Jul 28, 2016

[Videos] LEGO Dimensions Year 2 Trailer

So I realize that as much as I've come to love LEGO Dimensions, I haven't actually written much about the game on this blog for some reason. I guess I've been distracted with my review queue or something. But given my love for the various LEGO games, I think it should have been inevitable that I'd get into this series. I managed to resist the now defunct Disney Infinity but I couldn't stay away from this LEGO game.

For those unfamiliar, LEGO Dimensions is the latest of the physical toy + console game franchises to hit the market after the likes of Skylanders and Disney Infinity. The physical figures are of course LEGO minifigures and vehicles that correspond to what is brought into the game world via the LEGO toy pad. What is rather unique about the game is the sheer number of franchises that have been brought into the game which expands beyond the existing LEGO games released to the market. Thus far the game has involved characters from IP's like The Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, The Wizard of Oz, and Jurassic Park.

The Year 2 trailer reveals the addition of a good  number of existing franchises like Adventure Time, Gremlins, Mission Impossible, and Goonies. At the same time we're finally getting a few existing LEGO properties to join in the fun such as the Harry Potter movies including a big game planned around the upcoming movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Another notable feature of the Year 2 update are Battle Arenas where players can go head-to-head with other LEGO Dimensions players. I expect a lot of play styles like capture the flag or convoluted mission objectives, which should all be a lot of fun.

I'll try to post reviews/discussions of the Year 1 content that has come out. I still have a lot of kits to open up for some fun times - provided I find time to actually play.

Jul 27, 2016

[Movies] Star Trek Beyond (2016)

So I've certainly had my ups and downs with the new Star Trek movies. I was ecstatic after watching the 2009 Star Trek movie but was severely disappointed by the 2013 sequel. So going into this third movie in the series, I didn't know how to feel about things. I wasn't even sure if I was actually excited about it being released.

At the end of the day, I'm still a Trekkie and even basic curiosity is enough to win out thus whether or not I was going to watch the movie was ever a question. I just didn't know how I'd ultimately approach things. I guess you could call my feelings at the time a sort of guarded optimism.

And the end result was, well, rather mixed. For a movie that coincides with the 50th anniversary of the franchise, there were certainly great poignant moments that really dug deep into this jaded Trekkie's heart. And the other times I felt like the proverbial old man trying to get kids off his front yard. And it was interesting how the movie pulled at me in this manner. And I suspect  this may be how I'll feel about any future Star Trek movies to come.

Jul 26, 2016

[Videos] Bravest Warriors and Bee and Puppycat Going Exclusive

So it feels like we've been waiting forever and a day for new seasons of web-based cartoons Bravest Warriors and Bee and Puppycat but a recent announcement from Cartoon Hangover reveals that the new seasons of these shows will becoming as premium content on something called VRV. The streaming service is exclusive to the US so this means that global fans have no way of accessing the show. And this also doesn't necessarily mean that US-based fans are all keen on signing up for a paid service to see a cartoon that we've largely supported freely online.

You can view the full announcement below, but I have to state that I'm feeling very frustrated about all this. I know they still need to make money to help produce cartoons like this, but the distribution deal that they've ended up with is just terrible.

Jul 25, 2016

[Movies] Ghostbusters (2016)

When news of a Ghostbusters reboot movie first hit the internet, I wasn't particularly affected. I did enjoy the original movie and the animated TV series was definitely a part of my childhood as well. But it was never an integral part of my childhood either given I always veered more towards stories of robots and space-based science fiction. So not even the news about having an all-female cast mattered all that much to me in a positive or negative manner.

But my partner Tobie and I were certainly curious enough to want to see it given all the hype and the back and forth internet sniping regarding its inherently feminist message and all that other politically correct silliness. Sure, I had my concerns as well about how certain characters were being crafted and how they'd link to the original characters, but by the end I was just over all this internet argument nonsense and just went to the movie hoping to be entertained.

The end result was totally surprising to both of us and we ended up enjoying this movie a LOT. And I'm totally surprised at how much we ended up enjoying this movie. But no regrets at all and I'm glad we went out to see it.

Jul 22, 2016

[TV] Rick and Morty: Season 2

So I've been sharing a number of Rick and Morty related posts over the past month in line with the growing anticipation for the long-awaited release of the third season of the show. And as is typical of such situations, I realized late that I still hadn't written a review for the second season of the show for one reason or another. Oh well.

My love for Rick and Morty honestly surprised me. It's the sort of show that I thought generally was on the fringes of my interests. But when we finally gave the show, I just got totally sucked in and there was no going back from there.

The show is largely episodic in format and can more or less stand alone. There's some relative degree of overall narrative progression for characters but it's not as strong as what we see in other animated shows like Steven Universe or Adventure Time. And yet the show still has a lot of surprisingly character-focused stories that help push things forward and give you a sense of fulfillment when you see them progress.

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