Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Geek Rant Previews: What I'm Not Posting Yet

Namco's "No Export For You"

I am sad now.

Namco is a Japanese video game company that used to be known for creating Pac-Man. It is now known this video game series known as the Tales series or as some call it, the Tales Of series. A series of games that have nothing to do with each other except the main protagonist is a teenage male who uses a sword among other things. Basically the games have similar themes and elements but are not sequels or reboots or anything. The story of all the games is usually long detailed and in some cases, complicated but known for being very good.

In addition to the complex and interesting stories, the Tales series was known for it's lovable, unique, and well developed characters, good and bad. It also has a unique battle system that many JRPGs could benefit from. You see, in most normal JPRGs, when you walk around in a dungeon or the overworld (the area you walk in between towns and cities), you get randomly assaulted by a monster for you to fight. The most obvious and well known example of this system is Pokemon. Now many people in the west dislike the random encounter system. It's preferred to be bale to see your enemy, strategize, strike as appropriate, or at least be able to get to town safely if you're too weak.

Namco's Tales series remedied this in their more recent games with a system where in the overworld, there are icons that represent enemies. If you touch them, then the fight starts. sometimes they chase you, but basically you can see them and decrease your chances of having to fight and you can fight only when you want to.

Another great part of the Tales series actual battle system was that it was active. You could actually move and maneuver your characters and attack in real time and strategize in real time. This in contrast to more static and traditional Japanese role playing games that have a turn based combat system where you open a menus choose and action and watch the constant back and forth. Fun for some but not for all.

Now, with an active battle system and engaging storyline, the Tales series is very much loved on both sides of the ocean. However, there has been a cold chill in the air and I fear the economic downturn, as well as the general reception or JRPGS, are to blame.


The Green Lantern

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

Many geeks know who or what a Green Lantern is. And if you're one of my non geek readers then know this, its not actually and 100% literally a lantern that happens to be the color green and its some sort of meme. If one were to say someone ad powers like a Green lantern they should be ci8ing a certain versatility or external power source. If one were to note one had a stupid weakness like Green Lantern they would be citing a now outdated but stupid weakness to a common object. These things are given, but if you, my reader, are not your average geek, you most likely have absolutely no idea who or what I'm talking about. But this is the internet so that's unlikely, but because I try to keep the barriers open here as usual, I will address you my reader as though you are both one or the other.

When I first learned that Green Lantern might not actually be well known, I thought it odd. You see, GL is put on a similar iconic level as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Someone who rounds out that power set along with The Flash, Aquaman, and Palastic Man. But I'm willing to bet if you asked your average shmuck on the street, you'd find they are more familiar with The Flash or Aquaman than they are of Green lantern.

Now before I go into the reasons why Green lantern should be known better an dwhy the Green lantern is not known better, I deem it best for me to do a little informal and informative exposition. Why? Because it'll be easier on you than reading Wikipedia and easier to come by than the general info sites.

Now, to begin, when people refer to Green Lantern, they usually are referring to the Green Lantern Corp, an intergalactic police force in the DC comics universe. the first ever green Lantern from the comic book Golden Age was a man named Alan Scott whose origins and powers were magic in nature and while the bear similarities to the powers of the modern Green Lantern, they differ in limitations and and power source. the GL Corp as we know them today were introduced during some Silver-age of comics character reboot that gave us versions of superheroes closer to what we're familiar with today such as the change from the original Flash Jay Garrick and Green Lantern Alan Scott...

The Old, The New, And The Left Behind

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

I've come to the conclusion that geekdom is a freaky amalgam of pop culture and nostalgia. On the one hand there is a lot of worship for old things a la Thindercats, the Mario Games, and Star Trek and yet at the exact same time the needs to keep up with new things relevent to our general itnerests in vital. While this can be the same for many things, This is about "geek culture" not everything else so nya.

Allow me to elaborate

The Old

Nostalgia plays an enormous part in the geek identity it's amazing really. I mean a huge part of it is all about never letting go of our childhood after we've grown up, whether it's our old favorite cartoons to games. And then we try to put some sort of adult-like or grown up spin on it, looking deeper than necessary, analyzing and elaborating and expanding. Obsessively re-watching or replaying things in order to mark down each individual detail to sometimes try to construct the universe we've been given.Or perhaps an attachment for characters whose arcs have long since concluded, whether or not their arcs were resolved.

