I knew Manga was popular, but I didn’t know it made up 2/3rs of the industry! I’m going to keep checking to verify that’s true, but if so – wow.
This whole thing with DC Comics and their reboot (in which the latest news is that they are openly admitting to be doing this mainly to appeal to males 18-34 only) has me – again – thinking about how much I wish I could create a Manga-type format for some DC titles – particularly Superman.
What I immediately liked about Manga when I first took the plunge and started reading some (back in 2007) was the wide range of stories that could be found if you did some research. And not just the stories were diverse, but the target readerships were diverse too. Girls, boys, young women, young men, adults, even gay or lesbian . . . chances are there was some manga out there that appealed to a person. There’s a series out there for every type of reader. And it was all mainstream at that (well, mainstream in Japan at least).
I’ve thought for a while now that Superman is something that could easily be broken into three distinct types of Manga series:
1. A shonen manga (maybe in the style of something like Fullmetal Alchemist) which would be the “main” series – lots of action and adventure, etc.
2. A shojo manga focused on Lois, (maybe in the style of something like Skip Beat), focusing on her career as an investigative reporter and all that, along with being Superman’s girlfriend/wife.
3. A second shonen manga that would be more “adult” in it’s themes and stories, kind of an AU and maybe even more seinen than shonen in it’s make.
With those three types you could reach a wide (wider) variety of readers and do many more diverse stories than can be done now – or will be done in this new reboot I bet.
So, though I don’t go very much anymore, I still consider myself a big film fan. I used to go to the movies pretty much every weekend for years. Over the last few years however, I’ve found myself becoming increasingly bored with entertainment today – films and tv. That, and other projects/interests/personal life reasons have made me cut back on my movie going.
However, around the beginning of the year I remember mentioning to my mom that there were three films this year that I actually believed I would go see:
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II. Mostly because yes, I’ve read all the books and so kinda feel obligated to see how the film series of them closes this all out.
2. The Muppets. Because dammit the teaser trailers are hysterical. And I loved the Muppets when I was a kid.
3. Green Lantern. Because dammit, I’m a DC-girl to the core. When I was little it was always the DC Comics heroes I gravitated to more than the Marvel ones (mostly because they had more interesting female characters I think). I’m not a hard-core GL fan, but I’ve always really liked the mythology of it all, and said to my mom I will go see it opening day if the reviews are at least decent.
. . .
Yeah. I guess this narrows the movies I’m going to see this year down to two now.
I hate people who review films they haven’t even seen, so this isn’t what this is. But it does make me want to comment, overall, on DC and DC Entertainment’s handling of, well, everything lately.
So if there is one video game series that is closest to my heart, it’s the Legend of Zelda series. I played the first Legend of Zelda game back in 1987 and it took me and my best friend almost five or six months to beat it. (We were both like 9 or 10 at the time). Since then, I have played practically every Zelda game, only skipping most of the handheld ones. (What can I say? I prefer Zelda on consoles over handhelds.)
The new Zelda game, Skyward Sword is coming out this holiday, and I know I’m more than likely going to get it, like I do every console Zelda game. But I have to say, while there are some things I am liking about this game (Zelda and Link looking to have a deeper friendship/relationship to one another for starts, something I’ve wished for for a long time now), I have to admit, I’m getting rather bored with the gameplay aspect of the Zelda series. Ever since Ocarina of Time, the Zelda series has put more and more puzzle-based gameplay into the games, and less and less real combat. And I think that is a huge mistake.
The first Zelda game had a nice balance between combat and puzzles. I still remember the time it took for me to figure out how to get through the Lost Woods, or how just randomly bombing around an area I just wandered into had me finding the final dungeon long before I’d gathered up all the triforce shards.
And with all of that, enemies were almost always coming at you. Sometimes lots of them, and hard ones at that! I still remember how proud I felt when I figured out how to deal with the Wizrobes in Dungeon 6. And there was just no way you would stay alive wandering around Death Mountain and Spectacle Rock with so many red and blue Lynel running around and throwing sword beams at you. I swear, there was something like 10 of them walking all around outside of Spectacle Rock where the final dungeon was located.
