Wolfen

Is it the Shoes? Kicks (2016) Review

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It’s just like the time I went searching for the perfect DDR shoe.
Except it’s not like that at all.

What we do have is Justin Tipping’s first big foray into the wide world of features (welcome yo).

I’ll keep this spoiler free as always.

The movie follows 15 year old Brandon. He’s not that special a kid. He’s really small and he doesn’t have the nicest shoes. He and his two friends hang out everyday, doing the same thing a lot of us high school kids did. Go to the corner store, smoke, play ball. That shit.

But a chance encounter gets him a pair of red Jordans. Yes, the originals (Being from Chicago, I know them well.) And people start to notice him finally. That is, until he gets robbed by a thug named Flaco and his goons. So after feeling sorry for himself, he decides to go find his shoes and get them back. Setting him on the most epic adventure your average 15 year old can get.

On the way, he learns about what really matters, friends and just doing the right thing. Not continuing the violent cycle.

The film really spoke to me not only because I was a nothing special kind of kid. I’m a nothing special kind of adult to many. We have this greatness inside of us all the time that we know is there. It’s just a matter of getting someone else to see it as well. And that’s what Brandon does, even if he’s not feeling the results of the matter.

At the end of the day, it’s one of the things I like best. Just a modest story, told on a modest budget. That’s where the real human stories are.

Check it out on demand right now. Or you can come to my house and watch it if you want. But I’m kidding, don’t come to my house.

Can’t wait to see how Lowriders comes out, and hire me. Please. lol.

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Hey, our 48 Hour Film Festival Short is Up. You should be cool as hell and go watch it and stuff.

There can’t be enough cool movies to watch. But hey, here’s one.We did it for the 48 Hour Film Festival Chicago and it’s… something. We’re always trying to get something new going, keep it fresh.

 

But enjoy it’s cheesy glory.

 

I honestly didn’t know where this whole thing was going. Just kinda winged it.

My Time at the Arcade These Days.

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I spent my better teenage years… and twenties years… going to the arcade a few times a week. And I can mostly thank dancing games for that. Riding my bike over to Brunswick Zone to play DDR Extreme, Maximum Tune, and Soul Calibur II. Or going the 5 miles to Odyssey Fun World to play Pump, DDR, ITG, and Marvel. Maybe some Tekken as well.

When I hit college, I didn’t have the time to be running around the suburbs where I lived, because school and all that. So it was ESPN Zone for me and some of the other Chicago peeps. This was my favorite place ever to play Pump. And to make it better, the employees were quite supportive of the repeat customers and the machine was always in decent shape. Not like Pump machines require a TON of work, but still. It was a rarity to have a machine that nice in public and after ESPN Zone closed, that was pretty much it. Dave and Busters isn’t an option for Dancing Games and never seriously has been.

But after my return to Chicago a few months back, I was trying to jump back into the game. And of course I didn’t want to drive all the hell out to Round 1 (as awesome as that place is.) and I was working downtown now. But hey… what’s this FTW place?

Being a movie guy obviously, I’ve been to River East a million times in my day, and even played DDR there after movies. But now, there’s an arcade? Yay!

I’m frequently there alone for my Pump it Up sessions but sometimes a few of the other city folk show up. All and all, I’m able to get my fill in.20160806_190904

I’m not really into the “community” and the “scene” so much these days. Maybe it’s because I’m old. But I just enjoy playing the game and pretty much that’s it. For the amount of time I sit, it keeps me from getting fat, so that’s good.

To be honest, as big as a gamer as am, there’s really not much I want to play except Pump. That Batman game is legit, it just seems to be missing something. Maybe I missed a multiplayer option, I’ll have to give it another spin.

But, it’s a great place to play Pump and that’s what I’m there for. The pads are still good as of this writing.

The more I look at it. FTW and Round 1 are all too similar. Both have Bowling and Pool and stuff (I’m counting Lucky Strike in with FTW). Foodstuffs, and an arcade. I think FTW’s only issue is that it really doesn’t know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a arcade, a beercade, or just a restaurant. It does all those things pretty well but could really do a lot better.

