Sunday, October 29, 2017

Super Mario Odyssey

That’s some fuckin’ art design right there.

I am only sort of kind of a Mario guy.

I wasn’t into Nintendo during the golden age of the NES and SNES. I did hanve an N65, but don’t think I really played much Mario 64 on it. I had Mario Sunshine on the GameCube because it was obligatory, but never got hugely into it.

Then Super Mario Galaxy came out for the Wii, and I ate that shit UP. Just obsessed over it. Love everything about it to this day - the 3D gameplay, the level design, and most importantly, the way the game handled difficulty. The main mode provided a nice, light difficulty level. And then there were optional challenges that ramped the difficulty all the way up to holy shit nutballs. So you could beat the game, and do most everything, without being great at it, but if you wanted to do EVERYTHING, you had to develop some skills or devote time or both. I did EVERYTHING.

Mario Galaxy 2 was more of the same, but that was OK, because I loved the same.

Then, on the WiiU, we got the 2D New Super Mario games, and Super mario 3D World, and I liked them fine, but they didn’t do that thing Mario Galaxy did for me, and I don’t think I ever beat either one.

Super Mario Odyssey is way, way better than Super Mario Galaxy.

I’m serious. This game is fucking astonishingly good. It takes everything that was great about Super Mario Galaxy, adds in the open world lessons learned on Breath of the Wild, adds dozens upon dozens of new tricks, and wraps them all up in a package that’s pure, unmitigated joy.

It’s not an open world game in the sense of Zelda, of course. It’s broken up into smaller, themed open worlds that vary in size. I’ve just about wrapped up the second of the non-introductory ones, and they have that same thing Zelda has where you aren’t punished for exploration. Go off in a direction, you’ll find something. Play around. Experiment. Maybe you’ll die. If you die, you’ll lose ten coins and go back to your last checkpoint. No biggie. Load times are fast enough that you’re not punished that way, either.

All the exploration comes in the service of two collectables - Power Moons are similar to the stars in Mario Galaxy. You need about a third of the available ones in the game to progress. The rest are granted by stumbling across or seeking out challenges to complete or just hidden spots to find. The first two “real” levels I completed had 61 and 51 of these moons respectively, not counting some apparent bonus ones achieved in other ways like secret exits and entrances to the worlds.

There’s a lot to do, but the game makes it relatively easy to do it. You can learn the titles of the challenges for free, two at a time, from a character in each level. Once you’ve cleared the story missions in a world, you can access map markers for challenges either by tapping an Amiibo and doing other stuff for five minutes, or paying 50 coins to a Toad. Between these two things, you can find probably 90% of the callenges on your own. The rest you may need to look up on the Innternet for convenience, just because the levels have a LOT of... well, levels to them. So an X on a 2-D map doesn’t always tell you where to go with any degree of precision. There are also a few thingsthe game doesn’t make 100% clear are among its hundreds of mechanics, like hanging your hat on shit.

I haven’t mentioned the hat yet, even though it’s the primary game mechanic and the whole point of the game. Basically, you use the hat to take over the bodies of enemies and objects to either solve puzzles or give yourself new navigational abilities or both. It’s Tanooki Suit turned up to a billion.

Controls, even the motion ones, are mostly seamless so far. Graphics are fantastic, gameplay is fantastic, everything is fantastic. This is what video games should be.

Arrow: “Next Of Kin”

Few more weeks of this, then
This was fine? Yeah, it was fine.

Weekly Wrasslin’ Wroundup (10/23-25)

Sure, whatever.
Not a super interesting week for wrestling this week, and an even less interesting when it comes to writing about wrestling, for reasons that will be apparent in two posts (or is already apparent by the time you read this). But some stuff happened.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Flash: “Luck Be A Lady”

Hey, THe Flas found some of the marbles it lost.
See, Flash? Is that so fucking hard?

TLC 2017

Thanks, mumps! Don’t get me wrong, diseases are bad and people shouldn’t get them, but there’s no denying replacing Bray Wyatt with AJ Styles improved this show greatly, and replacing Roman Reigns with Kurt Angle made it more interesting. Plus, I’m apparently way more in sync with Raw booking than I am Smackdown booking.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Marvel’s Inhumans: “The First 45 Minutes Of Episode 3”

Fuck this show.

Arrow: “Tribute”

Oooh, so close, Arrow. So close.

The Flash: “Mixed Signals”

Hey, they promised a LIGHTER Flash this season!
Flash is solving the wrong problem. Well, it’s sovling the least important problem.


