Thursday, May 26, 2016

YPB: Vidya Game News – May 26, 2016

- The best read of the week, and one close to my heart, is a long piece from Ernie Smith of Tedium on commercial mascots and their video games. Featured prominently are the Noid and M.C. Kids, of course, along with other lesser known items like a Doom-engine Chex game.

- Hardcore Gamer’s Marcus Estrada has a neat, informative little piece on the Doctor V64, which was a knockoff Nintendo 64 development kit. Read about it on their site.

- Live in Arizona, and want to play classic video games? You’re in luck! The Daily Courier has a business profile on Black Box Gaming, which allows you to lounge and play vidya games. Read about the cool little store here, in a story by Max Efrein.

- Now on Merchoid! Nintendo-themed bikinis.

- Boooo: Sounds like an automated FOX filter to take down their content on YouTube “accidentally” took down a clip of some dudes playing Double Dribble. Why? Well, because Family Guy used that clip in an episode. And, the show didn’t credit the brothers either. Read about it on IGN.

- Alan Young, the voice of Scrooge McDuck on Duck Tales, has passed away.

- Nintendo has released some trailers for its latest Kirby game, Planet Robobot, for the 3DS. Check them out via Siliconera here! And give a listen to our past episode here!

- These dudes tagged us on Twitter, so how can I not give them a plug? There is a music remix project for The Guardian Legend, which we’ve covered in the past. To check out their tracks, go here!

- I forgot to post this last week, but it’s still a really good read! From Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin-Poole, the rise and fall of Lionhead, creators (in a way) of Fable and headed by Peter Molyneux.

- Also from Eurogamer: Keith Stuart has a fun piece on how he was blacklisted from early Sega releases, even though he was running a magazine about the Dreamcast.

- Ron Gilbert, the creator of Maniac Mansion and Money Island, wants to buy back the IP from Disney. The mouse acquired the titles after buying the Star Wars empire for $4 billion in 2012. (And hey, check out our Maniac Mansion episode!)

- Historically, May 26 hasn’t been especially great for games, but the first installment in the inFamous series came out on this day in 2009. The Playstation-exclusive series combined open-world gaming with superhero powers, and it was generally well-received.

- The NES version of The Lion King came out only in Europe on May 25, 1995. Yes, new NES games were still being made in 1995! Although, this was indeed the last release for Europe. It’s probably for the best, as Westwood Studios’ effort wasn’t all that good.

Video game history information comes from GameFAQs and Moby Games. And as always, if you’d like to support the show, do so via our Amazon link.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Worldwide Wrasslin’ Focus: Extreme Rules and Raw

Best WWF broadcast team ever!

Warning: Spoilers follow for Extreme Rules and the May 23 edition of Raw.

While Extreme Rules didn’t really feature any surprising results or title changes, it was a solid show of good wrestling with an awesome post-main event angle, thanks to the return of Seth Rollins. It came after yet another cluster-eff match between Reigns and Styles, with interruptions from the Usos and “For Legal Reasons Definitely Not The Bullet Club.”

Speaking of, it’s amusing to me how horrible the reaction still is for Reigns. The WWE seems intent on going down the John Cena path with him though, since they had chances to turn him heel during the Styles feud, and by the promo that Rollins gave. However, Rollins basically did his absolute best to be the heel, even as the crowd booed Reigns out of the building. (For the record – I’m of the mindset that Reigns is an OK wrestler, but he’s not sympathetic or an underdog in the slightest, and I have no idea why the WWE is so insistent on keeping him face.)

By the way, Kevin Owens is a great, big bright shinin’ star. He would be my pick for the Money in the Bank ladder match. I always think the briefcase works better when a heel or tweener has it, and he’s probably the best one on the WWE roster right now. While his matches and confrontations with Zayn have been really good, I think it’s time for the WWE to move on from that.

Regarding the rest of the MitB field, in order from least likely to most likely in my mind…

5) Cesaro just feels like filler, assuming that they don’t remove him from the match for a feud with The Miz. I’d give him zero chance to win the briefcase, since he’s mostly been winning and losing in equal doses with his current James Bond Stripper gimmick.

