Friday, July 30, 2021

Green Phoenix - The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue Review

 The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue.jpg

A little over two months ago, I released my review of The Brave Little Toaster, a deeply loved children's film of mine that has thrown me into a nostalgic spiral for the past few weeks. While writing that article, I realized that I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the entire series.

Because for reasons that I still cannot fathom, The Brave Little Toaster is actually the first film in a trilogy of films. Admittedly, these films are direct to VHS but the point that of all films, this one would have not one but two sequels kind of boggles the mind.

Of the two films, the final chronological film in the trilogy, The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars, is far and away the more popular of the two, given that it is adapted from another of Thomas M. Disch's books. However, despite being the first released, The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars actually follows the events of the much less well known and subject of today's article, The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue, released in 1999.

The two sequels were actually developed by the production at the same time, which helps explain much of the similarities between the two films. Normally, I would have touched upon The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars first as it was the first sequel released, being released in 1998. However, characters and events are introduced in The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue that are necessary to understand the plot of The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars.

That was a hell of a mouthful to write, not going to lie. I will almost certainly examine The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars down the line; but for today, let's take a good look at the "hidden" sequel to The Brave Little Toaster.

***

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger Ep 2: The Revival - Summary/Review


This episode is going to be the continuation of the last. Previously, the Zyurangers got their powers and almost rescued the child astronauts, but were ambushed by a giant. No time to waste, click "read more" and let's see how this chapter ends.


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Homefront (PC/Steam/Xbox360/PS3 2011)

 Homefront is an FPS video game version of the movie Red Dawn, complete with a "Go Wolverines" scene. America has been invaded and occupied. And you must lead a rebellion through the war torn suburbs against the Korean occupying force. You play as Jacob, the silent protagonist who is rescued from a prison transport and thrust into battle. 


The campaign took me 4.5 hours to beat. This is very telling of first-person shooters of the 2010s. Most of them play by having you follow a leader character who walks you through the scripted action. That is how this plays out as well. Although, the rails don't seem quite as tight as the Call of Duty games of the time, make no mistake. This is on rails. You will need to keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle until the plot comes to a complete stop.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Green Phoenix - Let's Talk...Schoolhouse Rock!

 School House Rock!.png

So I realize that it is entirely possible that I might have been far too subtle for you all to pick up on my general personality, despite my many personal stories. I know that you all must think of me as this incredibly suave and cool individual, always aware of the latest trends and a person well-liked by everyone I meet.

Thus it is with a heavy heart that I must break this notion to you all. For you see, I am, in point of fact, a massive nerd with an obsession for not only countless fandoms but intellectual pursuits in general.

Okay all kidding aside, I really do enjoy watching educational content, even to this day. My Netflix account is filled with documentary films and series and I even have a subscription to CuriosityStream to feed my educational media fascination. And this fascination goes back to my very earliest moments of childhood. I've spoken of the Walking with... series and its impact on my love of biological and paleontological documentaries, but my general love of learning stemmed from Bill Nye the Science Guy and the focus of today's article: School House Rock!.

Developed in the early 1970s and airing until 1984 before returning intermittently in the 1990s and 2000s, Schoolhouse Rock! was a series of short animated music videos that touched on specific subjects in numerous general subjects. It was developed after the creator noticed that his child often struggled to remember their multiplication tables, despite being able to memorize all the lyrics to Rolling Stones songs.

Schoolhouse Rock! helped generations of kids learn all kinds of fascinating subjects and I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to discuss my personal experience and what the series means to me. This isn't a review, but more of a general retrospective.

***

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger Episode 1: The Birth - Summary/Review



This is a long time coming for me, the first Super Sentai I ever watched and the one used for the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The first of many Dinosaur themed Super Sentai and one during the darker writing area of the franchise. I have seen this before, but a refresher sounds nice. Click "read more" and let us re-live this classic.


Friday, July 16, 2021

Green Phoenix - 8 Nearly Forgotten Childhood Films

From the earliest days of my childhood, film and television have had an indelible impact upon me. Films like The Lion King, Toy Story, Jurassic Park, and The Indiana Jones franchise have continued to thrill and excite me even into adulthood and drive me into a pleasurable nostalgic haze.

And yet, there have also been those films that, for one reason or another, I can remember watching only after being prompted or otherwise reminded. Regardless of the quality of the film, some pieces of my childhood were locked behind some vague glance at my old VHS tapes or a mention by some online film reviewer.

Today's article is honor of those films. Irrespective of their quality or my personal opinions on the films, this list is intended rather to be an exploration and retrospective on films that I remember that have, for one reason or another, fallen under the radar of my generally excellent sense of nostalgia. Some are films I enjoyed watching that I simply have forgotten, others are so vague that I can remember only small sections or parts.

Without further ado, let us take a quick retrospective look at 8 Nearly Forgotten Films from my Childhood.

***

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Pixar: Lava - Quick Thoughts

 


Pixar often shows a short film before their feature length, but this one always stood out in my memory. It is a 6 minute music video that tells a simple love story about a volcano. Interesting to me is that fact that this short film has just as much story as a full length film. Click "read more" for my full thoughts.


Friday, July 9, 2021

Green Phoenix - Technical Problems...Upcoming Article will drop next week

 Hey everybody.

Terribly sorry, but there have been a series of longstanding technical issues at both home and work that have deeply delayed my workload on many of these articles. I have the next few weeks of articles planned, as well as ideas for new content in the future, but as I explained to my Patreon supporters, work and home have not been great for my productivity as of late.

The next article 8 Nearly Forgotten Childhood Films is now set to be published next week. I will attempt to use the next week to, possibly write the next article and figure out a system to work around my technical problems.

In the meantime, I hope all of you stay safe out there and feel free to support me on Patreon here.

***

Also, feel free to check out my panel at TrotCon 2021, airing online July 16th - 18th. My friend Drew Flashy and I will be talking about DnD and regaling the audiences with our humorous stories and anecdotes.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Kyouryu Sentai Zyuranger Dino Video - Summary/Review



Well, here is something I never knew existed. Zyuranger is a season of Sentai without any movies (besides legacy appearances), but there was one odd special staring a green dino puppet brought to us by Shogakukan Video. The first of a new series of "Super Videos". This are made-for-video bonus content.  Not sure what to expect, so click "read more" and let's find out.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Kaiserkast #9 - Hey man! I've been to WA!


Kaiser is back from holiday and talks about it.  Boring, but accurate description but eh, it's showbiz. 
 Download here.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Green Phoenix - Godzilla (1954) Review

 Gojira 1954 Japanese poster.jpg

This week's article is a very special one. Our first ever Patreon requested article, submitted and suggested by none other than my fellow contributor and friend Cendoo. Cendoo's official request was to review anything remotely associated with the Godzilla franchise, so I felt that looking at the original 1954 Godzilla film was as good a place as any to start.

