Tropers: X Spectre Grey X
So, where to start...
I grew up with videogames, and so I like to think I'm a good gamer in terms of taste. While I grew up with certain things, I can look back on them and say they sucked. I've been gaming for literally (and no, I'm not one of those people who uses literally incorrectly, I actually mean literally) as long as I can remember. I see gaming as an art form, and a unique medium where input is important. My favourite franchises (at the moment) are Halo, Mass Effect, the Arkham series, The Witcher and Mirror's Edge (hey, it counts as one now). They have their flaws, but they either have done good things for gaming (Halo and Mass Effect), are just well-structured and well-written (Halo, Mass Effect and The Witcher) or have lots of potential (Mirror's Edge).
I like to play different games from different genres (except MOBA). My most memorable gaming experiences over the last few years have been... strange. And that's all I'll get into... FOR NOW
Some of my favourite games:
- BioShock Infinite: It had scenery porn everywhere and had great world design. Elizabeth felt truly useful and alive, interacting with her environment and helping you out. I don't think the story is as good as people say it is, and I would've preferred more focus on the relationship between Elizabeth and Booker. Still, a good game that I highly recommend.
- Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: A game I really, really like, if only because it stands on its own. A great story that made Zack a likeable counterpart to post-Advent Children Cloud, made Sephiroth a sympathetic Tragic Villain, and was just a well told story. The music is as good as you'd expect, the voice acting very well done, and the graphics were great. The gameplay is okay (although I still don't get why this had to be on PSP), and is the only letdown of this game. Just kind of stale is all.
- Dragon Age: Origins: Great fantasy setting (if a bit generic) with much better realised characters than in Mass Effect, at least until it got its sequels, although hone conflict is a lot more generic. Still, the personal nature of the story, and the bonds you form with these characters make this game awesome. The sequel... No.
- Halo 4: The game is a great start to a new trilogy, and it had so much emotion, especially for an FPS. A great game that any Halo fan will love, with everything pitch perfect. I wasn't exactly optimistic about this trilogy at its announcement, since it felt wrapped up, but if this is the quality they keep going for, I'm all good.
- ICO: A game I find incredibly charming. It really forged a bond between the player and Yorda, and was an emotional journey. But the gameplay was too minimalist in regards to its tutorial (or lack thereof), and its camera was bad. Still, a very interesting game.
- Journey: It was just an amazing game which told a good story through music and visuals without any dialogue. It's something you just have to play for yourself. A great experience that just plays with your emotions so well, using gameplay particularly effectively. Great everything. A truly unique experience.
- Mass Effect trilogy: This series told a great story with an immersive universe, great characters and a story that feels very personal... don't get me started on the ending.
- Mirror's Edge: The game made you really feel immersed in the world, even with its cheesy story, and the movement system was phenomenal. The city was beautiful, and the game made dieing actually make me feel something other than frustration. It had a lot of untapped potential, so I was happy when the prequel was announced (which I called).
- Shadow of the Colossus: This game had an epic concept behind it, with a great combat system and, again, minimal dialogue which still told a strong story. It has its issues, such as blurriness and boring riding sections (which seemed to exist solely to show off graphics), but it's still one of my favourite games.
- The Last of Us: I usually hate zombie-apocalypse stories, but this game really pushed for the personal feel. About a man and a girl, in a Crapsack World, who grow together, with one man getting past his past and bitterness, and a girl having to survive in a hellish world. Just a great personal story with realistic characters.
- Tomb Raider (2013): I never cared for the series. It was okay... But nothing great. Then this game came along, gave me a great cinematic adventure that felt like it had real purpose in its details and aspects. The story of a woman trying to survive, and becoming badass. Just a great way to introduce Lara Croft to a new generation... Or those who didn't care about the games before.
I'm also a comic book reader. I got into comics around 2010 and worked my way back. Amazingly, even though I'm probably the target audience of the New 52, I hate it. I mainly got into the X-Men for the first few months, but reached out to pretty much everything, from Batman to Saga
to random indie series. I tend to stick to editing comic stuff, since video games have a much larger audience and so the stuff I want to add is usually already there. Yay for being a fan of an obscure, sort-of dying medium!
