Friday, April 21, 2017

Assassin's Den Reviews Dragon Ball Super God of Destruction Arc

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

With the Resurrection F arc starting tomorrow night on Cartoon Network, I'm finally ready review the Battle of Gods arc that finished last week.  I took some time to binge watch all the episodes I recorded to see how the arc flowed, I've come up with several impressions.

First off, Beerus is a dick.  Yes, I get that he's the God of Destruction of Universe 7.   It's his job to blow up planets to allow new life to surface.  But he's extremely overzealous.  He blows up planets for the smallest perceived slights, and is extremely fickle.  The only reason he spared Earth was a combination of how good the food was, and how Goku tested him in the Super Saiyan God form.

Which brings me to the Super Saiyan God form.  I don't like it, and I'm glad its gone.  It just looks like the Kaioken, but without the restrictions, but with red eyes.  Instead, it had a new restriction, and neither Goku nor Vegeta like the form, since they had to take power from others via a ritual to even achieve the form.  I mean, yeah, Goku's Genki Dama does pretty much the same thing, but it's a technique that he has to shape in order for it to be a useful attack.

Third, the Beerus/SSG Goku fight drug out WAY too long.  And unlike the SSJ Goku/Freeza fight, this wasn't to buy time to let Toriyama to complete the arc; no, it drug because it drug.  I've since seen the movie, and you know what? It showed the fight better!  We didn't NEED all the fluff that the show gave us!

Now, I will praise the English voice acting.  These men and women have been doing these characters for 18 years (with the notable exception of Bulma, who is voiced by Monica Rial, Bulma's second voice actress, and 18, who is voiced once again by her original voice actress Meredith CcCoy, after being voiced by Colleen Clinkenbeard between 2010 and 2014.), and they know these characters in and out.  So of course, they sound like they're supposed to sound.

Now, I've been told that later arcs get better.  But if I didn't have that knowledge? If this was my first impression of Super? I wouldn't bother with it after this.  It felt less like Dragon Ball than people claim GT felt!  I don't know, maybe the Resurrection F arc will be better.  But I feel that a show that has so much hype shouldn't have me going "I hope the next arc delivers" when I look back on it.

Anyway, I've got the next episode all set to record, and I should have the review this time next week.  But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Assassin's Den Reviews Dragon Ball Super Episode 12

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

Yes, I know, I'm really late in my analysis of this episode, but I only got around to watching it today, four hours (at the time I'm writing this) away from the episode 13 review.  But I've had a LOT on my plate this past week, and I've only had a chance today to settle down and enjoy things.

With the battle moving into space, I now know that the fight between Goku and Beerus is almost done. Only an episode and a half left of this fight before I don't have to see this stupid Super Saiyan God form ever again.  I really never liked the look of the SSG form, but I absolutely LOVE the Super Saiyan Blue form.  It's the iconic power of Super, and I've loved playing as, and fighting against, Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta in Dragon Ball Xenoverse.

As for the Funimation Dub?  I'm glad that they're staying true to the integrity of the Japanese source, and not shying away from minor profanity when it's warranted.  Goku saying "You're damn right I am!" when Beerus mentioned him not being satified with the power of a god and wanting to push beyond it fits the character.

So, yeah, the arc's almost over.  I'm actually looking forward to seeing the Resurrection F arc, and to see if the show used the Maximum the Hormone song "F", and whether Funimation lets the dub keep it.

But for now, hopefully I can start to keep a schedule for watching Super next week.  As for you guys, check out my referral code if you're a SWTOR player, and stay beautiful freaks!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Internet Privacy A Thing of the Past!

My fellow Americans, we are now no longer safe to do what we please in our homes or on our phones.  Thanks to a new law that was passed through Congress and signed by the President, our Internet Service Providers are now allowed to sell our personal information to advertising firms.  That means anything you post on Facebook, anything you post on Twitter, anything you purchase from Amazon, Pizza Hutt, and anything "questionable" you look at will be sold to advertisers without your consent.  And there's no opt out like we had with the Can Spam Act of 2003. 

And the best part? It's not unconstitutional.  Privacy is not a right protected by the US Constitution.  And why would it be? When it was written, we weren't even close to the population we are now, and the internet was centuries away.  Privacy back then meant closing and locking your doors and windows.

And that's not even counting the security standpoint. Yes, all your surf history will be viewed by people who only see you as a number who can buy their shit, but this also makes identity theft easier.  You see, companies already have problems protecting your credit card or banking data now; it will get worse when companies don't care who is buying shit in your name have access to it.