The original Godzilla has achieved an almost legendary status in the annals of cinematic history. Following Japan's defeat in World War 2, Japanese media was heavily regulated by the occupying American military. This censorship tended to avoid any mention of the world wars or nuclear weapons for fear of growing Japanese resentment to the occupation.

When the American censorship relaxed in the mid 1950s, Japan was finally allowed to deal with the trauma and fear that resulted from World War 2 and the legacy of being the only nation in the world to have a nuclear weapon dropped on their population during wartime. At the same time, Japanese fishing trawler's were getting caught up in American and French nuclear testing in the Pacific, resulting in several diplomatic incidents.

All this led to an era of nuclear awareness in Japanese cinema that Godzilla fully played into. The film was a monumental success that launched one the longest running film franchise in cinema history, set the standard for the kaiju film, and established many of the ongoing expectations of the kaiju and science fiction genre; with an "Americanized" version being released in 1956 that altered the tone of the film tremendously.

While I grew up watching the "Americanized" version and even own a copy, I will be focusing today's article on the original Japanese film, touching upon the American verison only when the need for comparison arises. I want to once again thank Cendoo for supporting my articles through Patreon.

***

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Would Sonic X-Treme have saved the Sega Saturn if Finished?

 



Of all the canceled Sonic titles, this one is probably the most famous. The Sega Saturn was a commercial failure in America, and some people blame that on not having a mainline Sonic title. While having a proper Sonic game would have moved some systems, it is impossible to know for sure if it would have been enough to keep the Saturn in the market. However, if you care to hear my educated guess and why, click "read more" for my full article.


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Ranking Every Sonic Cartoon from Best to Worse

 



With Sonic Prime on the horizon and with me caught up with all past Sonic Cartoons, I figured why not go ahead and share my quick take on each one. While I am a bit too bias to give each series a proper review, I can at least give a general idea of what to expect and maybe you can find some enjoyment in re-visiting these old animations. So, click "read more" and let the countdown begin.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Could Sonic work in an Open World style game?




Open world style gameplay is one that Sonic has never officially tried beyond hub worlds. Many fans ask for it, and several others have questioned if it would work. So, may as well throw my hat into the ring. Click "read more" if you'd like to know my take.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

My Top 10 Favorite Sonic Games


Happy Sonic Month from Emerald Rangers. This is Ghost Ranger giving my top 10 favorite Sonic games. Not the most original article, but one that I wanted to get out of the way to get the ball rolling. Click "read more" for my countdown.


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Omega Boost: Polyphony's One and Only Mecha Shooter

 


I think it's safe to say that almost everyone loves the idea of giant robots in theory. Say what you will about the Mecha genre as a whole, but it's hard to deny the cultural impact it's had on the world, especially when it comes to interactive media. Though while on the tabletop, games like Battletech and Mekton were showing a strong showing, unless you were willing to put up with what few licensed games were out there for series like Mobile Suit Gundam (or had the money and patience to import such titles from Japan), you had pretty slim pickings for getting your Mecha fix. Pretty much your only options back then for good games were either Armored Core or MechWarrior, with the latter still being a licensed game. That was, except, for one particular oddity that came out in '99.


That game was Omega Boost.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Mirai Sentai Timeranger Case File 21: Sion Style - Summary/Review

 

Let's keep the ball rolling with the coverage of this season of the century. Click "read more" for my article on this episode featuring the green ranger.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Green Phoenix - The Brave Little Toaster Review

 Brave Little Toaster poster.jpg

Alright everybody! With my June break beginning next week, I've decided that the final article before then will cover a film which played a critical piece in my childhood. After that, I will take about 4 weeks off to prepare for conventions and building a stockpile of new articles before releasing my very first Patron-requested article on the First Friday of July, so its going to be a very excited moment.

As stated earlier, today's article is going to be covering a film which was a beloved part of my childhood. While I have previously spoken about films like The Lion King and how important they were, The Brave Little Toaster from 1987 is perhaps a film that is less remembered as its contemporary animated films, being released at the tail-end of the Disney Renaissance, when Disney had its first real hegemony over the industry since the death of Walt Disney. As a result, the film isn't really spoken about like other lesser-known animated films from the same era.

But for kids like me, The Brave Little Toaster and A Goofy Movie hold a truly exalted part in our childhoods and I'm going to take this opportunity before my Summer Break to geek out about how fucking awesome my childhood movies were.

With that out of the way, let's dive right on in to the 1987 American-British animated musical The Brave Little Toaster.

***

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Mirai Sentai Timeranger Episodes 19 & 20 - Summary/Review


Things are finally starting to take a turn for the better as far as this seasons quality goes. The last episode was great and new mecha were teased so I am hoping the quality train continues. Click "read more" and we shall see.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Green Phoenix - My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom Review

My Next Life as a Villainess, All Routes Lead to Doom! light novel volume 1 cover.jpg

Sometimes there comes along an anime that just speaks to you, you know?

I have made it no secret of my love for romance stories in fiction. I also enjoy isekai's and self-aware stories which comment on their own narrative's shortcomings and tropes. Combine all of these with with a very sweet and ditzy main character and a truly humorous comedic plot with the occasional dash of emotion and you have My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom.

Yeah its a mouthful but this anime released in 2020, with a second season set to air in 2022, has been a highlight of my pandemic watch list alongside That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. The adventures and life of Catarina Claes and her efforts to avoid her death or exile at the hands of a bad dating sim story line is a treat to view and I think you all come to agree with me after my review.

So join me as we take a look at the comedic reverse harem romance that is My Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom.

***

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Mirai Sentai Timeranger Episodes 17 & 18 - Summary/Review




The episodes continue on and the quality is still back and forth with a desperate need to a major plot point to happen. Normally, this would be around the time for the 6th ranger to appear, but this season is going to be a late bloomer with that. So, click "read more" for my coverage of what I predict to be 2 more filler episodes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Mirai Sentai Timeranger Episodes 15 & 16 - Summary/Review

 



Our quest from the past about a future team continues with 2 more episodes covered. Click "read more" for my full article.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Green Phoenix - Walking with Cavemen Review

 

 Amazon.com: Walking with Cavemen: Robert Winston, Christian Bradley, Alex  Palmer, Oliver Parham, David Rubin, Florence Sparham, Marva Alexander,  Rachel Essex, Faroque Khan, Suzanne Cave, Ruth Dawes, Bill Latka, Pierre de  Lespinois, Steven

At long last, we come to the final of the Walking with... documentaries, not including the specials (like Sea Monsters) or more child-oriented programming.

