What made DLC such a gray area was the way some developers started using this tool.

Suddenly, developers thought of ways to gain more profit with these means. You suddenly had developers charging for any single thing they could get away with passing off as DLC. Content that was planned from the start was held back from the initial launch in order to make a quick buck. That means you’ll be forced to pay for content that is most times already on the disc to begin with. This gives the concept of DLC a bad name in to some gamers.

Debate aside, DLC as a concept became mainstream by these systems and would become a heavily used asset for both its good and bad qualities. This would be carried into the 8th generation consoles with little to no changes made.

So could we go as far as to say this generation will be most remembered for DLC? Can this epitomize the entire generation?

I would say no. DLC was certainly an important part of it, but I doubt that this is the very epitome of the generation.

I believe that DLC has certainly changed the industry as well as the gamers’ perspective of it. The way that games are developed, the condition of which some games are produced, the financial shift brought about, and the impression it makes on companies who utilize it in certain ways have definitely changed because of DLC.

It’s very hard to say if it has exactly benefited the industry more than it has also caused a stir. It really depends on what individual consumers are willing to spend their money on. I personally don’t bother too much with DLC unless it’s something I deem worthwhile, but to each its own. The kind of gamers that buy all of the alternate costumes and the expansion packs are still in good numbers. That means DLC isn’t going anywhere and may be the permanent standard for the industry.

However, the main reason I say this is not what defines the seventh gen is because it technically isn’t a new thing. It’s because of this time period that it has become commonplace, but it’s been around long enough to not be considered new. This generation more popularized the practice by easing the use of it.

You can’t deny that DLC was a game-changer, but it’s not what made it special. There were much bigger changes, more controversial topics, and more newly made features that were probably more vital than this.


 

And that, my friends, is the first installment of 7th Gen In-Review. Thank you all for your patience with this series. I know it’s been a long wait. Keep in mind this series is in its developmental stages, and may change depending on the topic I cover.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you agree with my statement? Was DLC one of the things that made this generation stand-out most? And when do you commonly use DLC in your games? Let me know in the comments and we can discuss it together.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I cover another aspect of the 7th generation? To make things more interesting, I want you to decide what I cover next. I have 4 options below. Whichever you decide will be the next topic.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBR First Impressions: PlayStation 4

Monday afternoon I come home from a pretty good day at school. I’m getting my haircut, and my dad steps out to pick up my little brother. After I’m done my dad comes back with my mom and picks me and my other little brother up. Randomly, they tell me if I want to get the PS4 now. They told me that since I’ve been saving up for so long that they would just pay it off for me. And so we went, and I come home with a brand new PlayStation 4 console and a copy of Infamous Second Son.

So, it’s been almost a week and I have been playing the crap out of the system. I thought I would give you guys my first impressions on the console from what I’ve experienced so far. Keep in mind that this won’t cover everything about the system. The point of a First Impressions review is that it’s not as in-depth as a regular SBR.

Anyway, my PS4 experience is pretty positive so far. While I’ll argue that there isn’t much change from the PS3 to 4, it’s still a good piece of hardware.

Ecstatic-wise the console is pretty much a rhombus with 2 flat sides for if you choose to place the console upright. I have the system lying horizontally in the middle of my console shelf. Surprisingly it isn’t as heavy as I thought. I’d argue that my 160 GB PS3 is heavier than the PS4. It’s easy enough to hook up, requiring no more than a source of power and HDMI.

As far as the deign, the only complaint I have is with power button. Before I turned the system on, I hadn’t the slightest idea where it was. The power button is actually found where the plastic shell meets the gloss finish at the mid-left of the machine. It’s a thin, straight line with the world’s smallest power symbol. It’s so small it’s hard to see at first. When you find it, it works fine enough, but the only other nitpick is that it’s not too easy to turn off without using the controller. You have to press and hold the button to turn it off completely, otherwise it’s on stand-by mode and emits a yellow light. Doing this also causes you to get prints on the glossed area.

Again, just an irrelevant nitpick, but I feel it should be stated.

Once you turn it on, it asks you to connect your controller via the provided USB charger and begin the set-up process. Set-up is actually impressively quick. Earlier this year I had to set-up my Wii U which took a good time longer to set-up in comparison. As of this post date, the system update is extremely fast- lasting no longer than 10 minutes. It may become longer as the PS4 gets older, but for the time being its relatively fast.

At last we reach the main interface of the system. The layout looks nice and organized. I’m sure everyone knows how it looks like by now, but it strays a bit from the PS3 and PSP’s interface by utilizing 2 lines: one for your apps/activities and one for your system/profile options. You couldn’t get anymore user friendly if you tried.