So, my fellow Americans, if you are using carriers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Spectrum (formerly Time Warner), STOP PUTTING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION OUT THERE.  Don't use social media on these platforms.  Don't buy stuff on the internet with these platforms.  And most of all, but the hell out of your congress representative about getting this stuck down.  Let them know that we don't care how much money they are set to make by this; our personal safety is worth more than money.

Also, we really need an Amendment to the Constitution to make sure that laws like this will BE unconstitutional in the future.  The Supreme Court NEEDS the power to strike down these kinds of laws, to protect us as a nation like they're supposed to be able to.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Mass Effect: The Insanity Run Update

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

So yesterday, I finally got my brand new power supply for my Xbox 360, and it works GREAT.  It's as quiet as my first one was when the console was brand new.  And with this in mind, it reminded of something that I learned when repairing my PS2 a few years ago; third party companies care more about keeping your stuff running once the console's lifespan is over.

Now, to keep up interest in this "project", I'm going to post the entry data partially filled in, since I'm still on the setup run for this round.

  1. Name: George Shepard
  2. Background-"It's not about how hard you can get hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and get back up." No phrase has meant more in the life of George Shepard than this.  Born on Earth and given to an orphanage while he was still in diapers, he lived there until it was closed down when he was 10.  Forced onto the streets at that point, he was recruited by the Tenth Street Reds as a pickpocket due to his small size, but became more of a bruiser as he got older and bigger. 

    But he always wanted more; he worked toward getting his high school diploma equivalent and trained at how to fight at the local YMCA.  And when he finally turned 18, he left his life on Earth behind and joined the Systems Alliance Navy.  And life in the military fulfilled him; he worked as a marine during his on duty time, and studied for his college degree in his off.  And things went great until he was sent to Akuze during the first year of his second enlistment.  He lost his entire unit there during the attack of a Thresher Maw, and he had to spend a month seeing a psychiatrist to help with the stress of the horrors he saw.  But George is not giving up; he refuses to give up on himself or the galaxy. He will still do whatever he can to make him self, and the galaxy, better.

  3. Class-Soldier
  4. Extra power-Barrier
  5. Build-Since the first game is very much a run and gun, especially in close quarters, I've build George to be able to soak up damage.  This means I've focused on Barrier, getting my armor to max and getting the shield recharge and boosting Fitness to get both health and Immunity. I've also taken Shock Trooper, to boost health, damage protection, and give bonuses to Immunity.
  6. Created on date-This one will be the date I start the insanity run; so it will be the day that the level 56 version of George will start.
  7. Setup-What level and gear I start the run with.  This will be more clear when I do the first entry.
  8. Companion tier-How good each companion is based on the difficulty and my build.  And I want to make things clear; just because I don't like a companion's characterization doesn't mean they're automatically low tier.  For example, Baldur's Gate 2 has an incredibly annoying character in Aerie, but she's incredibly useful due to her being able to use both arcane and clerical magic. So I use her when I'm doing a run where I'm not using Viconia, who is a pure cleric.
  9. Level of frustration-How angry I got with the BS the game throws at me.  Like I said, I'm not going for the challenge, so I'm going to get mad at the cheap stuff the game throws at me.
  10. Content completed-The vanilla game, and Bring Down the Sky.  Pinnacle Station was used to gear up for this run, but due to the buffs that even low level enemies get on Insanity, a couple missions get really, really cheap.
  11. Achievements I'm going for-Medal of Valor, the only achievement I have left to get on this game.
  12. Finish date
  13. Final thoughts-This is where I wrap up my feelings on the run.
The entries for setup, companion tear, level of frustration, finish date and final thoughts will be filled in when I get to the run, and upon completion.  The only loadout I know without question that I'm going to have for a companion right now is Ashley, since I get a full copy of Shepard's gear at the start of an imported run; so my Spectre X guns and Colossus armor will go on Ashley.  But I can't guarantee whether I'll be able to get Colossus armors for everyone else in this run, nor can I guarantee that everyone will have Savant biotic amps (I'd have them with Savant omnitools too, but for some reason, ME1 on Xbox 360 deletes those unless Shepard has one equipped.)  I could also kind of do the companion tiers, but it wouldn't be fair to make definitive statements before I actually start the run.