The Shield’s new entrance gear!
The viral outbreak running wild on the Raw locker room has wreaked havoc on the TLC card, and as a result, I need to adjust a couple predictions accordingly.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Thanks to Wikipedia basing their info on tapings rather than airings, I knew this was gonna happen at some point.
The final minutes of Season 1 of Lucha Underground were one of the greatest things I’d ever seen. A montage of everyone leaving the Temple, rife with possibilities, but also full of mystery, because season 2 wasn’t guaranteed.


If you like tables, ladders, and chairs, one of these eight matches is for you!
TLC is live in two days from just down the road from me in Minneapolis. No, I’m not going. I don’t have “PPV seats good enough for my shitty eyes” money. But I do have predictions, and a need to redeem myself after my horrible Hell in a Cell performance.

Weekly Wrasslin’ Wroundup (10/16-18)

THE DEMON CANE IS BACK... oh shit wrong search term.
TLC is this Sunday, so they put some ladders on the Raw entrance ramp and pretended things were important.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Arrow: “Fallout”

Ah, Arrow. Where would you be without angst? The season premiere basically established everyone’s post-LIan-Yu angst situation. Predictably, the only person who died on the island was William’s mother, paying the ultimate price for having slept with Oliver while not having any useful crimefighting skills.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Open MIke Eagle And His New Album

I spent the first thirteen years of the millennium looking for Mike Eagle without realizing it.

Weekly Wrasslin’ Wroundup (10/9-10-11)

Hey, a week with Events of Actual Significance in WWE. Who’da thunk it.

The Flash: “The Flash Reborn”

That’s how you fix a brain!
I’m not sure how to feel about the season 4 premiere of The Flash. I mean, it was deeply fucking stupid, as per newly established Flash norms, but at the same time, there were lots of flashes of hope for an entertaining season.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Inhumans: “Behold... The Inhumans” / “Those Who Would Destroy Us”

No, really. They showed THIS to people in IMAX. 
This is a surprise to nobody at this point, but Inhumans is hot garbage.

No, wait. That’s not accurate. Think about garbage. Then think of whatever garbage temperature you personally find the most appealing. Inhumans is the opposite temperature of that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hell In A Cell 2017

Woods really shone in this match.

Hell In A Cell broke with WWE pay-per-view tradition by starting well, ending OK, and being mostly shit in the middle. My predictions were awful, but in at least a couple cases, wrong because of exciting new directions for characters who needed them.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


What everyone wants to see. Middle management in a cage.
No Weekly Wrassling Wroundup because the closest thing to an Event of Significance this week was Kalisto joining the Cruiserweights, which is as anticlamctic as you can get. So instead, let’s go straight to the Hell In A Cell predictions.

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs Hype Bro (Kickoff)

Assuming they bother to care, Gable and Benjamin’s story is that of the overenthusiastic fanboy and the cranky older dude, presumably leading to a turn and a breakup. That’s not going to happen here. Gable and Benjamin will just win. Maybe the Hype Bros will break up, because they’ve been teasing that too like anyone gives a shit.

Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler

This is one of those tough to call matches because it depends on whether or not they’re committed to this as a feud going forward or if it’s just a time killer. IN the case of the former, Ziggler wins, the latter, ROode wins. Roode should win here because Ziggler’s new thing is stupid and tedious, but the WWE loves committing to stupid and tedious, so I’ll say Ziggler wins and they do this for at least two more PPVs.

Randy Orton vs Rusev

Having b et on Randy Orton once in 2017, I am legally and ethically prohibited from doing so again, because fuuuuuuuuuck Randeh. Rusev wins and I get this wrong.

WWE United States Championship: Baron Corbin vs AJ Styles (c)

Please. They’re not taking the belt off Styles. He retains, regardless of the match finish.

Hell In A Cell (SmackDown Tag Team Championship): The Usos vs The New Day (c)

This is the end of the current New Day / Usos run, and I don’t see any way the New Day doesn’t come out on to, even though the next logical contenders are Breezango, who are faces.

SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs Natalya (c)

OK, we gave Natty a title run, that’s fine, now ut the belt on Charlotte where it belongs. Charlotte wins.

Hell In A Cell: Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens

Kevin Owens should win, but he stood tall on Smackdown this week and Shane McMahon is Shane McMahon, so McMahon will win and I will be sad.

WWE Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal (c)

Mahal got the upper hand on Nakamura on Smackdown, and it’s long past time for Mahal to go back to the midcard, because he’s shown me nothing as champ that makes me want to see this much of him. Nakamura gets the belt, and hopefully a long run.