My top reads so far have been (bold
means I truly love this series):
- 52: Some great stories told in real-time (or something similar) that introduced me to Booster Gold, who has become one of my favourites, Black Adam and The Question. The intertwining plot threads and scope of the story is really impressive for what was supposed to basically be filling in a piece of backstory. Hell, it even fixed a problem. Just some really compelling stories that are really damn addictive. READ THIS NOW.
- Action Comics by Grant Morrison: Great way to update Superman, although it does have problems (the confusing part in the middle of his opening storyline where... I don't know, something happened). However, it stopped being interesting soon after.
- Alex + Ada: A thought-provoking story about a man and his android... sentient android... Exploring the idea of free will and the evolving relationship between its titular characters, it is the perfect example of a Decompressed Comic, knowing exactly when to fastforward and when to slow down. A truly heartwarming, and heartbreaking, series that I honestly can't get enough of. One of my all-time favourites.
- All-Star Superman. This is the Superman story that everyone needs to read. While some of the more goofy Silver Age stuff was kinda bleh, it has very heartwarming moments that really show you what Superman is about, and those are the parts I like.
- Geoff Johns' run: Johns introduced me to a character I thought was a joke. It got me to love the character, and is my favourite thing to come it of the New 52 reboot. It has great action while also having a lot of heart and an epic feel. It feels like a grand adventure.
- Jeff Parker's run: Parker's run shows that Arthur is just a good guy, and built his supporting cast and portrayed him very well as an adult who has lived an interesting life out of the water. I like that Tula gets focus, since I liked her during Johns' run, and Mera becoming a more intelligent character in her ruling of Atlantis. Overall the more mature nature of the stories is nice. Good stuff and The only bad part was the crappy annual with Wonder Woman, which dragged out a story that didn't need that much focus.
- Avengers and New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman: Some great, high concept stories really showing us the strengths of certain characters. Avengers is epic awesomeness wrapped in inspiring superheroics on a grand scale. New Avengers is intricate plotting, betrayals, and darkness wrapped in thought-provoking dialogue. Read both together, and you get an epic tale. Add Infinity, and you get an all-time classic space opera of awesome.
- Batman. Oh where do I begin?:
- Year One
- All of Grant Morrison's Batman. A great era in Batman stories, mixing the silliness of the Silver Age with great high-concept ideas and Grant Morrison's signature trippyness thrown in. A great, epic saga for the Caped Crusader.
- Scott Snyder's run (except "Zero Year", which isn't interesting, ruined the Joker for me, and went in for way too long)
- Gates of Gotham
- The Killing Joke
- The Dark Knight Returns
- Batman and Robin (Both the pre-Flashpoint and New 52 series are great)
- Dickbats works
- Heart of Hush (required reading, otherwise Hush is just a Villain Sue)
- Batman Eternal
- Booster Gold. It gave me an appreciation for the character and was great action with a lot of heart to it. It has an awesome premise, and has enough fan service (non-sexual) to appeal to me. Also, it avoids being incredibly cheesy in its time travel (only one "When are we?" "I think you mean... when are we?" exchange) while still tackling the relevant time travel plots and the toll that the ability to time travel can have on a man who needs to sacrifice his own happiness for the greater good. A great story overall.
- Captain America by Ed Brubaker: Had intrigue and espionage and reintroduced Bucky to new readers. The series is consistently good, and once Bucky became Captain America, it got much better. Bucky has become one of my favourite characters, and I was sad to see leave the mantle behind. He was more flawed than Steve, and that helped him appeal to me. Despite his Dark and Troubled Past, he still finds happiness where he can and tries to do Steve proud.
- Daredevil: Daredevil has been really good for a while now.
- Born Again: One of the most iconic "we will break our hero stories becomes a hero rising from the ashes through all his tragedy. A good story that really shows how evil the Kingpin can be and'' how strong Matt can be.
