Tuesday, 10 December 2013

I'm Apollo Justice, and I'm alreet!

"I'm Apollo Justice and I'm fine!" is the new catchphrase of the lawyer Apollo Justice in Phoenix Wright 5 (Dual Destinies). I had been waiting 5 whole years for this game and in that time have been through 3 girlfriends, graduated uni and  lived what has felt like a few regenerations. 

But enough of me! Was it worth the wait? Even including the 2 weeks I had to wait between the release of the main game and the dlc case? Absolutely. Was it better than Trials and Tribulations? (Phoenix Wright 3, by far the best in a brilliant series).  Of course not, that's like saying any Zelda was better than Ocarina of Time (except Majora's Mask which I consider the dark world of OOT therefore the same game). 

But it was amazingly good! 

What made the game so amazing then? The usual things that make the Phoenix Wright series amazing: awesome and varied characters, good designs as ever Capcom, a lot of humour but also a lot of depth and feeling for characters and situations, interesting cases and of course the brilliance of the courtroom dynamic. 

Let's start with characters who stuck out for me first.

Juniper Woods- an old friend of Apollo's and she looks very much like she could be a Studio Ghibli character!

Bobby Fullbright- a copper with the catchphrase In justice we trust!

Simon Blackquill- the new prosecutor and a convict

Athena Cykes- newest member of the Wright Anything Agency, she's a lawyer!
Apollo Justice- returns with a badass new jacket!

Phoenix Wright- it's been a long time, welcome back to law Feenie! And how dapper you look! XD

I can't really go into the depth of the plot or anything because this is a spoiler free blog entry. So now let's get to the cases themselves. As ever the cases in phoenix Wright 5 are varied. We get a courtroom bombing, a village of people who believe in yokai, a legal college drama set in a legal academy, a space station and my personal favourite: an aquarium, where you meet an orca who you have to defend in court! 

So it's a great game, but does it add something new to famed courtroom dynamics the series is known and loved for? Yes! There is the obvious 3d effect which is quite fun. I wouldn't play it entirely in 3d again, I just did it to immerse myself. You can no longer click on random things when in an investigation section, which is a shame given that was part of the appeal of the games being able to click on things and get entertainment from the comments. However that is compensated with moving details here and there.

On top of the 3d effect, there is something else, used only in the courtroom sections: the mood matrix. This is an extra element brought in by the new lawyer Athena Cykes who can use a technology which can detect emotions of people on the stand in order to get truth from them.

The Mood Matrix

That's all I have to say about the brilliant game because 

Now for my regular guest, Norman Osborn!

Thank you very much Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of: Apollo Justice being alreet!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The "My Doctor" theory/ trope: a blog entry on Weekly Shounen Jump manga

I mentioned in my last blog entry (The Wonder Woman special), something I described as "The "My" Doctor trope". Basically, to clarify, the trope refers to the point in a series where somebody really gets into it, or where a series has various versions (for example Dr. Who and each individual Doctor being someone's "My Doctor", hence the trope name).

My next few blog entries will be variants on this theme. In this blog entry I will be looking at some of the Shounen Jump manga I have read, regardless of if I still like them or NOT cough Naruto and Bleach cough. This is about the points at which I began to love them. 

Ah Naruto, how much I used to love this series! My interest spiked when a friend of mine lent me his English subtitled dvds of the series years ago. I really started to like it pretty much at the exact point Jiraiya appeared, and from then on became a hardcore fan. At this point in time in the series Naruto was given the power to control his fox chakra so the first time he first got a handle of his real strength, rather than when Orochimaru weakened him by messing up the seal on his stomach.

Bleach is well known for starting to hit its peak of awesomeness during the Soul Society story arc. Personally within that arc I really started getting into Bleach when Kenpachi first appeared, as shown in the panel above. Most shinigami don't seem to have an aura of death even though they are death gods, but Kenpachi certainly does! 

Oh Tommyrod, you creepy fucker! I was a fan of Toriko at the first chapter, a brilliant series in concept and as an actual series. However it really started to show its potential in my opinion when Tommyrod appears and fights Toriko during the Century Soup arc. He is in personality and appearance kind of a cross between Cell from Dragonball and Hisoka from Hunter X Hunter, which makes him a fantastic villain!  

D.Gray man became more than just great and into an amazing series quite early on,  the appearance of the Noa Tikki Mykk (the one in the very middle of the image above holding the butterfly) was the earliest point it started to approach my so called gods tier. My gods tier is the level at which where a series starts to go beyond the realms of 10 out of 10 into the 11 out of 10 range. The series either became truly great at that volume he appeared, or soon after when the Noah Family gathered for the first time in the manga soon after. 