But I could only talk about the better on the arcade side of things. FTW is missing a core part of any arcade. A fighter and a shooter… a real shooter. I’m sure something like Tekken would be poppin’ in there. But the point of arcades is to bring people unique experiences they can’t have at home. So maybe a game like Pokken or even Crossbeats would be a hit. I see people love the touchscreen games anyway.

But that’s all just me thinking out loud.

 

Anyway, I have a lot of things to do… so I’ll see you all around. Maybe I can get a bigger group with me at FTW, doubt it, but hey… more Pump for me.

 

 

Handling One’s Anxiety.

Okay. We’re  doing something a little different today. Its all fun qnd games mostly,  but sometimes its serious  time.

Today is serious time.
I want to talk to you about a problem that im just finally accepting that i need help with.  And i see its quite common around those i happen to observe.

Anxiety. 

I generally  don’t complain about it because I  dont want my anxiety to define me at all. I’ve always considered talking about it “being a baby”. So i guess  it’s  time to grab a bottle. Because its a real problem. And it really does explain the person i am.

Even this morning,  i was thinking about my job. My job is shitty and the first thing i do when i get home is cry. That isnt fun. I just get overwelmed by the things that happen. All of which are out of my control.  But i cant really  tell folks at the job because they honestly already  make fun of me for looking tired and being stressed out. Of course  this is no joke.
Its made me into what i think is a shell of a person. I reach out to people thinking  i can get some insight. But i generally end up listening to their problems instead. Which is fine, i like helping.

Whether its fighting  game tourney or Roller Derby, it’s painful and scary just to be there. Even though i want to be there and have fun. Im sure they’re nice people. But i just cant bring myself to be there with the other people.  Its overwhelming. But again, i felt like i was being a baby. I wanted to do those things so badly but my own self got in the way.

Its been like this my whole life. Even when i went into the military  they said i had it. But i decided  to tough it out and it turned  into a suicide attempt. Its nothing to take lightly.

I always try and talk to people when they’re suffering depression  or aniity. The two tend to go hand in hand. Just hang and just listen to them talk. It could make all the difference.
And if you can get help. Get it as so as you can. And im around too if you wanna talk about stuff. Listening is the one superpower  i actually got.

ACEN 2016: I Walked a Lot.

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I’m not a huge Anime person these days to be perfectly honest. But it’s always cool when people come together to share in random shit that they like. That’s the spice of life right there.

I decided hella late to come to ACEN this year where I haven’t been in almost a decade. Like every year it’s in Rosemont over at the Hyatt and pretty much in a food desert. So that 7-11 run over by the Westin (where I stayed, about over a mile away.) really had to count. Shoutouts to Mountain Dew.

I got in at around 4:30. I had to go to Workcon before I hopped the Blue Line and made my way over to the Hyatt where I met Alex and Erik and we all got our badge situation together. Then I had to walk all the way to the Westin where all my gear was. My 50 pounds of camera gear. That a carried around all weekend.

ALL.
WEEKEND.

But anyway, I finally got back around 6, and I went downstairs to see my buddies at Tokyo Attack. They’re still kicking ass and bringing the most badass games with them. They’ve come a long way. I got some personal records on Pump and made many a nerd salty at Pokken. I really like the Pokken set up, they should really have at least one more though and run some tournaments on it. That’s just me talking though.

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The rest of my time there was spent going to a couple of press junkets like with the guy who did the voice of Scorpion in the latest MK titles. The rest of my time was spent and filming a long video project that you’ll see in a few days (I’ll link it here when it’s done.)  Then I entered Pokken where I got Top 16 and the tournament took wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too long and started late. But that’s just how it goes.

All and all I wasn’t really blown away with the guests and such this time around. It must be an off year or maybe it’s just me. There wasn’t a ton of new info (they couldn’t talk about a lot of stuff, which I understand). But the guests were cool as hell folk.

Overall, despite having to walk back and forth to the hotel a total of 7 times and having issues finding the panel rooms (the map didn’t help a lot). It was actually a decent time. I saw people I had not seen in years and I have a ton of video footage I’m eager to show in a really unique way.

That all said, will I be back next year.

Yes, but in a different capacity. Stay tuned for that one.

