Fandom secret: I actually really like a lot of Buzzfeed’s content.
I know it’s the cool thing these days to shit on everything that happens to carry the name “Buzzfeed” on it, and yeah, some of their videos and articles take a full dive into “what the actual fuck”, but if you think there’s not a single interesting thing on there, then I have to believe you’re full of shit. For me, the prime time for watching Buzzfeed videos is the same sort of time period where one may be drawn into watching things from the creepier and weirder side of YouTube–some nebulous time at night where there may be something better to do, but who knows what that is. Thankfully Buzzfeed has a series that covers both of those categories; one that I hope continues to flourish.
I’m obsessed with space and all things science that I don’t understand. Ever since I was a young girl, space fascinated me and still does to this day. I devoured nearly every story I could get a hold of if it was even remotely connected to outer space. As such, there are a few franchises I’ve been in love with all my life, such as the Alien movies, a sci-fi series featuring alien creatures called Aliens eating their way out of people’s chests. The series is also supposed to be horror, my least favorite genre, but despite that, something about them makes me love all of them, even the bad ones. Well, almost all of them.
I think the first Alien movie that I actively hated was 2012’s Prometheus. Prometheus is the first movie in the prequel series, followed by this year’s Alien: Covenant, and well, Covenant is also really bad. It’s got all of the shitty pretentiousness of Prometheus, in that it thinks it’s being deep and meaningful when it’s really just being stupid, not to mention that its plot is also completely driven by illogical decisions on the part of the characters. But unlike Prometheus, it actually features Aliens, which means I adore it.
An Alien on fire? Fuck yeah! (screenshot by me)
Spoilers below and a trigger warning for sexual violence.
Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Lady Geek Girl & Friends. I hope all of our American readers enjoyed their long holiday. I know I did. I spent my break replaying an old fave: the first Pikmin game, and the only one I’ve ever played, which came out for the GameCube way back in 2001. Playing as the character Captain Olimar, who just recently crashed on an alien planet, the purpose of the game is to find all the missing parts of his spaceship before his life support runs out in thirty days. Along his journey, Olimar discovers Pikmin, tiny woodland creatures that he can use to accomplish his tasks, and with all this in mind, my younger self devoured this game the first chance I got. It had some decent animation, space stuff, and adorable little monsters for my main character to enslave. I loved Pikmin so much that it wasn’t until going back and replaying it this week that I realized it was the only game I ever bought for the GameCube. That’s right, I stole my brother’s super nice gaming system for the purpose of playing one game. I’m not sure we ever owned any other games for it. Sixteen years later, that hasn’t changed, and looking back, I regret nothing. To this day, Pikmin remains one of my favorite games, and it made buying a GameCube worth the price alone.
I need very little motivation to give a recommended new book a try. Sometimes it’s the plot concept that grabs me; more often than not, someone just says “it has queer people in it” and that’s enough for me. (I’ve ended up trying some terrible books this way; LGBTQ+ representation and quality are not mutually guaranteed.) Combining an author I already know I love with the promise of queer representation, though, is a no-brainer for my ever-growing to-read list. So when I saw that James Tynion IV had written a comic series I’d somehow never heard of, and that it came highly recommended by Bisexual Books, I obviously had to check it out.
Vague spoilers for Vol. 1 of The Woods below the jump.
It’s worth going back to the original—a soaring Roland Emmerich thriller about how no force in the universe could take down the United States: not when the president, a famous rapper, and a scientist all get together in a fighter jet to kick alien ass.
It’s the polar opposite of The Matrix. Rather than admitting even the slightest unease below the surface of American life, it barrels forward as a jingoistic romp, giving us America as a crotch-grabbing, trash-talking, hyperpower without a care in the world.
Being a first-generation geek is a tough burden to bear. While many people my age grew up watching classic sci-fi and fantasy with their parents, I was trapped in a boring, imagination-less void until my reading skills were advanced enough for Harry Potter. This being the case, I never got to experience firsthand many of the television shows that are all but sacred to other geeks of my generation.