Released in 2003, Walking with Cavemen was technically the third series in the franchise, as Walking with Monsters wasn't released until 2005. However, I've always held that Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Beasts, and Walking with Monsters makes up the trinity of mainline films with Walking with Cavemen acting like more of an expansion of Walking with Beasts, covering largely the same time frame as the latter half of the series.

Walking with Cavemen, as you can imagine, turns its focus largely on the evolution of man. Using many of the same techniques and filming methods employed by the rest of the franchise to explore the lives of the various hominids which called Earth home before modern man, Walking with Cavemen stands in my mind as something as an outlier and oddball among its fellow series.

As I will go into further detail in the actual review segment, Walking with Cavemen makes a few changes to the overall formula that really bother me, despite my love of the subject at hand. Despite a good narrative angle for the documentary, there is only a single massive element which keeps this film from being regarded as equal to the rest of the franchise.

***

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Power Rangers - My Top 5 Red Rangers



This is it, the Red Rangers. Every season gives their Red Rangers a lot of attention because they are the center of the team, normally the leader, which made narrowing down to 5 picks very difficult. Nevertheless, I did my best, so click "read more" to read about them.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Extreme Etymology of Sonic the Hedgehog


 

I don't think it's a particular stretch to say that Sonic The Hedgehog was a significant part of my early childhood. Ever since I was but a wee lad in the early nineties, playing Sonic 2 on the Genesis before I was even toilet trained, I can say that I was incensed by the speed freak's fast-paced platforming escapades. Though I was too young and too poor to be able to catch other parts of the franchise as it was developing in the west--the Archie comics, the numerous cartoons (both good and bad), and its many storybooks, I did try my best to keep up with the franchise as it crossed consoles and generations. I didn't own all of the games--I still don't to this day--I always kept pace in some fashion with the nitro-fueled needle mouse, even as I watched him burn out in much the same way a lot of Nineties kids did.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Green Phoenix - The King's Speech Review

 A film poster showing two men framing a large, ornate window looking out onto London. Colin Firth, on the left, is wearing as naval uniform as King George VI, staring at the viewer. Geoffrey Rush, on the right, is wearing a suit and facing out the window, his back to the reader. The picture is overlaid with names and critical praise for the film.

I'm super excited about today's article.

The King Speech, directed by Tom Hooper, is an Oscar-winning drama that was released in 2010 to near universal acclaim. As a fan of not only history, but stories about monarchies, and cinematic dramas, this film was essentially purpose built for me to love it. I realize that I don't usually give my impression of a film in the introductory segments of these articles, but I don't really feel like diffusing my enthusiasm.

Seeing the term Oscar-worthy, and realizing that the Academy Awards was only last week as of writing this article, I am reminded of the fact that more many filmgoers, the Oscars haven't ever really been an indicator of mass appeal and most people will likely never see the films which are graced with such awards unless they happen upon them when binge-streaming. An unfortunate reality of our world but one I hope articles like this can hopefully rectify.

Back in college, I established a reputation for myself as being drawn to the more popular forms of cinema rather than esoteric arthouse films (much to my fellow classmates  derision), and I hope that artistic appreciation for less "artistic" films has garnered trust in you all to be open-minded towards a more artistic and dramatic piece. There are no great action scenes in The King's Speech, only a deeply personal story of a friendship between a man who would be king and his eccentric speech therapist. The film is in many ways, the perfect "Oscar" movie and is therefore likely ignored by many for more action-packed blockbusters.

I hope therefore that this review might drive you all to check out this incredible dramatic story, based on real history.

***

Saturday, April 24, 2021

MAMIYA -Visual novel review


 MAMIYA is a visual novel centered around dark and tense psychological themes. It deals with things related to abuse, self-harm, and gender identity. I'll try to keep this review spoiler-free, but I'll tell you now that I really enjoyed the story. Click 'read more' to get my full thoughts on the game. MAMIYA will be available on Steam starting April 30th, 2021.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Green Phoenix - Blazing Saddles Review

 Blazing saddles movie poster.jpg

Comedy films, in my opinion, have always been difficult to objectively review due to the inherently subjective nature of comedy itself. Not everyone finds the same things funny. However, there are aspects and themes that a comedy can touch upon that help to transcend it beyond your average run-of-the-mill kneeslapper into a piece of historically significant art. Today's film is one such piece.

Director Mel Brooks 1974 satirical Western Blazing Saddles has become almost legendary as "the film that could never be made today" due to its heavy racial themes and subjects. As I will go into further detail, I believe who make this claim are missing something very fundamental about the film that helps to elevate beyond a simple parody of Western films into an entire critique of American race relations as portrayed in media and the very notion of American exceptionalism that is exemplified in the Western genre as a whole.

For how crass and vulgar the film was then and now, it is easily one of the smartest and most subversive comedies that has ever been made and, in my opinion, represents the absolute best of what Mel Brooks could do directorally and what film parody can become. I love watching and referencing this movie often and was extremely excited when I realized that I could review it. So here we go guys...the most controversial film I've reviewed thus far, Blazing Saddles.

***

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Power Rangers - Top 5 Ranger-Like Allies

 



These are heroes that aren't technically Power Rangers, but still part of the team. This should be a more fun list. Click "read more" for my full article. (Debatably, a couple of them made their way onto the Black Rangers lists, but I considered those 2 rangers.)


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Power Rangers - My Top 5 Misc. Colored Rangers



Some ranger colors, mainly purple, are so rare that they don't even have 5 to pick from. So, let's scrape together some of them and see what kind of top 5 this will be. Click "read more" for the full article. One rule, a different shade doesn't count. So, no navy or darker reds.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Green Phoenix - Let's Talk...Mineta from My Hero Academia

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5a/Boku_no_Hero_Academia_Volume_1.png

Hello everyone! Let's get into yet another edition of "Let's Talk", my free-form editorial series where I discuss a subject that is on my mind all off the cuff and from the heart. This time we will discuss a topic that is tangentially connected to something very near and dear to my heart. If you are a fan of the anime My Hero Academia, you may or may not be surprised by what I have to say. But we will get to that in a moment.

It will probably be something of a hot take, but I feel like I do have something to say on the subject.

For those of you who follow my content outside of this website, you would be familiar with my very personal connection to fandom and fan content, including for the purposes of this article: fanfiction. I started reading fanfiction through the My Little Pony fandom, before then expanding into Steven Universe, Game of Thrones, and the subject of today's article, My Hero Academia,an anime written by Kohei Horikoshi that takes place in an alternate future Earth where most people develop superpowers and become superheroes. The show is incredibly good and I find that the prospect of superpowers to be a fascinating breeding ground for great fanfiction stories.

As of writing this article, the show is starting its 5th season, which you can watch subbed on CrunchyRoll. While I do plan on watching it when their are more episodes available for me to begin bingeing, I felt like this was the perfect opportunity for me to discuss an aspect of the fandom that severely disturbs me and that I want to discuss with some measure of detail. If you read the title of this article and are familiar with My Hero Academia and its fandom in any capacity, you likely already know what I am going to talk about.