- Brian Michael Bendis' run: Bendis' run was pretty good, although the dialogue got annoying at times. That said, it made a big change to Matt's life.
- Ed Brubaker's run: Brubaker's run was much better, with great, grounded storylines filled with great character drama and better artwork. This was Matt at his utmost darkest point, and it was awesome.
- Mark Waid's run: Then there's Mark Waid's run, which is glorious, letting Matt actually win and be happy, but not pulling back on the drama and character conflicts, also perfectly showing why Foggy Nelson is an awesome character. Even better, it made a long lasting change in Matt's life, that I don't see Marvel reversing any time soon. While the tone gets dark when it needs to, having some light helps as well.
- Earth 2: It's like Justice League, but with a much more epic feel. The art is more vibrant, the world is set-up very well and the characters are distinct and interesting. And they all feel really heroic, but in a realistic way, yet you can still admire them. The series just feels like a grand adventure that you really have to read to get why it's awesome. Some very original ideas that also pay homage to the old universe.
- Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman: This seemed to just be a perfect fit for him. High-concept science fiction featuring the FF as explorers and innovators, not just another superteam. Featuring Hickman's signature layout, an epic feel, and heartwarming moments amid large scale threats. Also, made excellent use of Reed Richards, Valeria (who is absolutely awesomely adorable), and of course, Franklin. TO ME, MY GALACTUS!'
- The Flash:
- I really liked Wally's series, especially when his kids were involved. Just great stories with the Flash of my time, and how he must deal with his own problems, not just those of his mentor.
- Buccelatto's New 52 run, which I bought because... 99 cents on Comixology. The story is consistently good, placing importance on the heartwarming elements rather than being overly serious. It has some rocky parts, but the artwork really pulls you through. The recent development of Patty being supportive of Barry feels nice to me, since I like the idea of a supportive family.
- Green Lantern: The modern era stuff is fantastic. Geoff Johns really did good with his GL stuff, but Green Lantern Corps, is awesome for its focus on the corps and GL adventures, and the New 52 title New Guardians is pretty good too, for those who want a team book. Seriously, GL is awesome... Then Johns left, and the writers didn't know what to do.Then it became just 'okay', though still below Wrath of the First Lantern, which dragged too long, for my tastes. Still, Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night were awesome... just... please, get people who can actually write back on the title. It's such a turd right now...
- Hawkeye by Matt Fraction: His run has been a big hit with me. Hawkeye is just an every day guy with every day problems... Who just happens to be a Badass who could kill you and barely break a sweat. I just love the slice of life feel, the relationship between Clint and Kate (one of my favourite characters) and Clint's characterisation.
- Immortal Iron Fist: Again, taking a character I didn't care about and making me love him. This is the Iron Fist book. Focusing on his mystical side and his own adventures, seperate from his usual buddies, and going for a much darker tone which works with a character who shouldn't really be lighthearted. Great work here.
- JSA and Justice Society of America: A great team book with a huge roster but still makes the characters feel unique. A great, Long Runner, with awesome stories and characterisation. I love this book and this team, more than the Justice League, in fact. The characters feel like they have a lot of history to them, but are still very accessible. They're a giant family, all learning from each other. I love Earth 2, but I still prefer this book. While it got bad near the end of Justice Society of America stuff with Marc Guggenheim (that guy suuucks), it was an awesome ride while it lasted.
- New X-Men - Academy X: One of my first comics, it introduced me to the X-Men. Specifically the New X-Men... Or rather the New Mutants. A team of kids who find a family with each other and deal with the problems of being mutants. It has its fair share of problems, but it had some great stories and was pretty solid, at least until the writers decided to cram X-23 down my throat, which happened along with the massive Darker and Edgier factor pushed Up to Eleven. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of that run...
- Nightwing: I'm a big fan of the character, and his time in Bludhaven was great. Dick had his own way of doings things and built his own supporting cast, all part of him being his own person. The point of the character is to not be associated with Batman constantly, so him being stuck in Gotham in the reboot sucks, although thing's did look up. Dick's supporting cast were fun and interesting, and since he moved to Chicago, the series had gotten a lot better... Which of course was the cue for DC to fuck it all up with Forever Evil, one of the stupidest crossovers ever. And regarding his original series, I like to think that the series took a nose dive once they changed the logo... Or, to be accurate, whenever Dixon stopped writing.