You’ll notice that everything runs fast and near instantaneous. I especially noticed this when going to the PS Store and then going back to the menu. The PS3 would’ve taken upwards of a minute trying to launch and load the PS Store, but with PS4 you’re there in a heartbeat.

I will admit that launching and running games could be a bit faster, but I shouldn’t say that too soon since I need at least one more game to confirm that there is an issue.

An additional feature of the PS4 was its built-in gameplay capture device. This allows you to upload pictures and gameplay footage to the web at your desire. There is also an editing tool for your recorded gameplay. You can even broadcast gameplay which can be seen on Sony’s personal hub. It even includes quick broadcasting to various services like Twitch. All these things are done easily by pressing the “Share” button on the controller. It’s a great feature to have and I’m very excited to try this out… unfortunately I can’t.

As of right now, the PS4 will not allow me to demonstrate or try this feature because my main PSN account is a sub account. Regardless of whether you access the master account and set the sub account to allow this feature, a bug in the PS4 will stubbornly insist that the sub account not be able to Share anything at all. And no, you cannot change the date of birth on the sub account to work around that rule; at least I don’t know of a way. Hopefully this will be fixed soon so I can give it a try. However, I turn 18 in March, so I guess it won’t be my problem for very long.

If anyone knows how to counteract this bug, please let me know.

Then there’s general performance. The game I bought with my PS4 was Infamous: Second Son. It runs incredibly smooth. Seldom do I find any semblance of slow-down. The PS4 is capable of 1080p graphics at 60 FPS, which is the highest modern day setting as of right now (until 4K resolution becomes the new standard). The graphical output is definitely beautiful, though I wouldn’t say it’s that big of a jump from the PS3. Nonetheless it still makes games looks polished and new.

I should mention that I have yet to try out any multiplayer features at this time; neither gameplay nor private chat. So, I can’t exactly cover that yet. I will say that I like how Sony includes a mic and earpiece with the system. I will definitely utilize it when I get the chance.

Lastly, let’s discuss the controller. This is the first time in three console generations that Sony has changed their controller design. As a lifetime fan of PlayStation I was originally saddened by this fact and thought I was going to not like the new controller by comparison. Once I started playing the game, I was singing an all new tune. You’ll get used to the controller in no time flat, even with its new bells and whistles.

The PS4 controller is not all that different from past Sony controllers. Any previous adopter of a PlayStation will be right at home here. The D-Pad, face, and Home buttons remain relatively untouched as is the gyroscope for motion gameplay. The differences are only initially jarring, but eventually seamless.

The analog sticks now have a more defined nub which I actually find more comfortable. The triggers have only seen a difference in the R2/L2 triggers. They are similar to the Xbox’s LT/RT counterparts, but maintain the same width and bulk of a PlayStation controller. The handles have also seen an improvement with new rubber grips. This not only makes it easier to handle but is sweat resistant. No more stick gamepads!

Now to address the elephants in the room. The signature select and start buttons are now gone. In its place are 2 new buttons and a (approximately) 1×3 inch touchpad. I have already discussed the Share button which I can’t fully utilize for the next few months. The Options button acts as the start and select button and does that well. The touchpad may be the one thing you’ll have to get used to when first using the controller, but you’ll get the hang of it. It’s accurate enough and responds to touch extremely well. You can also press in the touch pad so that it can act as an extra button. Lastly you have a big, blue LED light emitting at the base. This is the point sensor similar to the Wii-mote. It also works really well in recognizing position.

Overall, it is a very good controller. I quite like it and thought I wouldn’t like it as much as I did. It fits the hands nicely, takes quick to familiarize with, and functions well. Even the new features work really well. Whether I would prefer the controller to the PS1, 2, and 3 controller I can’t yet say. If your skeptical, rest assured that it looks crazier than it actually is.

In closing, I quite like the system so far. It’s designed well, runs fast whether your streaming, playing, or shopping. There’s no noise issues, no major obstacles, and no technical issues. It does the job it has to do very well: play games. I’m impressed with the machine so far and hope to continue having fun with it in the future.

As far as recommendations, take a look at the game library and decide if there are enough games to suffice your game fix. When you reach a point where there is enough to last you a while, then pick up the system. It is certainly something you should pick up eventually.


And those are my early impressions of the PlayStation 4. To my fellow PS4 users, what are your thoughts on the PS4? And what games are you looking forward to most? Mine is Uncharted 4.

Also, feel free to drop your PSN name in the comments so I can add you. I have a PS3, too, so feel free to add me whether you have either system. My username is SBox180.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

The geeky word of SBox180 | Gaming, Movies, Reviews and more…

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