TheCannon Reviews: Impact Wrestling 1/23/15

What’s up guys? I’m TheCannon, brining you another review, this one for the January 23 edition of Impact Wrestling. After last week’s show got me interested in this week’s, how would it turn out? Let’s find out.

We open the show with them going over the rules to Feast or Fired. And the lighting is still horrible focused in this show, you can barely see past the first row. I know they had some low attendance for this night of tapings, but I heard next week’s show was a sell-out, so let’s hope they brighten the place up next week.

Match #1 - Feast or Fired: Austin Aries vs. Bram vs. Crazzy Steve vs. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Gunner vs. Jesse Godderz vs. Magnus vs. Robbie E vs. Rockstar Spud vs. Samuel Shaw vs. Zema Ion

Several guys are already in the ring, so we know how important they are. Gunner, The Wolves, Bram, Magnus, & Austin Aries all get entrances while The Bro-Mans, Samuel Shaw, Crazzy Steve, Rockstar Spud.

Bram & Magnus come out together, and to Bram’s music. Why is Magnus just Bram’s sidekick anymore? Looks like Bram didn’t bring his x-ray glasses I suggested last week. Velvet grabs a case for Robbie E,so maybe Velvet gets the case? I don’t know. Spud can’t even reach the case, which I thought was funny. Spud ends up stepping on Samuel Shaw’s back to reach a case. Austin Aries teases a big suicide dive through the ropes on everyone, only to jump up and grab a case. He then gets down from the ropes and does the dive on all of them, which was pretty cool. Bram & Gunner are fighting on the rope over the final case, and Magnus powerbombs both of them, getting the case! You have no idea how happy I am about that. Bram looks furious over what just happened.

Winners: Robbie E/Velvet Sky, Rockstar Spud, Austin Aries, & Magnus

Backstage Lashley says that he’s getting his title back tonight.

Also backstage, Magnus is bragging about getting case, until Bram comes in yelling that he screwed him. They ended up getting into an argument with each other, and security has to separate them. Looks like Bram & Magnus are splitting up, which honestly upsets me. As much as I want Magnus main eventing, I do love those two together.

We see some clips of last week with the BDC from last week, and for some reason keep showing Eric Young. Lashley is in the ring and just says “Bring me my title, now.” I do like that they know Lashley has no business on the mic, so they keep it short. Kenny King comes out, and starts insulting him. Kenny King brings up that Lashley couldn’t win the title on his own and he needed help from the family, and everyone in the BDC is a potential world champ. He even says that everyone in the building knows that King would make a better world champ than Lashley.

Kenny King challenges him to a fight, and after Lashley accepts, Kenny King wants the BDC out to stand outside with him. No Eric Young here. Can they make up their mind if he’s in the BDC or not!?!

Match #2 - Kenny King vs. Lashley

Is this a title match or not? I assume it isn't, but it wasn't made clear whether it was or wasn't.

Starts off pretty evenly surprisingly, until Lashley throws him on all the BDC members outside the ring. He gets out and throws King back in the ring; why doesn’t Lashley grab his belt while he’s out there? Anyway, this was an alright but short match, but it did make Kenny King look strong, which was great to see. Finish comes when Lashley tries to pin King, but the BDC comes in and starts beating him up, leading to a DQ. MVP says that Lashley didn’t earn the title, and if he wants it, he has to take it from him; but if he wants it, he can meet him on the street. Not much to say here really.

Winner via DQ: Lashley

We see a video package of what just happened, because we might forget during one commercial break?

Video package hyping up Awesome Kong is shown.

Match #3 - Havok vs. Gail Kim

Only a half hour in and we’re getting our third match, that’s cool. Probably means all the promos are getting saved for the 2nd hour. Is it just me, or does Havok’s mask remind anyone else of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises? Anyway, Havok attacks Gail on the entrance ramp during her entrance, and they fight to the ring before her match begins. Taz & Matthews talk about Knockouts merchandise, and Taz talks about his multiple banners and calendars. What does he need multiple calendars for? Anyway, this match wasn’t anything special. Finish comes when Havok pushes the ref outside the ring, which causes a DQ. So, two real matches so far, and DQ finishes in both of them? Anyway, Havok attacks Gail some more, until the lights go out. And obviously, Kong appears in the ring again. This time they actually have a little brief physical confrontation, which leads to Havok getting knocked out to the floor and she walks up the entrance ramp, staring down Kong as she walks back. Taz (or Matthews, I don’t remember) talks about how dominate Havok was until she was introduced to Kong... even though they’ve already been introduced as they were a former tag team in Japan (and possibly the indies, I’m not sure). This is why we need Tenay, he wouldn’t say stupid stuff like that; he knows his wrestling history.

Winner via DQ: Gail Kim

Video from last week, showing EC3‘s challenge to Borash. They show an awesome little pic for EC3 vs Borash, and EC3 is on his back, and it just looks hilarious.

Match #4 - Tigre Uno vs. Koya w/The Revolution

I know I’ve said this before, but The Revolution has one of the coolest themes in wrestling today. Early in the match Storm slaps Koya. Shouldn’t that be a DQ? Anyway, this was just a basic squash, and Koya wins after a “Skyhigh” as Taz puts it, which looked pretty good actually. After the match, Storm gets on the mic, and tells Matt Hardy that he’s took care of his personal demons, but when he gets in the ring with him tonight, he will be a demon too strong for him. Storm says that this is the Revolution, and there’s always room for one more. I love that Storm brought up Hardy’s drug problems, that was just great. Match wasn’t much, but it served it’s purpose to make Koya look good, and Storm’s promo was awesome.