- Power Girl by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti: I will openly admit that I didn't think much of the character before reading. But I heard decent things, and I picked up the Justin/Palmiotti run. It is awesome and hilarious. The lampshading of Power Girl's most powerful power, the cool cartoony, epic feel and a character that feels a lot more human than most, while still having a lot going on in her life that feels important, all of it makes for a fantastic series. Karen and Atlee make for a great duo who I really grew attached to. I've yet to read the second creative team's run, but I'll get to it.
- Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan: It was just well-written, and lo and behold, did a good job of portraying teenagers. It got some good plot-threads going and developed the characters nicely. The characters felt relateable, but weren't whiny or boring. Some great character dynamics, making up this kind of messed up family. Easily one of my favourite reads... Then Joss Whedon royally screwed it up (the first of many writers to do so)... Then Nico and Chase got put in Avengers Arena... Then Avengers Undercover... Fuck, Marvel...
- Saga: A funny, heartwarming story of two lovers and their baby, going through the trials of parenthood, with some great humour thrown in for extra measure and a space opera going on as well. Oh, and it's almost on FLCL levels of weird in terms of design. A really compelling story with drama and scope, yet still feeling very grounded.
- Scarlet Spider: Okay, I get that being heroic is good. But truth be told, I can appreciate that it doesn't come naturally and can be hard for people. That's why I love Scarlet Spider. The character struggles with being heroic, but feels that he just needs to. No "with great power comes great responsibility" (the message is there, but it isn't reoeated constantly or used in the titles all the time), just an unshakable feeling of needing to help people that the character can't resist. A compulsion, if you will. And what if he made a few bucks on the side and gets live in a fancy hotel?
- Secret Warriors: Made me care about Nick Fury and introduced me to Daisy Johnson, who is badass. The team all feel interesting and unique, and there's a really interesting story going on. It perfectly combines espionage spy work with superhero team action. A great series that develops its characters and paces its interesting plot perfectly.
- Silver Surfer:
- The 80s series: Something I really looked forward to reading when I got the time... And it turns out I was right. It is epic high-concept Silver Age-ish awesomeness. From the epic conflicts that really allow writers to use Surfer's power to the awesome character Nova (still the best relationship for Surfer in my mind), this series was just amazing. While I haven't finished it yet, I've heard it took a nose dive in the #100s, but we'll see.
- Dan Slott run: This has such a whimsical, Silver Age feel in a time when I truly need it (hint hint, DC). A heartwarming run filled with humour, and fun and Dawn Greenwood, one fo the best Audience Surrogate|s ever. Using an all-powerful character and just saying, "Go." I love this series and it's not even that old.
- Thor: God of Thunder: An epic series that starts with a very good story about a man who, feeling abandoned by the gods, decides the world will be better without them. A very good example of You Are What You Hate, showing a man becoming a god because of his hatred of them, along with some awesomely high-concept god settings and ideas. Really interesting stuff. Also, shows why Thor is awesome after that story, with him being very important to he people of Earth and why he's so beloved. Great series that really made me care about a character I honestly didn't give a fuck about.
- Uncanny X-Force by Rick Remender: And only his run. A great series focusing on the black ops team and actually writing on why what they do is necessary, yet horrible. A series that dealt so extensively with just a few significant kills. An edgy, dark series showcasing Psylocke at her best and Archangel at his worst... but still at his best. One of the modern classics and how you should write X-Force (hint hint, literally everybody else who has ever written an X-Force series).
- Uncanny X-Men
- Kieron Gillen's run: I've always been kind of on the fence in the X-Men debates on Xavier and Magneto, which is a good thing, since it makes for good stories. That said, Cyclops is awesome, and this series is awesome foe allowing him to do what mutants needs him to. Gillen's run was still fun and had adventure and great action until being hijacked by Avengers vs X-Men.