So let's talk about the Fresh-Picked Hero: Grape Juice (otherwise known as Mineta Minoru, the pervert of Class 1-A) and why the fandom hates this character so much and why that's kind of a bid problem.

***

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

TCR #380 - PSN PS3




Power Rangers - My Top 5 Blue Rangers


Now it is time for the blue rangers. This is one of the more variety options to choose from as blue rangers have been the brains, the brawn, the girl, second in command, and sometimes ex-red rangers. So, I'll give it my best shot, click "read more" and let's see if this gives you the blues.


Friday, April 2, 2021

Green Phoenix - 1634: The Galileo Affair Review

 1634 The Galileo Affair-Eric Flint.jpg

I have covered several books in the 1632 series on this channel and made plans to review the rest of the series, even possibly including single reviews of the anthology stories found in the Grantville Gazettes. While I contend that the series is overall very good and remains my favorite series of all time, today's book stands as the first in the series that I'm not super crazy about. As I will explain in the review proper, this is the first book in the franchise that I don't go out of my way to read when the re-reading begins.

1634: The Galileo Affair was published in April 2004 as a collaborative work between lead series writer Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis. Narratively the book reintroduces characters established in "To Dye For", "Between the Armies" and "A Matter of Consultation" from the first Ring of Fire anthology book, as well as a few stories from the first Grantville Gazette, and begins the so-called Southern European thread of the 1632 series.

The story tells the tale of the Stone family, Americans from Grantville, who move to Venice in order to help teach the "modern" Europeans about American medical practices while also working to open up a trade route to the Middle East. Whilst in Venice, one of the younger Stone's gets involved with the daughter of a local political firebrand who has become a fan of American political philosophy and gets wrapped up in a plot to save Galileo from his religious trial in Rome, being presided over by the pope himself. Little do they know that an assassin is planning to use the scheme as a way of killing off the pope in the name of Protestantism, all while the pope is caught in a conundrum over the theological impact of modern Catholic doctrine coming through the Ring of Fire and how this should impact the future of the church.

***

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Power Rangers - My Top 5 Yellow Rangers

 


Yellow Rangers were a pretty even split with male and female in Japan, but mostly female in America. A flexible role on the team, could be the sweetheart, the tomboy, a muscle, the loveable gullible one, or a number of other roles. Sadly, few Yellow Rangers are given a chance to standout and shine even if they are good characters. It was not an easy list to make, but click "read more" if you want to see it.

TCR: 379 - Contra is Hard





Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Viola: The Heroine's Melody (Steam) - PC Game Review

 


Here is a brilliant little indie title that combines 2D platforming with turn-based RPGs and is music themed. That sounds like a mismatch of genre, but they all work together surprisingly well. Click "read more" for my full review.


Tuesday, March 23, 2021

KaiserKast #8 - Pirate Party Edition (ft. Cameron Hons)

On this episode I talk Mario rom hacks, Retro Achievements, being in dangerous stunts in movies, and the new Pirate Party album.  Oh, director, musician, fellow Pirate Party band member, Cameron Hons guest stars in this episode.


You can buy our new album, "Sexy Times At Sea" on Bandcamp: Sexy Times At Sea | Pirate Party The Band | Cameron Hons (bandcamp.com)

You can find the rest of our albums (and the rest of Cameron's albums) on Bandcamp also: Music | Cameron Hons (bandcamp.com)

Closing song for this episode is called Pirate Code by Pirate Party the Band.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Green Phoenix - 8 Emotional Animated Movie Tracks

Hey everybody!

It's once again time for another countdown article. This week, we will be covering a topic that is very near to my heart and something that I relish in. But to explain it, I do have to go a bit into my personal life if you all will allow me the opportunity.

I grew up in a very traditional and conservative environment and was thus subjected to many aspects of masculinity that could quite frankly be described as toxic. Chief among these was an aspect perhaps quite familiar to many of my contemporaries in possession of a male identity.

The inability to have emotional catharsis through outbursts, especially crying.

Thankfully, I am no longer actively subjected or pressured by such an environment and have endeavored to remove much of the programming that was placed upon me as a child. However the scars of youth linger and I've always struggled to be able to cry, even for events that would normally elicit such a response.

As a result, I have often turned to the soundtracks of films for my emotional releases. Cinema soundtracks possess a powerful transformative capacity. Musical tracks are used by filmmakers to enhance the emotional timbre (to use a musical phrase) of a scene and the best musical tracks can even inspire beyond the scene in question.

Now I had initially desired to do a general countdown for both live-action and animation together, but it was suggested that animation might be better handled separately. Animated films have much more control over the timing and coordination of their soundtracks with their visuals and this can lead to some truly awe-inducing moments of cinema, alongside allowing composers the freedom to stretch their musical muscles.

So let's take a non-competitive look at 8 emotional animated film musical tracks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Power Rangers: My top 5 Silver Rangers

Ranger Wiki


Oh Silver Rangers, one of my favorite Ranger colors. Unlike gold, there are actually a fair amount of interesting options to choose from, despite only having 10 rangers, plus 1 gray. Almost all of them are memorable, but click "read more" and I will do my best to pick just 5.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Green Phoenix - Walking with Monsters Review

 https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51eHOob7D6L._SY445_.jpg

 

Happy Friday everybody!

So this week has been very busy for me at my job. Most of my coworkers were out for the week and, for one reason or another, I was the only individual trained for my particular position in the company. As such, I'm currently writing these articles in the moments of downtime during my shift. But honestly, I find this environment highly conducive to my writing and this may be a continued situation for the foreseeable articles.

Felt like giving you guys a little update of my day-to-day life as it does tend to impact my output of these articles and the content therein. In my downtime at work when I'm not working on articles, I've been catching up with streaming shows. And among my favorite streaming channels to watch, CuriosityStream is definitely high on that list (I am not getting paid by CuriosityStream to say that, by the way).

I've stated on numerous occasions my love of documentary, with particular interest on geological and biological history. Many of my past documentary articles have been on the Walking with... series. The BBC documentary series has long been held as the gold standard of dinosaur documentaries with Walking with Dinosaurs and the franchise released another hit with its sequel Walking with Beasts (which covered the history of life following the extinction of the dinosaurs).

But with today's article, we will examine the prequel to Walking with Dinosaurs. Detailing the myriad forms of life which preceded the Age of the Dinosaurs. In Walking with Monsters, we bear witness to the evolution of the countless forms of life that inhabit our world and the innumerable forms which seem to defy logic itself.

How does the prequel stand up against the original and the sequel? Does the BBC's trilogy on the Tree of Life end with a bang or a whimper?