4) Chris Jericho has a non-zero chance of winning, because he’s an experienced veteran in the ring. And hey, he’s also my favorite wrestler! But it’s hard to see how him with the briefcase would make a lot of sense, since he’s mostly a part-time wrestler now.

3) Sami Zayn. While he’s had some incredible matches, especially with Kevin Owens, I just don’t feel like the WWE has enough faith in him to win the briefcase. He hasn’t even been a serious contender for the IC belt, as he’s mostly been used in multi-man matches for that with Owens.

2) Dean Ambrose really needs a proper push, and this could be a way to do it. Unfortunately though, they already mentioned the most obvious angle for him to win on Raw – that he could use the briefcase to setup a Shield triple threat for the belt. Since they mentioned it on TV, I don’t think it’ll happen. Still though, I think it’s more likely that he wins than the other guys on the list.

1) Kevin Owens. He’s the best heel on the roster, and he’s been kept pretty strong, as he hasn’t been beat cleanly all that often. He would be the strong favorite to me, as long as someone with a stronger C.V. isn’t in the match (Lesnar, Cena, Orton).

The only other significant thing to happen on Raw was Charlotte kicking Ric Flair to the curb, which I honestly thought should have been done much earlier. Still, the angle had a decent amount of punch to it, plus it managed to shut up the Baltimore crowd from chanting “What?” for a little bit. I’m intrigued to see what happens next in the division, since Sasha Banks has been off TV, nursing an injury, if I recall correctly.

For other wrestling posts, click here!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Inexplicable TV Review: Mom, surprisingly the best network sitcom!

Warning: Spoilers follow for the current and past seasons of Mom.

It remains a mystery to me how Mom continues to be a splendid show, considering that it’s on CBS and created by Chuck Lorre. However, there are now three seasons of evidence that the show isn’t a fluke, and that it’ll maintain its quality going forward. The show’s weird mixture of comedy and drama is just about perfect, as opposed to heavy-handed.

The strong foundation of the show is obviously the lead performances by Anna Faris and Allison Janney as recovering addicts Christy (daughter) and Bonnie (mother) Plunkett. Unlikely a conventional sitcom though, they fail regularly. In the show’s three seasons, they both relapse, and there aren’t many Convenient Magical Plot Solutions that solve things for them.

The third season actually ends on a bit of a high note, as Christy wins a scholarship to help pay for her college costs, and Bonnie managed to contribute to that fund as well by serving as a middle(wo)man to unload a bunch of junk goods from a friend. However, the show basically had to, since previous episodes featured the overdose death of an AA member Christy was sponsoring, and the dissolution of the engagement of Violet – Christy’s daughter and Bonnie’s granddaughter.

As I’m typing out some of the plot points of Mom, yes, I realize it sounds horribly maudlin. But all of the somberness is well-balanced with humor, thanks to Faris and Janney. Faris was typecast as the ditzy blonde gal in most of her early roles, but she shows some range of emotion and good timing in Mom. As far as Janney goes, hell, she’s got seven Emmy wins, included two for Mom already and four thanks to The West Wing. She’s ridiculously talented in this show.

Of the supporting cast, Sadie Calvano (Violet) is a strong performer, although her role has been downgraded from regular to recurring as she’s now in college (the actor, not her character). With the three generations of the Plunkett women, you get a look at how the substance abuse persists via social and biological means. Jaime Pressly (with a bad haircut) is the most well-known of the other regulars, but they’re all solid character actors.

I’m not alone in my embracing of Mom, as the A.V. Club has also given it some strong reviews. If you can look past the fact that it does have Chuck Lorre’s name and hence stink on it, it’s probably the best half-hour sitcom on television right now. (By the way, RIP The Grinder. SIGH. At least Mom has already been renewed for a new season.)

To read all of Steve’s past Inexplicable Movie Reviews, click here! For Inexplicable TV Reviews, click here! For Inexplicable Video Game Reviews, click here! And for Inexplicable Book Reviews, go here!


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