Two weeks ago, I decided on a whim that it was long since time for me to watch The X-Files, which originally aired between 1993 and 2002. Though the show has faced some valid criticism on this blog before, I have been thoroughly enjoying the first few seasons as a first-time viewer, and it’s easy to see why it became such a cult classic.
What… why are you squatting like that? What are you doing?
For this week’s installment of Throwback Thursdays, I want to give a throwback to another one of my favorite childhood movies—1997’s Men In Black. I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately and since it’s on Netflix in Canada, I’ve been rewatching it quite a lot and I find it’s still fun, enjoyable, and comforting.
Civilization: Beyond Earth, a sequel of sorts to Civilization V, was fun for maybe my first three or so gameplays. After that, the game didn’t really feel like it offered too much, and I was a little underwhelmed with it. It takes place in the distant future, when all of Earth’s resources have been used up and humanity must colonize various alien planets in order to survive. Incidentally, some of these planets are named and designed after real exoplanets discovered by NASA, such as one of the Kepler planets. Beyond Earth’s expansion pack, Civilization: Beyond Earth—Rising Tide, also added a few new worlds as well, such as an icy Hoth-like world and a more volcanic Mustafar-like planet (perhaps for all of us Star Wars fans), and did a better job customizing the alien life to better fit each biome, which certainly helps the game’s enjoyability.
Unfortunately, while, overall, I really do like Beyond Earth so much better thanks to Rising Tide—seriously, this expansion is one of the best improvements I’ve seen for any game—there is still something off about the game that makes playing it less enjoyable than it should be.
Here’s a not very secret confession about yours truly: I flippin’ love Scooby-Doo. While I adore it in pretty much all its iterations, there’s a special place in my heart for the animated Scooby Doo movies, like Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, or Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost. These movies all have a pretty standard plot progression: 1) Mystery, Inc. starts investigating something that seems supernatural; 2) it turns out that the supernatural thing was just some peeps in masks, but 3) there is an actual supernatural thing that is much more powerful and scary than the pretend thing that the villains were masquerading as, and 4) Scoob and the gang have to figure out how to deal with that, too. While these plots are relatively predictable, I humbly submit that one ought not to mess too much with something that works. While it’s hard for me to pick a true favorite out of all these movies (cough Zombie Island cough) I distinctly remember adoring Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders as a kid. Did it stand up to my high youthful opinion of it?
No fan denies how perfect this DLC was and still is.
During a conversation I had the other day, the topic of the next Mass Effect game came up. Since Mass Effect 3’s release in 2012, and more so (I think) due to the release of its “Citadel DLC” in 2013, fans have been wondering if a Mass Effect 4 would be in the works. By this point, this is a fact; an inevitability that in the future we will once against be dropping sixty bucks on a new nerds-in-space game. As to be expected, developers are keeping a tight lip on anything that has to do with the game—who even knows when it’s coming out for certain. However, fans have been made privy to some aspects.
Unfortunately, one of the things I would have pegged for “what we need for ME4” has already been completely demolished. Despite the entire canon of the Mass Effect universe, and how many different aspects of any number of galaxies we could have been allowed to explore, the developers decided that making the players live once again from the era of Commander Shepard would be the best way to go. While I’m so… so disappointed about this, I can understand it. Playing through the first three games as Commander Shepard gave the players a way to shape their worlds, but also gave an incredibly narrow scope in terms of seeing how their choices impacted the universe at large. By re-playing through that time, but seeing events through the eyes of an outside party, players can gain a nuanced insight that they would’t have otherwise. In fact, it gives players a chance to critique their own choices as this revered figure: that’s pretty damned meta.
In light of this, what is the most important step Mass Effect should take as a series, both in terms of narrative and drawing in old and new players? Well, if it’s not story, it has to be character. So I’m going to say it here first: Mass Effect 4 should have a non-human protagonist. Going further, I believe that the story can only reach its potential effectiveness if the player character is not a human.