***

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Power Rangers: My Top 5 Gold Rangers

comic vine

 

Well, this one feels kind of silly. Just like white and silver, how can one make a top 5 out of 6 to 8 options? Well, click "read more" and I will give it my best try.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Green Phoenix - Thunderball Review

 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/1f/Thunderball_-_UK_cinema_poster.jpg

I hope everyone is having a good start to March. I genuinely want to apologize to everyone who expected a review last week. Unfortunately I had a particular intense mental health spike and had to take a very needed mental health break. Thankfully I am feeling much better and can hopefully return to regular releases of these articles for at least the next few months (until my Summer Break in June). 

With that said, let's get started on this weeks film to examine. EON Productions' 1961 classic spy thriller, Thunderball.

Going to be entirely honest here, Thunderball's backstory is almost more memorable than the movie itself. The film was involved in a series of legal battles over the rights to the story, which a pair of collaborators of Ian Fleming's accused the author of stealing from them. The results of this legal battle would result in not only a delay in Thunderball's release but also the release of a non-EON adaptaion of the same story in Never Say Never Again in 1983 by Warner Bros.

This means that, in some ways, Thunderball is one of only two Bond films to have received multiple adaptations, besides the  parody adaptation of Casino Royale produced in 1967.

It's just a shame that in my opinion, Thunderball isn't nearly as memorable as its predecessor Goldfinger. And as you will see, this is rather strange when one considers how many elements of the film have gone on to be staples of the spy genre or parodies therein.

***

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Power Rangers: My Top 5 White Rangers

ranger wiki



Now it is time for the White Rangers. Considering I am the White Ranger of this website, I should probably take my time and put a lot of thought into this top 5. However, considering there has only been 8 White Rangers (not counting Sentai or Kat Ranger who is classified as orange) it was not a hard or satisfying list to make. So, click "read more" and let's check out this list of limited options.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

New Podcast Network with Buzzsprout

 After some searching around and planning, we have signed up for some podcast hosting with Buzzsprout. Now, any show within our network including the newest Kaiser Cast can be found on Spotify along with a variety of other places and we have a proper RSS feed now. 


Check it out, 

HERE

Kaiserkast #7 - Cendoo, Chickens, Politics, and Retro Games. ft. Cendoo

 Cendoo joins me for this episode because I didn't have enough material.  


Song used at end is Save the Weed (Greatest Hits Version) by Pirate Party the Band.  

You can buy our album, An Explosive Barrel of Hits off of Bandcamp.: An Explosive Barrel Of Hits! | Pirate Party The Band | Cameron Hons (bandcamp.com)

You can download the episode here.


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Power Rangers - My Top 5 Pink Rangers

 


Continuing my quest to cover my favorites of all ranger colors. Please note this bumper image are not the choices. Time for the power of pink, the only ranger color that always been female. As before, only rangers that are officially classified as Pink, anybody that was more then one color can only appear on up to 2 lists, and this is just my opinion. Feel free to comment with your opinion. Click "read more" for the list.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Green Phoenix - A Prophet Without Honor Review

A Prophet Without Honor: A Novel of Alternative History by [Joseph Wurtenbaugh, Manoj Vijayan] 

I will be completely honest with all of you. This review was something of a surprise to me. It had not been on my schedule to review until I finished reading it.

While I am a fan of alternate history and will always be ready to sing the praises of a book that captures my attention, I usually find myself drawn to the works of well-known or famous alternate history writers. That is not the case with today's novel.

A Prophet Without Honor was written by Joseph Wurtenbaugh and is, as one might imagine, an alternate World War 2 story. These are almost dime a dozen in the alternate history genre and it takes a lot to impress me; but Wurtenbaugh's outing chooses not only to approach the subject from a new angle, directing the point of divergence to occur at the Reoccupation of the Rhinelands, an operation by the Nazis to reoccupy Germany's western borderlands with military forces in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, but by revealing that approach through a narrative structure that I've rarely seen before in any genre.

The book is deeply challenging once one can engage with the unique story structure and is very poignant to a modern American reader up to date with the comings and goings of our current political climate. The rise and poison of Nazism and totalitarianism is revealed in a way that few books manage to accomplish successfully and it accomplishes this goal without resorting to the "Great Man View of History".

A Prophet Without Honor is quite simply a book that once I finished it, I needed to spread it to everyone else.

***

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Battleship (Switch) - Review

 


How do you like that, an old favorite board game made into a video game, again. This is the 2018 version, and the Nintendo Switch port to be exact. This is a direct port from Steam and mobile apps. Click "read more" and let's take a look.


Friday, February 12, 2021

Green Phoenix - Goldfinger Review

On a black background, a woman in underwear painted gold stands on the left. An image of Bond and a woman is projected on the right side of the woman's body. On the left is a phrase of the tagline: "James Bond Back in Action". Below is the title and credits. 

Hey everybody, its time once again to return to our slow review of the entire James Bond franchise. Over the next three weeks, we will cover another two films in the series (with a book review in between) before moving on and taking yet another break to focus on other subjects. This week, we turn our sights to the film that is widely considered among the best Bond films of all time and the one that truly helped make the James Bond franchise into what it is today.

Released in 1964, Goldfinger was based Ian Fleming's seventh novel of the same name. The film in may ways finalized the formula for the Bond films that would follow and has become a sort of benchmark for the franchise. Even if it wasn't the first film in the series, Goldfinger has managed to carve a place for itself with James Bond franchise as the first quintessential Bond films and has become mandatory viewing for anyone, even with it still possessing some of the more troubling cultural norms which were all to common in films of that era, which I will touch upon in the larger review.

But I am excited and do enjoy watching this film so as you can imagine, the review will be largely positive. Let's take a look at Goldfinger, the third film in the James Bond franchise.

***

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Power Rangers - My Top 5 Green Rangers

 


Continuing on our quest to list the best of every colored ranger, let's tackle the fan favorite, green. Now, there are a lot of great green rangers so this list was actually pretty difficult. However, I am only here to give my opinion. Rules are standard, any ranger who was multiple colors can only make 2 lists at most, also I am going by what they are officially classified as regarding colors. With that out of the way, click "read more" and let's get on with the list.


Sunday, February 7, 2021

Sea of Thieves: A Fanciful Seafairing Funhouse

 Sea of Thieves is An Engrossing Maelstrom of Mutiplayer Mayhem




As I pass from the disastrous year that was 2020 into the hopefully greener pastures of 2021, with all the baggage it entails, I've come to a number of odd self-revelations of late. One of which being that there are certain concepts in popular culture that I don't feel have ever gotten out of vogue. Certain evergreen archetypes in character and narrative design that, in spite of some genre-tiring brands, still remain in the common conscience to this day. Y'know, your cowboys, your ninjas, your knights and wizards. But I think out of all of them, one that seems to never truly fall out fashion in spite it all is that of the pirate. There's just something about pirates that seems almost eternal. Maybe it's the idea of the open ocean. Maybe it's the feeling of rebelling against a stagnant system and forging your own path, come hell or high water. Maybe it's the camaraderie one has with one's crew as your lot of seamen are stranded upon a ship for days on end, with only your company and a few songs in your heart to keep you company.