And inside the dungeons? Even now, Darknuts still rather freak me out, even though they are also my favorite enemies in the series.
But, sadly, starting with Ocarina of Time, straight-out combat like this has become less and less prevalent in the series. There are still enemies to battle of course, but even they have become more puzzle-based. Usually being “hit this enemy three times using the item you found in this dungeon and they’ll be subdued enough to slash with your sword. Repeat all of this three times and you win!” type deals.
And when it comes to non-boss like enemies? It’s rare that you will find more than two at a time on screen in the same frame. In the original games, enemies used to show up in large groups, especially the further on you got when wandering around Hyrule. Now? Hyrule Filed is usually almost rather barren, with only a few enemies scattered about here or there.
Don’t get me wrong, it was all fresh and new when Ocarina did it back in the day. But now? Over a decade and a half later, I’m rather bored by it all. Many will find it blasphemous, but I really think it’s time Nintendo completely overhauled the gameplay aspect of the series. Go back to some of the traits from the first few games in the series, but using some of the awsome mechanics that were developed for the later games (love the horse riding, and I think I’m going to like the bird flying in Skyward Sword too), and build from the ground up again.
As for the graphics? I actually like the Skyward Sword style. I thought the Wind Waker style was just a bit too cartoony, which I honestly didn’t think fit the supposed to be Medieval setting of the series. But this style here in Skyward Sword works for me, as I do think the impressionist style gets across very well, and isn’t just flat-out cartoon in nature.
I’d actually like to see them try an oil painting style next. I think such a style would fit the series even better. Even more so than some dark, “realistic” style some people keep calling for (and that I could care less if they go with next time or not).
Anyway, I can’t say I’m not looking forward to this game. It’s Zelda after all. But I do hope this is the last time we get the Ocarina of Time gameplay formula, as I’ve come to call it. I’m more than ready for something new again, and that keeps a better balance between combat and puzzles that the first games in the series did.
Just like the gaming industry, the comic book industry is talking only among themselves.
For those of you don’t follow video games, E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is going on right now, and the big three console makers – Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo – all had their big press conferences this week. And, frankly, I couldn’t have been more disappointed. Especially when it came to Nintendo.
Nintendo announced a new video game system which, no matter how much I love Nintendo, I think had got to be the most pointless idea I’ve ever seen. But what really got me, and not just when it came to Nintendo, but to all the conferences, was the game announcements. Namely, there were hardly any. And what was announced? Sequel after sequel after sequel.
I mean really, Halo 4 Microsoft? Haven’t you already milked that franchise into the ground? And Final Fantasy XIII-2? XIII-2? Square, have you even finished vs. XIII yet?
Even the new Zelda, I series I’ve loved since I was a kid, is looking dull to me.
With the Wii, Nintendo was all about trying to expand the market and brining people who either never gamed or had lapsed at gaming back into the hobby. Now? With this new system – called the Wii U of all things – that strategy appears to be out the window. Because all this new system is is what the industry kept whining they wanted Nintendo to do – a Wii HD. Which is playing right into the same arms and perception race that Nintendo got into with Sony and other companies before, that lead them into falling off from being the top company for the previous two generations. Case in point? The game trailers shown for the Wii U (and whomever at Nintendo came up with that name should be fired for being an obvious plant/troll for Sony/Microsoft) were all actually the PS3 or 360 versions of said games.
And this brings me to DC Comics and this whole reboot thing, which – as rumor has it – will include ending the Lois and Clark marriage. And the notion that doing this will bring in new readers to the comics, including the Superman ones.
Here’s the thing DC Comics: No, it won’t.
Maybe a few people who used to read Superman but dropped it will start picking it up again, but that’s not expanding the market and bringing in new readers – which is what articles and some executive talk about this whole thing is claiming is the goal here. That is just giving old readers a new coat of paint to something they are already in-the-know about and familiar with.
And in this case? The coat of paint isn’t even new. It’s grabbing a can of paint from the Silver Age and using that instead of going out and buying a truly new, fresh coat of paint.
Just like the Wii U is nothing but a new coat of paint to the original Wii. An HD coat of paint, with a dumb controller that has none of the appeal that the Wii remote had when it came to the original Wii.