Oraoraoraoraora! The famous battle cry of the third generation Joestar from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Jotaro Kujo. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is one of my favourite manga ever, but Part 3 (the introduction of Jotaro) is where it really gets awesome, when Stands are introduced. 

If Yu-Gi-Oh had been more like this and like it was during Millennium World arc, YGO would easily be in my joint first favourite #1 manga alongside One Piece, Hunter X Hunter and Dragonball. However it still was awesome enough that I had to have One Piece and Hunter X Hunter share the number one spot with Dragonball, I changed my whole ranking system just so YGO will always remain my second favourite manga!

Yami Bakura is the greatest tactician I have found in manga so far. The other YGO villains, great though they are, seem petty in comparison. 

Here is the Genei Ryodan.

This is them again but looking more mysterious. 

And there's the chibi cover volume of them, volume 12 of Hunter X Hunter. I love the Genei Ryodan. They are in part what makes Hunter X Hunter such an amazing manga and anime. They are my personal favourite criminal organisation in manga and anime, and that means something since anime and manga have great examples of excellent "evil organisations".

 I used the word criminal rather than evil in this case as an exception. Why? Because most criminal organisations in anime and manga are portrayed as just evil, but badass collections of people in a group to further their own goals. 

With a certain exception, the Ryodan are ultimately all about the collective goal. Yes they are a bunch of murdering thieves, but they are more than that. If they were in Eastenders, they may say "It's all abaaaaht the faaaaaaamly." They are a family, a band of people who formed bonds because they survived together. They played a massive role in helping HxH become my joint favourite manga and even joint first with my top anime. Might even blog about that after this series. 

I love battle shounen manga, but this battle is one of my favourite battles of all time, never mind just in One Piece. It's where One Piece really starts to show itself as one of the greatest manga series ever. On top of that, Arlong has a formidable flag. 

Pretty awesome AND badass. But that just makes Luffy even more awesome!

Now the best for last. My original number one ranked manga. Here is where it became the first number 1. Let the image speak for itself, and if it does not I might have to come back to it as a separate blog entry. Dragonball. 

With that I conclude this entry on the "My Doctor" theory/ trope series of blog entries. I will pass you over to my regular guest now. As Shenron said in the Dragonball dub: fare thee well!

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern! Today I approve of Weekly Shounen Jump manga. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wonder Woman!

Or  a brief look at Wonder Woman made for noobs, by a Wonder Woman Noob. 

Wonder Woman! She is as wonderful as Captain Marvel is marvellous, i.e. very.

I haven't read much Wonder Woman. But as a geek I recognise that even people who have not read any Wonder Woman at all will still regard her as one of the most iconic superheroes. Having recently read Azzarrelo's first volume of Wonder Woman (part of the New 52 reboot), I decided to have a look at her history thanks to a massive DC book of chronology I was given last Christmas.

In this blog entry I will be highlighting the stories that interest me in concept, even if I haven't  read like 99 percent of them lol. I will be concluding with a piece on the volume I have read, mentioned above.

1942: Sensation Comics #1:

This marked the first appearance (excluding a cameo in another issue) of Wonder Woman. Her creator, the psychologist William Moulton Marston wished to create a strong female heroine in a male dominated world. The issue itself dealt with Wonder Woman leaving her Amazonian home island to protect a crash landed US Army captain Steve Trevor from her Amazonian kinswomen who frankly weren't very fond of men. 

With the inspiration of her mother Queen Hippolyta, given the blessings of the goddesses Aphrodite and Athena, Wonder Woman travelled to America on her invisible jet. Graced with wonderful strength, speed, precise reflexes and armed with bullet deflecting bracelets, she boldly entered an alien land defeating criminals and buying herself the alter-ego Diana Prince, taking a day job as a nurse.

1943: Wonder Woman #6:

This marked the appearance of arguably Wonder Woman's archnemesis: Cheetah. 

1968: Wonder Woman #168:

This marked the beginning of what is arguably the most controversial Wonder Woman era. I don't bring my politics into my blogging so I will give a short description followed by suggestions of what it might have meant. In a nutshell this issue depowered Wonder Woman and put primary focus on her wardrobe. 

  • Was it DC being misogynistic? 
  • Was it DC just misguided and trying to appeal to a female audience?
  • Were DC actually giving a superhero a new challenge in dealing with situations while depowered?
  • Were DC jumping the bandwagon on the success of The Avengers (the TV series not the comic) and trying to gain fresh audience from that fan base?
  • Were they just doing their usual thing of rebooting?