Hell, considering the fact that apparently singing sea shanties on TikTok is currently the hot new trend, maybe there's just something to pirates and their lore that has this almost universal appeal. Kinda like zombies, in a way.


To that end, the call to hoist my sails and fill my boots grew strong in the last few days of a politically and socially tumultuous winter season. My desire to explore a world at a more leisurely pace and go on smaller-scale adventures with a few mates weighed strong. With games like Destiny 2 and The Division 2 not holding my interest as they used to, and with my job finally offering me a minimal raise that gave me a bit more money to burn just in time for the holidays, I had a particular megalodon of a multiplayer game in my spyglass.


That game is Sea of Thieves, an Always-Online Multiplayer Open World Pirate Sandbox that is notable for a good few reasons. First off, it's a game in a genre that, with the exception of several licensed titles, Sid Meyer's own contributions, and some pretty poor RPGs, was never really that well served apart from maybe Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. Though I've also heard ATLAS is good, but I was spurned from that game due to it apparently performing worse than a dinghy being piloted by a man with one arm in the middle of an active hurricane. Second, it's a *multiplayer* pirate game, something that has almost never been done outside of a handful of titles like Pirates of The Burning Sea and the now-defunct Pirates of the Caribbean online. Maybe there are some obscure ones out there, but I haven't heard of them. Finally, this is the first Rare original game to come out in...*by the powers*, TEN YEARS. The fact this game exists as it is could be seen as an anomaly you'd find while sailing through the Bermuda Triangle.


While I could go all clinical and analytical and tell you every little thing about the gameplay, I intend on keeping things a bit more casual and reflective. As one ought to when they're on the ocean.


When I first began the game--after having to deal with some technical trials due to having to set up a Microsoft account to play--two things immediately stood out to me. First, the game's _stellar_ presentation. Every inch of this game is oozing with this delightfully toony aesthetic that I just adore in games like this. Every person has a distinct silhouette and appearance, with every skin tone and body type you can picture being on full display. They many shades of the open waters and their distinct crests as you sail each of the game's regions and keep an eye out for dangers. 


The second was one of many odd design decisions that I feel like only existed as some form of anti-bullying measure. This game doesn't have a typical character creator like most multiplayer online games these days do. Instead, you have the imaginatively titled "Infinite Pirate Generator", a bespoke procedurally generated wheel of pirates that brings to mind the "Dial-A-Pirate" Copy-Protection from *The Secret of Monkey Island*. While as mentioned before, the body types and skin tones on display are very nicely varied, and you can at least lock in designs you enjoy most, in spite of this diversity, you aren't given the option to fine-tune it until after you complete the maiden voyage. Once you get into the game properly, you can easily fine-tune the look to your liking, but until you do, you're stuck with what you've been given.


Those two first impressions past me, I set off to make my fortune--and bring my friends along for the ride.


I always enjoy loading into this game, because *every time* you start a new session, you're always waking up from what had to have been a raucous evening of grog swilling and storytelling, punctuated by the removal of a knife that you stuck in the table. It's a nice little touch. From there, the open ocean is your oyster, with a wide assortment of nautical nonsense to embark on, should you so wish. Whether you're into classic *Treasure Island* style treasure hunts, getting into naval combat with damned skeleton and ghost ships--or going *full* pirate and attacking other player ships to steal their things--or just going for leisurely fishing trips and freight jobs, you won't find yourself wanting for direction. Hell, there are even really nice, story-rich voyages you can go on called Tall Tales, in case you're one of those people who can't get into a wide-open sandbox without knowing why exactly the toys are spread around in it.


Or, y'know, you could just say "Balls to That" and just sail from island to island, seeing what you can find and using the horizon as your guide. There's usually a good chance you'll still find an NPC ship or a giant shark getting in your way to keep things exciting. Or if you're feeling particularly brave (or particularly cursed), you could attempt to hunt the Kraken world event. Just a word of advice--don't go heading towards the giant floating skull without a plan and *provisions to last.* That belongs to Captain Flameheart, and he will sink you harder than the bathroom section of your local home improvement store. Probably best to sail the other way.


Sailing is something that's pretty big in Sea of Thieves. It's kind of implied by its title, y'know? Much like that one Zelda game that everyone originally hated but grew to love later, sailing is about 70% to 80% of the core gameplay loop, with the other 30% to 20% being dedicated to disembarking to and making stops at ports to find and sell valuable goods you might find on the journey. And these stops can house just about anything--crews of skeletal pirates, buried treasure, live animals you can capture to sell to the Merchant's Alliance--or slaughter for their meat because meat is the single best health resource in this entire game--even a chance to get Ancient Coins, which are the game's real-world currency for premium goods. You might get even luckier still and stumble upon Ashen Chests and Ashen Keyes, which are *incredibly* valuable loot that reward you with some pretty great cosmetics if you turn them in.


In between all those trips ashore, though? Long, arduous trips with your mates, usually accompanied by one or two people keeping an eye for the heading while another guy decides to play random shanties on one of the many instruments available. And during this sailing, one of the game's greatest strengths comes into sharp relief--its strong sailing mechanics. While the rest of its core gameplay loop is plenty solid on its own--the game practically lives and dies by it--it's when you raise your anchor and drop your sails where you start to realize that Rare just *gets* what separates sailing from most any other form of transportation in games. While with stuff like planes, trains, automobiles, you have a fair idea of figuring out the controls fairly quickly--unless, of course, you're playing a sim game, in which case you'll likely need an actual owner's manual to make sense of anything--when it comes to sailing a ship? It's a whole different ball game.


It's not as easy as simply turning the wheel to turn the whole ship. These aren't your fancy *motorized* boats, you land-lubber. These are *sailing ships*. Sure, you could just steer them like any other vehicle, but you're not likely to get anywhere with speed or even precision. Just like in actual real-life sailing, you have to account for wind direction and speed, too. Do you tack your masts into the current headwind and go full sail to move at maximum nautical velocity, or do you draw your sails up to be able to make a crucial turn that'll keep you from reenacting the end of Titanic on your galleon? Do you drop anchor to make the nautical equivalent of a handbrake turn, or do you shoot your harpoon at the nearest rock to jackknife off it and pull some sick seven-seas drifting? Can you afford to take your hands off the wheel to get a good angle to sail with the wind, or do you let your mates do it for you? And this is all without even considering variables like flotsam and enemy ships you're likely to encounter. Just about anything can happen on the seas, and it's happening regardless of if you're ready for it or not. As much as sailing *can* be a relaxing experience at times, in this game, a moment's laxity can doom you and your crew to a watery grave in but a few instances.


