Saturday, April 29, 2023
Friday, April 28, 2023
In the annals of video game history, few games hold quite the status and legacy of Super Mario Bros. Released in 1985, Super Mario Bros. quickly achieved a reputation as one of the greatest games ever made and is almost singularly responsible for not only putting Nintendo on the map, but even saving the entire video game industry following the video game crash of 1983.
With such a legacy, its little wonder that video game adaptations of such a beloved game would occur. Unfortunately for history, the first such adaptation was 1993's Super Mario Bros., starring the late Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as Mario and Luigi respectively. To say the film was poorly received would be a gross understatement. The film is almost as legendary as the game it was based on, but mostly for how absolutely, abysmally terrible it was for the cast, crew and audience to deal with. The film was so bad that it actually colored the general audiences perception of video game film adaptations for nearly a decade.
The view on video game adaptations has slowly been shifting thanks to the release of films like Sonic the Hedgehog, so I suppose it was only a matter of time before Nintendo threw their hat back in the ring and adapted their most popular IP. The public reaction at the time that The Super Mario Bros. Movie was announced was, if I recall correctly, hesitance at best. The casting of big named celebrities like Chris Pratt rather than professional voice actors (like Charles Martinet, the actual voice of Mario) drew criticism, as did the hiring of Illumination (the company behind Despicable Me and The Grinch) to actually produce the film; as the company isn't exactly known for its films being super risky or transformative.
So The Super Mario Bros. Movie had a great deal of weight and suspicion going into theaters. Having watched the film with my brother and his horde of children, was this reluctance on the part of the audience deserved or is the film far better than the legacy that the 1993 film placed upon it?
Monday, April 24, 2023
Like getting a rare item drop in a nice and juicy RPG, it feels good. Sadly, these articles being a rare thing now is a sad thing. If we were like the bigger websites, ChatGPT would be making these articles for us. Thankfully, we're not those websites (although being paid to make AI written articles does sound good). Well... That was a bitter start. Thankfully, the center of this article is full of the sweet cheevo cream that you all desire. Mmmm. Now I'm hungry. Enjoy this eleventh issue of Cheap Cheevos while I go glaze a donut. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).
Friday, April 21, 2023
I'm sure it is little surprise to those of you out there who have read my work for a long time to know that I am a massive fan of the roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. I have been playing for years with my friends and been following many of the most popular livestream games out there, like Critical Role and Dimension 20. I don't think it is much of an exaggeration to describe ourselves as living in a renaissance for the roleplaying genre and to acknowledge the sheer ubiquity in popular culture as of late, especially in terms of television and movies.
Dungeons & Dragons presence within the television and film spheres in the last few years was largely limited to The Legend of Vox Machina (which we have already discussed in previous articles) and with the abysmal Dungeons and Dragons movie from the early 2000s (a film that has rightfully earned a bad cult classic reputation). Beyond that, we've had small independent films like The Gamers trilogy, which was one of the first pieces of media that really got me involved in the community (thanks Dorkness Rising). And of course, we've had the occasional reference to the hobby in various pieces of media like Stranger Things or My Little Pony, though these references tend to focus on the fans of the hobby rather than the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons specifically.
Thus when I heard that Hasbro was working with Paramount to release a big-budget Dungeons & Dragons movie, I must admit that I was immensely excited at the prospect. Hoping for a humorous and well-written exploration of the Dungeons & Dragons, I eagerly anticipated the release of Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
And then, the fucking Open Gaming Lisence debacle happened and I was stuck having to morally boycott the film until Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast got the idea that they could steal from their fanbase and microtransaction an improv game that I play with my friends on the weekend, when it is stupidly easy to make your own game system, was a terrible business decision. The loss of millions of dollars of revenue from boycotts, cancelled subscriptions to DnDBeyond and the irrevocable damage to relationships with previously well-regarded content creators; as well as the genuine threat of losing millions on a film that would otherwise have been a guaranteed hit finally made them back down, thankfully.
And thus, I was able to go with my sister and watch Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves safe in the knowledge that my cinematic hobby wouldn't financially contribute to the downfall of my roleplaying hobby. But was the film even worth the millions Hasbro risked in their series of poor business decisions?
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Friday, April 14, 2023
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Gaming on smartphones has an interesting history. In the early days it was seen as the possible future because it offered tones of variety and convenience. However, once pay-to-win and ad spamming took over the bulk of game apps and most of them being the same as each other, it seemed like everything was downhill for it. But, as of late, I've been getting into a ton of Remote Playing and Android Ports that make me believe there is a much brighter future.
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Friday, April 7, 2023
Early last year, the world was blessed with Season 1 of the The Legend of Vox Machina, the culmination of a years-long Kickstarter project, based on the wildly popular role-playing live-stream Critical Role, that went on to become the largest Kickstarter project ever created. Beyond the Kickstarter itself, Critical Role has been a massive cultural touchstone that has begun to pervade countless other entertainment venues with even Hollywood finally recognizing the financial success of role-playing games with the release of film's like Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
Season 1 of The Legend of Vox Machina was a trial-run and a test of faith in the Dungeons and Dragons animated concept, one that I am thankful to say was incredibly successful. So successful that a guarantee of at least two or three other seasons was already achieved by the airing of the pilot episode. The fact that Season 1 ended on a massive cliffhanger that left fans of the streamed games chomping at the bit, only made excitement for Season 2 reach a fever pitch.
Was the excitement warranted? Did Critical Role manage to strike gold a second time and prove that The Legend of Vox Machina could be more than adult jokes and succeeded at multi-season long-form storytelling?
Wednesday, April 5, 2023
This is it, the final episode of this mini-series. It came from Korea but worked its way into the Super Sentai timeline. We got the classic setup, the Red Ranger is in danger, the main villain is getting stronger, and the fate of the world rests on this one final battle. So naturally, it is all up to the 6 Rangers because no other team can be bothered to save the world twice. (Unless it's for an anniversary.) Enough silliness, click "read more" and let us bring this all to a close.
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