 

 

Waifu Fighting: Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax review

Put your weeb hats on. It’s time for Anime. Yoooooah Anime!

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Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax if you don’t know already is a fighting game based on the popular anime and manga house that brought you stuff like Sword Art Online. I mention that because it’s the only one I’ve actually watched from this game.

Now here comes the hard part, reviewing it.

As a big fighting game player, I want to just jump right into training mode and vs mode and just start learning everything that I can. Thankfully pretty much all of the motions in this game are half and quarter circles, like most Anime fighters.

I spent a good amount of the time (about 15 hours total) just playing Vs matches with my friend. It’s broken as hell and there’s shit flying all over the place. And best of all, there’s no slowdown. So you’re going to be linking combos together just fine if you ever placed Melty Blood or games like that.

To play, you just pick your character, then you get an assist character. Each has two assists both activated with the assist button or holding forward and pressing assist. There’s some pretty broken combinations in it. I’d go completely into the functions of the game. But I want to keep the article short. I’d be going on forever.

For those of you who play fighters, I used the Marvel/KOF button setup to play this. My fingers thanked me for making the switch.

I didn’t get a chance to try the online much at all, considering there was no one else actually online. But once I do, I’ll give you guys an update. But I suspect it’s actually decent knowing the engine.

The story modes are full of all kinds of fanservice that you’ll love if you’re into Anime. I really got bored with the single player stuff and really wanted to get into the fights. But I’m sure you might like it if you’re into crazy, Kingdom Hearts level writing.

There’s just one problem. We all know that an update Fighting Climax: Ignition is out in arcades in Japan and hitting the PS4 in December. I don’t know if this version will get an update. I asked Sega about it, but I haven’t heard any word back yet. But we’ll see how that goes. It would suck to be a version back.

If you’re into Anime, buy this.
If you’re into Anime Fighters, buy this. It comes with a badass soundtrack to bump loudly while driving through the hood.

Just give it a try. It’s not expensive.

You can pick it up on PS3 or Vita… if you actually own a Vita.

Hey, roller derby! Series and stuff! Yay!

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You see, I made a funny.

It’s movie time again. But we’re doing something a little different this time around. Like I said before I’m moving away for those full blown features because they’re a pain in the ass that I really don’t want to deal with right now. As you can see from past events, you can’t really blame me at this moment. We’re moving over towards shorts and web series. And this is what I hope to actually be our first web series.

It still doesn’t have an actual title (I’m hoping someone will help me out with that) but it’s basically about the darker side of the sports we play (I’ll argue all day, derby is a sport.)

But then again, some of you already know my flair. We have these stories about death and inner/other destruction. Insane twists and normally logical situations, and always in the most ridiculous way. But unlike other times, this one has some far more serious undertones and a group of fresh faces (well mostly, I’m picking one of mine for Chicago because the part was written for her, you all know who I’m talking about.) And doing this as a web series will give me the flexibility as a writer to actually improve things as I go along. Features generally don’t have that luxury without things going haywire.

Also, this movie will feature the skaters themselves and I wouldn’t want to slap a 5 month long shoot on them. Those can be draining if you’re not completely used to them. And it’s hard to tell how anyone will do on camera. It might take some people a little time to adjust, and that’s normal. Personally, I’m bad on camera. That’s why I’m behind it.

I really want to keep this movie within derby mostly because there are some physically able human beings, and we need physically able people, that’s for damn sure.

I already have the first episode written and I have an arc for at least 7 more. Running production between Goshen, South Bend and Chicago. Maybe in between. It all depends on what type of support I get for this script and this production. Because the blessing of the skaters is going to be key in making this work. This is unlike anything I’ve seen roll out of sport. It’s a prime opportunity to make something completely original and that’s the stuff that excites me. And of course all the fresh faces and personalities and I’ll get to deal with. And I welcome everybody, the crazier the better.

It’s going to be an interesting time watching this one grow. Any comments or questions can go into the comments section that no one ever uses on WordPress. Or you can hit up the good ol’ facebook page. I’ll be around updating that more often. And last you can hit up Stream Monster Productions and talk to that guy over there. He knows a lot about the production as well. Until then, don’t do drugs and brush your teeth.