2001: Wonder Woman (second series) #164:

Wonder Woman is most interesting when she encounters mythological figures, I personally don't give a crap if she is helping the JLA against Darkseid or any of the often boring DC so called new gods or I dunno' some random cosmic or even boring generic villain event. 

I am probably not going to be able to read Gods of Gotham since it isn't listed on the online website of my favourite shop, but it sounds interesting indeed. Phobos (the God of Fear), Eris (Goddess of Discord) and Deimos (God of Fear) possess the bodies of the Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and the Joker in the name of their father Ares (God of War), terrifying everyone in Gotham City be they good or evil. 

2009: Blackest Night:

A warning: I may lose my shit at this point, please be patient!

Alright time for me to stand up as Geordie Green Lantern, while trying to keep my politics out of it. 

First check this out: 

Isn't that awesome? Black Lantern Wonder Woman is awesome. 

Now comes the not awesome at all bit:

She looks like she well I don't want to say haha. However she is actually wearing more clothes than the average Star Sapphire. And that's all I am going to say on that, except one thing, which is probably my favourite Green Lantern page ever:

So enough about that. Before I move on to my final part of this blog entry, here is the design of Straczynski's Wonder Woman. By the way I haven't decided if I want to read his Wonder Woman yet, but her design is my favourite Wonder Woman design by far. 

Finally we come to a graphic novel I fell in love with and gave me a genuine drive to become a Wonder Woman fan. That graphic novel is Brian Azzarello's Wonder Woman volume 1: Blood.

I have a description of a trope that I call The "My" Doctor trope. Basically the trope refers to an era in a series that is cherished by a fan because it was their first, or at least the first where they really got into a series.  The trope name comes from Dr. Who, my first doctor was the 11th so the 11th will always be held highest in my heart, regardless of how good the other 10 actors may be. 

Anyway "My" Wonder Woman is Azzarello's, because it is the first I have read where I genuinely want to buy Wonder Woman, and not just read some out of boredom or the desire to say I have read the character. 

This is just guess work, since I am a Wonder Woman noob, so people may or may not have these at the front of their minds, but it is something that has been in my subconscious for a long time. 

Wonder Woman as pop art:

Wonder Woman as one of the Holy DC Trinity:

Wonder Woman as just another superhero:

To be fair I prefer superheroes on the whole solo with their own mythos for each character. Anyway the point I was making was Azzarello gets back to what makes it interesting to me: the mythology. I can't really say much about the graphic novel itself because I dislike spoilers, and I especially hate spoiling stuff I love.

Here's a quick list of what makes Azzarello's Wonder Woman (As of volume 1) good:

  • A return to the mythology. As much as I like mythos in stories, I prefer my mythologies with Gods thank you, not arguably metahumans or aliens lol
  • A focus on Wonder Woman and her world rather than Wonder Woman and her relation to the other big 2, the JLA etc
  • This is where i have to be careful what I say for spoilers, but deities who at first I wasn't sure of their character designs then saw their brilliance

And now for some pictures I liked, to round off this blog entry. 

And hopefully I added a little Wonder to your day! Over to you Norman Osborn!

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of wonder and Wonder Woman. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

It's the moon!

The moon has been mystifying us and been a symbol of our sensuality and romanticism for thousands of years if not longer. In the collective consciousness it has been symbolic of beautiful things like goddesses, magic and mankind's desire to go beyond the heavens above us. It has also been symbolic of monstrous curses and illusions.

I was in a pub with some friends after the last comics evening 6 days ago, and they inspired this blog entry. We were talking about the beauty of the game Majora's Mask and that conversation planted the seeds to this little blog entry. So this is dedicated to you, Faye Stacey, Tom Graham and Jack Fallows!

Now let's get to my top 3 creepy moons with faces ever:

The Mighty Boosh moon, a fairly creepy but sagely and witty moon.

The Soul Eater Moon, a disturbing moon of insanity and madness.


The Majora's Mask moon, and in my opinion the most malevolent moon that has ever been created. It fills the soul with despair, panic and a terror of absolute destruction. Good thing masks of a fierce deity are scattered throughout the human heart, small fragments of burning hope in the omnidirectional darkness. 

Now for something a little bit- lighter, beautiful images in the context of the moon!

Here are some moon related videos, I hope you enjoy!

And I leave you there, with the singular defining song of my childhood! Over to you Norman Osborn!

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern! Today I approve of: moons and mooniness!