Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Stupid Marvel Cartoon Project: Iron Man Armored Adventures

That theme song? Right above this text? That’s a bad theme song. A very bad theme song. A bad theme dong that describes a premise. A very bad premise. Teen Iron Man, balancing school with superheroics, fighting a teen Mandarin who secretly goes to his school! By the end of the song my expectations could not be lower. And after 52 episodes, this is easily my favorite cartoon since I started this stupid project.

Monday, July 26, 2021

The Stupid Marvel Cartoon Project: Fantastic Four


Specifically, “Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes”, a 2006 cartoon that ran 26 episodes, features a mix of 2D animation and CGI, with heavy anime influence on the character designs that oh also is very bad.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Stupid Marvel Cartoon Project: Backlog

 We all did some weird shit during First Quarantine. I could have made myself a sourdough starter like everyone else, but no. I decided that I’d watch all the Marvel cartoons on Disney+ in chronological order. Why ? No idea. How? Somewhat organically - if I was into it I’d watch it faster and if I wasn’t into it I’d bog down and wait until I was bored or making myself push through.

Since I started, I’ve gotten from 1979 to 2006, and I have 28 titles to go. I most recently finished the 2006 Fantastic Four, which’ll get it’s own post, but here’s a quick summary of what else I’ve watched so far:

Friday, July 16, 2021

XBox Series X: One Week In


So, yeah. One week in to owning an XBox Series X, and in a completely unshocking outcome, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I’ll be comparing it to my months-old Playstation 5, which may  not be fair, but is inevitable.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The XBox Game Pass Chronicles Volume 2: Multiplayer

 With the pandemic in pause mode for a bit longer here in Minnesota, all my rowdy vaxxed friends come by every few weeks or so for some in-person local multiplayer. And so the Local Multiplayer section of Game Pass was thoroughly explored, with mixed results.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Ratchet And Clank: Rift Apart (PS5)

In 2003, Insomniac Games did something that would affect my gaming life for two decades.

I’d played and really liked the original Ratchet And Clank for PS2, but in 2003 they released the sequel, Going Commando. Going Commando introduced light RPG elements to the game series. Killing enemies earned you experience, experience earned you levels, levels earned you health. But most importantly, if you ran either a battle or a platforming section of the game and died, for whatever reason, the XP you earned was still earned when you popped back to your checkpoint.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

XCloud Game Streaming

 While I wait two more days to pick up my XBox Series X, I’ve been playing games on XCloud, Microsoft’s streaming service, currently in beta form on devices and browsers I own.

How is it? It’s… fine? It’s useful and functional, but not spectacular.

For reference, I’m running it in Safari, on a 2020 Macbook Pro, on a 24” LG 4K monitor, with my less-than-completely-reliable Xfinity internet connection, all wired. And it works like 95% of the time. 

About once every couple minutes, it stutters for like 5-10 seconds, then it catches up and is fine for another few minutes Maybe it’s my internet, maybe it’s them, no way to know.. I also don’t know what resolution it’s running at because as far as I can tell it refuses to say. I know it’s not HDR, though. But it’s fine. 

Control-wise, it works great with a spare PS4 controller connected to the Macbook. Reasonably stable, though I did run into a bug where the slot machines in Yakuza: Like A Dragon refuse to load, period. 

Is it an ideal way to game? Nope. But at least, unlike Google Stadia, Microsoft is pitching XCloud properly - as a backup / alternative to play a subset of your XBox Game Pass games when you can’t play them as intended. 

I’m told, and will confirm soon, that game progress is shared between the streamed and installed version of the game, so as long as the game experience isn’t too dependent on resolution or a rock-solid constant frame rate, you can pop back and forth as your schedule/household permits and squeeze a bit more game time into a busy lifestyle, and if you identify with the name of this place, you know exactly how worthwhile that is.