TV Tropes

Seriously, what's wrong with that place?

I honestly haven't a clue because I love it.

But in all seriousness, this place is loved and hated for many a reason and as a person whose style was inspired by the website, I figured I would explore this entity known as TV Tropes.

Now, for those who aren't in the know, TvTropes is a website dedicated to identifying and giving a name to the various tools and conventions we see and expect in media. It's not really inventing, the website basically finds things that are already there, give them a name and a humorous description followed by a list of examples. The website also has many works pages which list examples of tropes they demonstrate and...

Oh, right, forgot to write the definition of "Trope" since it's not exactly a common word these days. A "Trope" is a figure of speech or or something recurring across a genre or type of creative work. So I guess the site invents figures of speeches for things that recur across genres or creative works. Ha ha, two for two!

Anyhow, so yeah, it's a simple, fun, and casual website that's all about media. obviously the people interested in this are geeks who really love their media. The website started with just television tropes due to their origins with Buffy The Vampire Slayer fans but obviously things have expanded. We never bothered to changed the name of the place because by the time the members of the site even considered the name Media Tropes it was a little too late.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

When All Else Fails: Just The Stats 01

So from when I started this crazy thing to.... Friday, March 25, 2011....

Geek Rant 11: The Fairer Geek: 458 Page views which I attribute heavily to the help of Wundergeek's Go Make me a Sandwich blog about sexist depictions of women in Video Games and Video Game advertising. It' s hilariously awesome

Geek Rant Topic 06: JRPGs: 308 Page views, interesting, probably because I pimped it out at The Escapist as well as TvTropes forums and let's face it, it's a slightly hot and divisive topic. I must revist it at some point.

Geek Rant Topic 09: The Last Airbender: 259 Page views because it was a recent topic and let's face it, everyone who cared for the original cartoon wanted as much affirmation for their rage at that horrid movie as possible

Geek Rant Topic 03: Hardcore Gamers or "No True Gamer": 209 Page Views because... I honestly don't know, perhaps nobody wants to read the truth about themselves or because I didn't know at the time that the term I was looking for was actually "Fratcore" Gamer

Geek Rant Topic 07: One Manga: 157 Page Views becuase really, it's about a virtually dead site, nobody was going to see this, especially since it was in semi-defense of it's illegal existence.

Geek Rant Topic 02: Furry Hate: 145 Page views becuase nobody wants to look like a jerk for hating agroup of people who don't desrve it. Why would anybody want to look at a list of their flaws nad lose their reason to needlessly hate people?

Geek Rant Topic 05: Nerd or Geek: 111 Page Views, becuase really? Who cares besides me and my insanity? I need to do a followup ayway due to newly acquiredperspectives on the terms.

Geek Rant 10: Geeky Men Are Not Men: 88 Page views becuase really? Even I didn't like this one too much.

Geek Rant Topic 04: To Most Furries: 76 Page Views becuase Furries want to see their flaws even less than their haters it seems. It's a shame, I wanted this one to be more widespread.

Geek Rant Topic 08: The Water Level: 70 Page Views. Oh well, It was mostly filler anyway.


This is just odd. The keywords to find this.

thatonerantinggeek, 13, which may have been me getting to my blog without having to actually type the url.

that one ranting geek and both have four. I think... smae as above maybe?

furry hate only has 2.

hsooter game has 2 becuase one of my typos makes all the difference it seems.

mousa the 14, 6. I uh.... I don't know either. I mean, who remembers that name? I mean, I don't google myself, that's just silly.

www.all cartoon nakid lades games 2..... WHAT! WHAT? WHAAAAAAAT!?

архитектура final fantasy, 2... I... I honestly have no idea.

rant topic, 2. Makes sense I geuss.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Geek Rant Topic 14: The Gamer Chick

When All Else Fails, you call Mousa the 14, that one ranting geek.

When people are misinterpreting feminism they misinterpret hard. Just a quick thing I wanted go over. Especially in webcomics, there is the idea that your typically sausage-fest cast you need to have a female character. Besides the usual cliches, you have the hyper component woman who is better than the guys at their particular interest and tend to be some sort of "Strong Female Character". Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Thank you K-Bo.

Now where was ..... Ah yes:

Hey, webcomic makers,-no, ya know what? Writers in general: YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

The name of the game is Equality!