Suppose I should briefly touch upon combat, on that note. Combat effectively breaks down into two types: man-to-man, and ship-to-ship. Man to Man has you chosing between any combination of a cutclass, a flintlock pistol, a blunderbuss, or the Eye of Reach rifle. Everything does respectable damage, and headshots will hurt like hell regardless of where it comes from. Though it's not very complex as far as combat could go, there's enough strategy in deciding what to carry to justify going toe to toe on an island or the deck of a ship.


Meanwhile, Ship to Ship combat is predictably a whole different beast altogether. You have the predictable stuff like cannonballs for simple but effective damage and chainshot for messing up ship components, but there's also plenty of specialty munitions on top of that. Firebombs for lighting the decks ablaze for that sweet damage over time effect, Blunderbombs for knocking crew overboard (or repelling ballsy boarding parites), and a *cornucopia* of cursed cannonballs to deal some truly debilitating effects to the enemy ships. From simple stuff like locking the wheel so they can't move to broadside you or avoid an oncoming obstacle or forcibly drop the anchor to make them a prime target for your own broadsiding to balls that make the crew uncontorllably drunk or fall alseep on their feet altogether to ghostly cannonballs that pierce through ships and knock players around. You can even load yourself inside an empty cannon and have another gunner fire you out of it to hurl yourself onto the deck of an enemy ship--or to hurl yourself into the ocean for a tactical retreat.


You can really tell the guys designing this part of the game really had fun trying to find creative ways to stretch out engagements between enemy ships, because a battle only ends when one ship is left afloat after they've put too much damage on the other ship to feasibly repair in ttime. While all kinds of damage can occur to a ship--broken masts that have to be hoisted back up and reinforced by wood to keep them upright, fires on any number of places on-board that have to be quickly put out before they spread and cause yet more damage, the wheel or capstone breaking, requiring a hasty patch job to keep things smooth--only one type of damage is truly king above the rest in Sea of Thieves, and that is predictably flooding. So as fights drag on, it's almost inevitable at least one of you will have to break off to go below deck to plug holes and bale water to keep you in the fight while your gunner tries to land a shot and your helmsman barks orders while trying to get you in position. This all comes together in the end to create one of the most tense, stressfull, panic-inducing, and ultimately very rewarding combat system that makes every engagement a gamble.


And the best part? No pay to win bullshit. No level or stat grinding! Everything in the game does the same kind of damange regardless of what fancy skin you end up acquiring for it. Some of you might now be asking, "But Adam, if there's no getting stronger, then what's the point in getting higher rankings in the trading companies? What's the point in fighting anyone if it doesn't make you more powerful next time?" To that I say, it's not *about* power. It's about *precision*. It's about *skill*. It's about pulling off masterfully coordinated alpha strikes on your enemies while wearing cool outfits and sailing on an even cooler ship that you and your mates came together to pick the livery for. The only thing that matters in any given fight is your aim with a gun and how much prep work you all did before you decided to raise the metaphorical (and perhaps literal) black flag to throw down. If all that's your bag, you might want to check out the game's Arena mode instead of the normal Adventure mode and prove you're a properly professional pirate.


"Then what's the point in Ancient Coins?" You may follow up with. "If it doesn't buy you anything that gives you a leg up, why are they asking for more money out of you?"


If you paid attention to the prior paragraph, you'd know exactly what the point is. It's not "Pay-to-Win", it's "Pay-to-Profile". None of the things on offer in the PIrate Emporium give any direct advantage unless you're one of those people who genuinely believe that having your ship be in colors that might camouflage it slightly is an advantage. That aside, the vast majority of things you can get are some primetime outfits, ship liveries that pay homage to Rare's history, or my personal favorite, interactive pets that you can summon to follow you around. Y'know, in case you get a little lonely on a voyage. These pets may actually be one of the best little touches in a game that has an astonishing amount of little details. Dogs will rest at the bedside, monkies will perch themselves on your shoulder, and Parrots will perch onto just about anything. But my *favorite* part? They *dance* when you play songs for them. *especially* the birds. When I first saw one of my friends bring out their bird and watched it bang its head in rhythm, I nearly had a stroke from how utterly adorable it was.


Honestly, if I had to give my worst problems with this game, it's that it is an incredible magic trick towards your time. Whether it be due to being engrossed in the journey or getting screwed by setbacks from the many griefers that are all but encouraged by the mere existence of the Reapers Bones trading company, what might have been envisioned as a short excursion with the lads will often be an hours-long odyssey that, by the end of it, will inevitably be an exhausting trek that may or may not end up being to some degree of a phyrric victory when all's said and done. This is *not* a game you can get any amount of good experience in just a few minutes. If you value your time, you'll have to make a night of this game to get the most out of any given play session, and by the end, you're likely to be left either smiling at what all you've accomplished, or blankly staring at the clock wondering very loudly where in Davey Jones's arsehole the time went so suddenly.


My other complaint, as previously mentioned, is the griefing. Much like games like EVE Online, griefing is rampant and expected. While I'm not sure if there are actual hackers at play, there are most certainly some incredibly bloodthirsty brigands out there who will be all but willing to run your ship into the ground if you even so much as look like you have something of value. The fact they tie a trading company exlcusively to this Open PVP mechanic and actively encourage a portion of the playerbase to embrace this vicious side to the pirate's life means that much like in the films that inspired it, alliances will be tenuous at best and toxic at worst. It makes me glad that any and all loot sold with a group is automatically split into a fair share because if that wasn't automated, I could not imagine what that would result in. it honestly makes me wish that there was a system in place to allow you to opt out of PVP altogether. Make it so you can't get damaged by player ships, but also can't damage enemy ships in turn. You could even tie it into the narrative in the same way that they tie scuttling your ship to a safer harbor as a deal with the ghost shipman.


Lastly, while the game *can* be played solo, it absolutely demands group play, and even when solo, you aren't given the option to pause the game in case you have to do something else for even a brief moment, because as previously stated, taking your attention away for a moment can be a horrifically fatal error. This is a game that will force your attention upon it and does not care if you have other obligations unless you're doing a Tall Tale and making good use of its checkpoints. And god help you if you crash during a voyage. This is a game you devote time to or you don't play at all.


In closing, instead of simply giving a numbered score or a call to action, I'll instead end this review off with a story of one amazing night I had with this game. If what I experienced this one night sounds like an experience you'd like to have for yourself, go buy it and find some mates to crew up with.