- Bendis' run: Salvaging Cyclops from the clusterfuck that was Avengers Vs. X-Men, it allows him to use his newfound outlaw status to do things a new way, while still having admirable goals, bar the "Mutant Revolution". Despite its premise, Bendis' run is still lighthearted at times, and also very funny (Emma and Magik are awesome).
- Young Avengers: For the same reason as Runaways, except the characters feel a lot more heroic, but also have their fair share of Angst. I got into them after seeing them in the Civil War crossover with Runaways, so I was a little late, but I love the team. Great character conflict, the idea of legacies is touched upon, and all the characters feel like real people, growing up in their messed up world, but still being relatable. Awesome artwork helps too. The Gillen run was... alright. I guess. Maybe. The fact that the kids can't go home feels forced in there just to add further drama though, and I'm apparently supposed to know who the hell Miss America is. I didn't even read Journey into Mystery, but I read a summary of the story because the idea of Kid Loki was just really interesting (this was before he appeared in Young Avengers). Miss America? Um, can I have Patriot back? Or Stature? Please? Still, Kate Bishop is awesome and I'll follow this book as long as they don't screw her up... Besides screwing up her well-designed costume for some generic catsuit and giving her a stupid weapon.
Tropes applying to me:
- All Boys Want Bad Girls: Eventually was told I kind of have a thing for bad girls. Not in a sexual way (well, mostly), but many of my favourite favourite characters are women who either have evil tendencies or have epic attitudes towards authority and the like.
- Ambigiously Bi: Not bi, but I am that friend who makes all the jokes about attractive guys and stuff, and I think I've been mistaken for bi at least once. I'm straight, however.
- Anime Hair: I had this for about one and a half years, sometimes just because of bed head and not being bothered to fix it. It resembled a duck's ass.
- Asian and Nerdy
- Berserk Button:
- Mass Effect 3's ending. The less said about it, the better.
- The Character Derailment of Cassandra Cain. Adam Beechen, you. Are. A. Hack.
- Her and Stephanie Brown's RetGoning. Seriously, I like the New 52 Batgirl series, but these two better make a comeback, DC.
- One More Day. Even as a non-Spider-Man reader (though I am a massive fan of Ultimate Spider-Man), the core of this story is complete bullshit. The idea that you shouldn't move on with your life, that Status Quo Is God, that editors can do whatever they want, even if it goes against what they themselves said, is complete and utter BULLSHIT. Fuck you, Joe Quesada, fuck you and your self-indulgent fanfiction-made canon. Fuck. You.
- Avengers: The Children's Crusade. It was stupid on sooooo many levels. So much Idiot Plot which all culminated in two dead characters, with the Scarlet Witch being protected because "once an Avenger, always an Avenger."... Fuck you, Captain America, you don't get to get involved with mutant problems after all this time (hilarious in hindsight). Oh, and Doctor Doom somehow fucked with the Scarlet Witch's powers or... Something, because why the hell not, I guess. Ugh. Oh, and Patriot quits the team, because he felt guilty about carrying the Conflict Ball... And this was how the series was supposed to end... So maybe Gillen's run wasn't so bad. Speaking of which...
- Kieron Gillen's Young Avengers run. Screwing up Kate Bishop's well-designed costume for a generic catsuit that she apparently wears two of, and giving her a laser bow because... I don't know. Um, the benefits of the bow and arrow stuff over the gun just went right out the window... And no, she wouldn't use it because "she loves vintage" (which she has never actually expressed before this). Also, Miss America's entire character seems to be "feisty Latina". Gillen's attempts to sound young are hilariously bad. From Yamblr to the bad dialogue that makes the characters come off like hipsters, it's obvious that this is written by someone who doesn't get teenagers and just wrote up some teenage stereotypes and what some of his friends in their 20s are like and called it a day. The bland art doesn't help any. Just awful stuff. I was actually around when this series started, and I just stopped giving a fuck, and this is one of my favourite teams. Just, ugh... And it's getting an omnibus... Really, Marvel? Nothg else to collect? How about the second omnibi for New Avengers and Ultimate Spider-Man you're a few years late on?