I should be ready to start the run by the end of next Friday, and it shouldn't take me more than two weeks to get through it.  I say two weeks because I'm going to get pissed off and not want to play for a while after a number of unfair deaths. But for now, look forward to future posts, check out my referral code of you're a SWTOR player, and stay beautiful freaks!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Assassin's Den Reviews Funimation's Dragon Ball Super: Battle of Gods arc

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

Now, I know I said I'd wait until the Beerus arc ended before reviewing the arc, but I can't wait any longer to say what I need to say: this is BORING! Why is one of the most exciting franchises in anime history SO BORING in the first arc of the newest series?

At this point in the series, Goku is fighting Beerus in his Super Saiyan God form.  Back and forth, Beerus lets Goku get used to power before wailing on him, only for Goku to come back with another power boost.  But it's so badly paced; this much back and forth is FAR from necessary.  Between when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan God and when the arc finally ends next week, it's 5 whole episodes.  That's two and a half hours.  The entire runtime of the Battle of Gods movie? One hour and forty-five minutes.  The fight between Goku and Beerus in the show is 45 minutes longer than the movie in which Beerus was introduced. 

And Beerus? He's a dick.  All I've seen in this arc is "Give me what I want, or I blow up your planet!"  If I hadn't seen him in Xenoverse first, I'd hate him.  He is completely unlikable in this arc.

Now I know, maybe I'm spoiled by being able to buy a saga on DVD and watch it entirely the way through without stopping and having to wait for a week, but between the poorer quality animation in this first arc and my general distaste of cliffhangers, this is not boding well for my enjoyment of the series.

The only positive things I can say about this arc are about the English voice acting, and the early hints on what will be on full display later in the show with Goku.  Sean Schemmel, Chris Sabat, Kyle Herbert, Meredith McCoy, Colleen Clinkerbeard...they've been doing these characters for over a decade, and they know the characters very well.  They're experienced, they're dynamic, and they always a joy to listen to.

And as for my second point about Goku's characterization, you can see a LOT of early hints when it comes to future arcs.  His selfishness is on full display, and you can tell right from the start that he cares more about his fight with Beerus than he does about the fate of the Earth.  Oh yeah, the fate of the Earth is in his thoughts, but it's more "They make good food there!" and less "There's billions of lives down there!" Very inline with Toriyama's view of Goku's character.

All in all, I agree with a LOT of people when I say they should have just skipped this arc, as well as the Resurrection F arc, and just done new stuff. Granted, it would have left the few people, like myself, who didn't see the movies in the cold, but they could have easily done a whole "the story that came before" thing like they do before every episode. 

At this point, I'm going to just go with a review episode by episode.  And once I get to Episode 27, I'm going to link to the videos of MasakoX, the voices of Goku and Gohan in Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z Abridged.  That will also give us an idea how far ahead the Japanese version of Super is from the English dub.

But for now, look forward to my review of Episode 14 of Dragon Ball Super next week, check out my referral code if you're a SWTOR player, and stay beautiful freaks!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Mass Effect: The Insanity Run

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

With Mass Effect Andromeda about to release on March 21, 2017 and me without the hardware to play it nor the money to get said hardware, I decided to do something special for this occasion; beat the Shepard Trilogy on Insanity.  Now, this isn't for the sake of bragging; everyone who cares about beating Insanity has done so already. Nor do I want to challenge myself; I've beaten ME1 on Insanity once before, before my first 360 crashed and burned.  No, this is me being able to say "I got all the achievements on the Shepard Trilogy", something I've been working on for a LONG time, but avoided Insanity at all costs.  But now, I'm finally at a point in my life when I can beat the games on this difficulty.

However, I'm going to make this as easy on myself as possible.  Which is why I'm importing a character into each game and then setting the difficulty to Insanity; that way, I've got a good loadout for my team and a certain build for my character. 

So, the following order is how I'll be posting the setup and completion entries on here.  I'll explain when an entry isn't so clear.