So a friend and I, the former of us having previously jumped ship from ATLAS to play this game, decided one night to be a dynamic duo in our own little sloop. We decide to go on a Gilded Skull Voyage (the most longform and involved of the Order of Souls's bounty hunting missions) and about halfway through, we decide to make a stopover at a nearby port to sell our plunder to quiet the whisperings of the damned in our hold and keep our ship from glowing like a nightlight resembling a traditional Khornate altar. As we're doing this, we find that our reputation and gold have put us over the threshold to purchase an Emissary Flag--special little pennants you can fly to rep a particular trading company a-la Tabards in World of Warcraft. As with the tabards in WoW, Emissary Flags reward you with increased reputation and rewards when doing stuff that furthers the cause of the faction, as well as customizations to honor your commitment to the cause.


It also indirectly makes you a target for players looking to up their reputation in the Reaper's Bones, who gain significant rewards from plundering other player's Emmisary Flags.


Almost *immediately* after we raise our flag, we find that our ship is attacked by a Reaper's Bones ship, and is sunk not long after due to our ship being fairly small and easy to flood. Naturally, we were pretty bummed out by this...until we saw that we were getting credit for the things of ours they were selling. Even better? They had yet to leave the port where they'd sank us. So, my friend, acting as captain and helmsman, got an idea. A horrible, terrible, awful idea. He wanted to get retribution, and with the both of us feeling particularly bloodthirsty, we say "screw it, carpe diem" and make an effort to chase them down. Of course, their Brigantine is swifter than our sloop, but that wasn't going to stop us. For miles on end, we tail them, getting potshots wherever we can, but ultimately failing to make lasting damage on them.


That was until a Skeleton Ship decided to join the fray. And being the tactical mavens we were, we realized we could force the enemy into a battle on two fronts, dividing their manpower and making the most of an opportune opponent. Hard to mount a counterattack when you can only fire one gun at a time, after all. This nets us a good chunk of damage as is, and with a continued chase, we might have had them.


And then a Megalodon showed up. In the immortal words of my helmsman, he proclaimed, "What god did they piss off, and how do I pray to them?"


Properly knackered by the extended battle and now officially routed by a giant shark eating into their hull, they're forced to scramble for the Reaper's Hideout in the vain hope of trying to dock and sell their filched flag to the NPC to get that sweet reward they so desperately wanted. This, of course, left them sitting ducks, and we very promptly put as much firepower onto their ship as possible before finally taking on their crewman to man as they boarded. Respawns were on our side in that fight, as we held out long enough to watch their ship sink into the depths, their ill-gotten gains now ripe for the stealing.


By the end of everything, we walked away with more firepower than the average Montana resident and a decent windfall of gold. While the actual quest we were on ended up bugged, we didn't care. We had an otherwise easygoing voyage spoiled by some arsehole sailors, went on a journey to avenge our honor, and had fortune's favor on our side for most of the duration. If that doesn't sum up the Sea of Thieves experience, I don't know what else does.


Ultimately, Sea of Thieves is very much a game where you get out what you put in. It is a game that all but demands your time and lives and dies by its core systems. Through infrequently fraught with unsavory folk, this game perhaps more than any other in its genre has the fantasy of piracy nailed down like a plank of lumber to a creaky mission mast. It's a game that despite its kiddy look and all ages appearance belies an engrossing and engaging experience that you'll seldom find in other sailing games like it. Just be certain to find some friends to play with, because with the right group (and perhaps the right amount of thematically appropriate snacks and alcohol) this game is a raucous time. 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Green Phoenix - The History of Swear Words Review

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f8/History_of_Swear_Words.jpg 

 THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WILL OBVIOUSLY POSSESS QUITE A LOT OF OBSCENITY, EVEN BEYOND MY USUAL AMOUNT. 

READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

*** 

It's not often that I come across the trailer for a film or series that makes me immediately go, "I MUST WATCH THIS!!!!". For all that I am a rabid viewer of cinema, my past economic difficulties have fostered in me a deep sense of "Wait and see" when it comes to many films, hoping that word of mouth can entice me into making the effort to see a new film. Even in the age of streaming services, where money is less of a pressing issue, the sheer amount of temporal investment (and time is money) into any movie or TV series is oftentimes difficult for me to get over.

So you can imagine my surprise and excitement when I came across the trailer for Netflix's documentary comedy series The History of Swear Words. Watching Nicholas Cage just scream the word fuck for thirty seconds was apparently enough to completely hook me onto the idea of this documentary series. Released on the 5th of January, 2021 The History of Swear Words is one of the first new releases on Netflix for the year and, as you will see in my review, a fantastic way to start this year.

***

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Power Rangers: My Top 5 Black Rangers



This will be the start of a series of top 5s I do for all ranger colors. There is no special reason why I am starting with Black. Just keep in mind, this is is purely my opinion and will more than likely not lineup with who consider the best black Rangers or your personal favorites. Instead of flaming, please leave a comment on who your favorites are. Two rules, I am going off what a Ranger is officially classified as, so the 6th Zeo Ranger is gold not black, and anybody who was multiple colors can only appear on 2 lists at most. (Looking at you Tommy.) Now, click "read more" and let's start the countdown. Spoilers!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Green Phoenix - Clear and Present Danger Review

Clear and Present Danger film.jpg

Towards the end of last year, I had the pleasure of introducing the second episode of my Let's Talk... series of articles by speaking upon my opinions of adapting the Jack Ryanverse series of books by Tom Clancy. In that article, I mentioned my absolute adoration for the 90s Tom Clancy trilogy of films. Now I've written about The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games previously, so we have only one film left to go.

Released in 1994, Clear and Present Danger has always been a strange film when compared to the other two. One part political thriller and one part military action film, I found Clear and Present Danger the most difficult of the three films to get invested in personally, though the film sees the return of a stunning cast, as well as the introduction of Willem Dafoe as John Clark, a character to actually plays a fairly significant role in the Tom Clancy universe.

Despite being a financial success, this film would mark the end of the Tom Clancy film series until the release of the failed rebooted franchise in 2002's The Sum of All Fears, which I don't have to tell you isn't a very good film and was clearly impacted by the cultural fallout from 9/11.

Which now that I think about it, could really be a summation of the entire Tom Clancy cinematic history. A franchise of excellent political and military thrillers, done in by the inexorable shifting of global politics that drive their stories into obsolescence.

At least...that's what I was going to say until the days leading into the January 6th Capitol Insurrection showed me that apparently a movie about a lone government official combating unconstitutional and illegal activities perpetrated from the very highest offices of government for a personal agenda weren't completely ridiculous. This review was delayed weeks by the change in my review format as well as the shifting sands of the American political climate. It all coalesced to make me reconsider my position on the relevancy of Tom Clancy in an age where internal clear and present dangers are very real and far more deadly than even fiction can come up with.


***

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