- Dick Grayson's unmasking. Go fuck yourselves, DC. Superheroes don't need Daredevil's pre-Mark Waid life to be interesting, and you're stupid for thinking they do.
- The Scarlet Witch did 'saying "why was it so important more mutants be born?" Um, so the species doesn't go extinct, you fucking idiot. Seriously, don't try to take the moral high ground after you nuke a species. Don't you fucking dare act holier than thou to fucking anyone after what you did. Don't you dare try to undermine the importance and weight of every decision people had to make because of you.
- Wolverine saying he's "never killed anyone that matters." You are a horrible person if you actually think along those lines. Everyone matters. Also, dude, you killed your own children and even drowned one in a fucking mud puddle... Dick.
- Wonder Woman and Superman getting together. Shittiest pairing ever and is poorly written. Should've stayed in the fanfics.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Apparently.
- Cool Big Sis: I have one. She and I didn't get along in high school and even stopped talking for about half a year (and we lived in the same house!), but once I was in university, we became closer, and she's now someone I hang out with a decent amount. Can't imagine home without her.
- Fanboy. I was a massive Mass Effect fanboy, but... Well...
- Fanon Discontinuity:
- A lot of the New 52:
- Harley Quinn becoming more evil, though I do enjoy Suicide Squad. I just prefer it when she actually made a go of being a decent person.
- Hal Jordan being called the greatest Green Lantern. Seriously, Geoff Johns, we get it, he's your mancrush, calm down.
- Barbara Gordon usurping Stephanie Brown as Batgirl. Her series was good under Gail Simone, I just don't like the idea of her being back on her feet again. Hopefully, Gail Simone brings back Cass.
- Bruce and Selina's rooftop sex and the Ret Goning of basically their entire relationship. From mature relationship to friends with benefits. Yaaay. God forbid we have either grow from a character beyond what pop culture thinks of them.
- Clark Kent and Lois Lane being split up for the sake of appealing to female readers by pairing him with Wonder Woman. No. Batman and Superman would've been a pairing that made more sense than this crap. It didn't even have any build-up or anything, it's just, "Hey, dumbasses, here's a shitty pairing to make fanart of."
- The Ret Goning of Blue Beetle's entire history. How we do write a character whose series was basically spitting in the face of cliche teen-superhero writing? We print a copy of that face and staple it to his forehead. Brilliant!
- The ending of Death Of The Family, wherein it's revealed that Bruce once visited the Joker out of costume. If the Joker somehow got his cowl off in a fight, that would be fine, but this? No.
- The Joker's New 52 origin... Seriously, all of it. And especially Scott Snyder trying to cop out and give one of his "this is open-ended" endings, which obviously did not work here. The Joker was an asshole long before becoming the Joker, yaaaay...
- Needless to say, everything after One More Day. After reading Dan Slott's stuff, it's now everything between OMD and "Big Time". Still, Peter's Tsundere roommate was fun, at least from what I've read about her (as in, I didn't actually read this crap, just got second-hand knowledge).
- Almost everything in Uncanny Avengers. Rogue isn't a raging drama queen, Havok did not give a horrible speech, and most of all, Scott Summers did not say he learned better than to fight for Xavier's dream! I love Uncanny X-Force, but daaamn, Rick, you slipped down the suck slope so damn fast it's amazing.
- Everything after Shepard activates the Catalyst. In my mind, Shepard activated the device, it killed all the reapers, Shepard was saved, he had little blue children and beers with Garrus. The end, fuck you, BioWare, and goodnight. *Mic Drop*
- Not a Morning Person: Only if I didn't get much sleep, other than that, I'm usually nice all the time. But less than five hours, and expect an asshole for the first few hours and at the end of the day.
- Shrinking Violet: As a teenager when I wasn't with friends. It's almost completely gone, but sometimes surfaces, particularly when. I'm in a new environment.