I get what you're trying to do, the whole "Don't make women look bad" by making them look good so you don't look like misogynist chauvinist pigs. You're doin' it wrong.

Positive discrimination is still discrimination, creating a whole other "Us" versus "Them" thing we don't need. You can make your girl who can "Ass-pwn some newbs in Gears of Duty" or whatever but do it in reasonable amounts. Not the flat bitch that can kick butts up down and sideways from New Amsterdam to Constantinople, but perhaps, I dunno, a person, a character, maybe with a personality trait or two doesn't involve being a wish fulfillment love interest, the Minesotta Fats, the wish fulfillment sex object, or the heartless witch that portrays what you think feminism is actually like (misandry or lesbianism optional of course).

Here's a formula: Guys and gals all win and lose just exactly the same, no one is better or worse based on any gender divide, but based on the character's history or skill from their backstory. You know, make them people.

You're not good writers? Then why do your dudes seem to have one half of a dimension more than your gals? Here, use this and this and this, or this, or you know what? Just all of this. I can wait, go on, take a read, find stuff on women, girls, webcomics, learn what you're doing wrong and get back to me and give me your excuse.

Are Men and Women different? Yessiree! Does this mean you have to skimp out on their character because you don't know their perspective? Hell no! You practically invent your own perspective in your story, you can make women just as varied and unique as your dudes are without making them overly competent or under competent. Average never hurt anybody. Sure there will be the idiots in the outer fringes of Feminism for you DARING to give a woman flaws, but you know what? Screw dat! Make characters. I would say it's not that hard, but it actually is. It's not hard for me but for most people who aren't insane and eccentric and out of their minds obsessive like me; try, learn, read a book perhaps, because you most certainly don't get your female characters that are both strong and flawed from video games. Except maybe Chrono Trigger. Or Tales of Symphonia...

Ya know what? Just go pick up a non-Square Enix Japanese RPG and get back to me. I think the country that has more issues with feminism than we do might be on to something.


-Good Bye, Good Luck, and Imagination Is Your Greatest Power
Mousa the 14

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Random Musing: The Japanese Scare Me a Little

So I listen to nothing but NPR on the radio and was listening to a reporter talk about a shelter in Nihon after all this earthquake+tsunami+Potential Nuclear Fallout deal (Dear God I feel sorry for these people, I mean a natural disaster triple threat? We may as well have hurled another one of our nukes over these and gotten the exact same effect!).

As I was reading The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya I heard something that can only be described as either efficient and reasonable or damn right creepy:

So the reporter was talking about how the people in the shelter were. The shelter was quiet, the people were patient and uncomplaining, and when someone came with food there was no riot and no mad rush. And without instruction, they simply lined up in single file to retreive the food.

This sounds beautiful and shows people being reasonable in times of adversity and seems like the approach to a perfect world. But it was also flipping creepy! I mean it seems a little... not human. I mean seems more like evidence that the people of Nihon are or trying to be a race of robots that scheme to destroy us all with the power of cute. I mean, last I checked humans are less inclined to such behavior to due selfishness and other associated self-preservation measures. I wonder if it's simply the highly conformist society the Japanese are. Would make sense. Still needs to be added to my list of things about Nihon that creep me out along with their thing for Lolis.

Note: I am neither weeaboo nor one of those Nihon haters. I like and dislike different things.

P.S. Think any of our favorite Manga writers have been negatively affected? I mean I assumed so and I guess when you read media from a small archipelago nation that just had major disasters, you have to wonder if your favorite authors are doing okay. You just have to look at the casualty numbers and wonder "Will I ever see the conclusion of One Piece?" That sounds utterly insensitive, but I doubt the first thing on people's minds when they think "Natural disaster in Nihon" is "Oh noes! Tha poor writer! His house! Her family! etc, etc, yadda, yadda". I'm probably wrong and probably write, just noting that we're all only human.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Random Musing: The Last Airbender Movie Update

I saw The Last Airbender a few months back, and my friend was wondering if I should update my previous entry based on it.

I didn't need to, everything I said in my blog was only confirmed by watching the movie, I just d a few things to add:

  1. General Zhao's actor was hammy hilarious! Hooray unintentional humor!
  2. The Movie was boring and it was difficult to stay awake for even with Rifftrax.
  3. The Last battle scene was pretty good, but I hated the use of slo-mo. It should've moved faster.
  4. Characterization? What Characterization? The actors were so wooden I could use them as kindling.