  1. Name
  2. Background-This is going to be more than just "Spacer-War Hero" thing the game gives you.  No, this is the what happened before the opening of the game.  For 2 and 3, it will explain Shepard's alignment and choices that were made in the previous game. But for one? Well, that'll be something special.
  3. Class
  4. Extra power
  5. Build-This goes into how I combine the class and the extra power, and how I plan to survive Insanity with this character.
  6. Created on date
  7. Setup-What level and gear I start the run with.  This will be more clear when I do the first entry.
  8. Companion tier-How good each companion is based on the difficulty and my build.  And I want to make things clear; just because I don't like a companion's characterization doesn't mean they're automatically low tier.  For example, Baldur's Gate 2 has an incredibly annoying character in Aerie, but she's incredibly useful due to her being able to use both arcane and clerical magic. So I use her when I'm doing a run where I'm not using Viconia, who is a pure cleric.
  9. Level of frustration-How angry I got with the BS the game throws at me.  Like I said, I'm not going for the challenge, so I'm going to get mad at the cheap stuff the game throws at me.
  10. Content completed-Basically, what DLC missions I'm doing for the run, or why I'm doing certain content in a certain order.  Some DLC has good items, but some don't have an Insanity achievement tied to them, and don't need to be completed ON Insanity.
  11. Achievements I'm going for
  12. Finish date
  13. Final thoughts-This is where I wrap up my feelings on the run.
Unfortunately, my Xbox 360 power supply died, AGAIN, so I'm ordering a brand new on online.  Won't be an official Microsoft one, since they don't make them anymore, but considering that I've had better luck with third party stuff for the 360, this one should last me.  However, I won't get it until March, and I still need to finish my setup run for ME1. I probably won't finish before Andromeda's release like I intended to.

But for now, look forward to the posts on the run, and stay beautiful freaks!

(Oh, and I'm using my sign off as the block for my referral code now. :) )

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Assassin's Den Reviews Announcement: Dragon Ball Super Funimation dub review schedule

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  As of two weeks ago yesterday (my time, of course), Cartoon Network began airing Funimation's dub of Dragon Ball Super, one episode a week.  So, I've decided that, at the end of an arc, I'm going to talk about the show based on that arc's story and the English cast's voice acting. 

Now, I need to mention one major thing, I have not seen Battle of Gods or Resurrection F, so unlike for most people who watched Super in the original Japanese, these two arcs are new territory for me.  I am going in completely blind. In fact, outside of what I've seen talked about by the people at Team Four Star, including but not limited to MasakoX, I'm going in blind with the series.  Yes, I'll keep up with the synopsis of what will come for me so I don't rehash things and muse on things that have already happened for a lot of fans, but the episodes themselves are brand new territory for me.

With that said, I'll be posting a review of the Battle of Gods arc when it is over, which should be in about a month.  But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Check out my referral code for benefits to your SWTOR account!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Day and why I don't celebrate it

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  Today, I talk about a strange quirk of my personality, and why I don't really care to mark something nearly everybody else does.  You see, to me, New Year's Day only marks the change in any dating I do on checks or forms.  I don't make New Year's Resolutions simply because I don't see any reason to wait to make positive changes in your life.

I've also reached the point in my life where people don't make a big deal about my birthday. Most I get now are texts from a few people wishing me a Happy Birthday, and no gifts.  Which I get; I mean, I turned 34 this past birthday, I'm not one for parties, and all my friends have kids.  So now, what I do on my birthday is different than what I used to do; reflect on what has happened, and plan for the future.  Just like what the majority of people do on New Year's.  I start making positive change then, because what else am I going to do besides working and relaxing?

I'm also a little burned out on celebrations by New Year's.  I mean, when November rolls around, we've got my oldest nephew's birthday, then mine, then American Thanksgiving, then we settle in for the Christmas season.  Lots of good food, lots of time to spend with the extended family, lot of good times.  But New Year's is just a party for the sake of a party. There's no good will, only food and booze, and I'm working on weight loss for a few important reasons that I don't want to reveal to the world.

I also don't drink.  I don't like how being drunk feels.  And while I'm tall and heavy enough to have a pretty good tolerance, I don't like the aftermath of getting drunk.  Because of this, I stand around at a New Year's party, watching people acting like drunken asses over an arbitrary change in a calendar year.

I also don't like staying up late. The latest I'm going to bed is 11pm, and that's pushing it.  I like rising with the sun, and waiting to midnight to celebrate the turning of an arbitrary number is not my idea of fun.

And this is why I'm not the guy you want at a New Year's party; I'm the wall flower who isn't enjoying the music, isn't eating the food, isn't drinking the booze, watching others making a fool of themselves, and feeling like I'd rather be asleep than standing around waiting for the ball to drop.  And I've already been working on my "New Year's Resolution" on my birthday six weeks ago.

That's not to say that I begrudge the people who enjoy the party; just those who call or text me at midnight wishing me a happy new year after I've been asleep for two hours.  Thankfully, my friends have realized this over the years and have stopped.

However, those who want to party will find a reason, and I don't begrudge them that.  So enjoy your celebrations, sleep as late as you want, nurse your hangovers and stay beautiful freaks!