Winner via pinfall: Koya

Backstage, Kurt Angle & Bobby Roode are seen together and Roode says he doesn’t want to talk about the tag match, he wants Eric Young 1 on 1, even though he got it last week. Roode says generic stuff about how he worked on getting the title back for years, and in a split moment he was screwed by his best friend. Angle says that he knows Roode wants to get his hands on EY, but he says that if he does it alone, he’ll fail but if they do it together, they can do it, so it’s up to Roode. He also said something about how he stepped down as Director because he wanted the world title and thought he’d be more useful in the trenches, and how MVP & the BDC is messing things up. Roode needs to be passionate about this tag match, then everything’ll be okay.

Josh Matthews is in a production room, and basically gives us a recap on what led to the upcoming Eric Young & Low Ki vs Angle & Roode tag match. Because they couldn’t be bothered to put a video together?

Backstage Spud is shown with a case, and says that he’s just wanted to be a champ since coming to TNA, and says that after everything EC3 did to him & Borash, that regardless of being fired or getting a title shot, he’s gonna punch EC3 in the face. Spud’s more entertaining as a heel is all I took away from this.

Match #5 - Eric Young & Low Ki vs. Bobby Roode & Kurt Angle

Why do Young & Low Ki come out together, yet Angle & Roode come out separately? I’m calling it right now: Young & Ki win after Angle & Roode have some sort of mis-communication. Taz & Matthews actually begin debating whether or not Young is a full member of the BDC. This is basically what every fan is doing, since they made it clear that EY isn’t a member of the BDC last week, yet he kept showing up with them and was in their video package earlier. I like that they’re at least acknowledging how this doesn’t make much sense, but I’d prefer that this made sense to begin with. Finish was a bit overbooked: Roode had Low Ki in the crossface, and EY came in with a chair. Angle grabbed the chair from him and after Joe & MVP came out, Angle went out to keep them from interfering. The ref follows him, and EY hits Roode with a chair when the ref can’t see. Roode is then pinned, the ref runs back, and EY & Low Ki get the win. Match was alright, though the overbooked ending brought it down a lot.

Winners via shenanigans: Eric Young & Low Ki

We see MVP on the streets of NYC, talking to Lashley. I’m not gonna recap, but it sounded very ghetto.

A video package is shown with the history of the EC3/Rockstar Spud feud.

Match #6 - Ethan Carter III vs. Jeremy Borash

I really like EC3‘s ring gear tonight. I love pink, and he pulls it off well, still looking like a bad@ss. EC3 takes the mic and says that since he’s facing an announcer, there’s no one to make the announcement, so he does it. I’m not gonna give details, but it was awesome. Borash comes out in a hood & t-shirt, and Spud accompanies him. I’m predicting Spud Shenanigans, or Spudnanigans, in this match.

After the bell rings, EC3 gets on the mic and decides to do commentary for the match too, until Borash grabs it and says he can’t announce worth a damn, and punches him. Borash is really wrong there, he’s much better than Taz or Matthews. Borash actually gets a few shots on him in the corner, but EC3 push him off, gets him on the ground, and just begins beating him and spitting in his face. Spud gets in the ring and starts attacking EC3, until Tyrus pulls him off. Shouldn’t that have been a DQ? Anyway, the British Bootcamp 2 winner Mark Andrews comes in and saves Spud. Andrews is about the same height as Spud, but isn’t built as well to me. It seemed a bit unbelievable that those two could take down Tyrus, but that’s just me. EC3 is outside the ring, and we then go to the back. It’s never quite explained what the result was, so I’m just going to assume a no contest. Anyway, I think it’s worth watching the entrances and EC3‘s announcing here, it was awesome. That’s all I really have to say here.

Result via Spudnanigans: No Contest

Match #7 - James Storm vs. Matt Hardy

Storm still brings that rope thing to the ring, and no Revolution accompanying him. This match wasn’t anything special, but wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Finish comes when they keep reversing finishers, and Matt gets a roll-up win. WHY!?!! What the hell does Matt get by the win? He’s not that talented and he isn’t gonna get pushed majorly or anything, it makes Storm look bad & the Revolution look weak, etc. TNA, what is your obsession with the Hardys!?! Anyway, after Storm offers a handshake and Hardy refuses, so Abyss runs down and attacks him. They beat up Matt for a little bit, and Abyss grabs Janice from underneath the ring. Didn’t Bram have it back in August? When did Abyss get it back, and why was it under the ring? Jeff Hardy runs out, and challenges Abyss to a Monster’s Ball match next week. Why? Because TNA assumes that what worked 10 years ago will work just as well now.

Winner via stupid booking: Matt Hardy

MVP is in the NYC streets and Joe wants to bring the other BDC members in, but MVP tells him to keep his boys out of it. Shouldn’t he have said “the boys?” They’re MVP’s boys, not Joe.

We then see Aries, Spud, Magnus, & Robbie backstage to open the Feast or Fired cases. After Robbie says some of the generic Robbie E-type stuff, Aries just shakes his head, which I found funny.

Spud opens his case first, and gets an X-Division title shot. Spud throws an I’m with Spud sticker on it, which I thought was great. Magnus gets a Tag Team title case, which with what happened earlier with Bram, should be interesting. Robbie E begins complaining that he won’t be getting fired, and then they cut away from the whole thing for commercial & showing MVP & Lashley gearing up. WHY ARE YOU CUTTING AWAY FROM THIS!?!

When we come back, Christy Hemme recaps stuff we already know. Robbie talks about how stupid he is for getting the case, until saying that Velvet is who grabbed it, and forces her to open the case since she grabbed it and it should be her’s. Velvet got the Fired Case! :D You have no idea how thrilled I am about this, I really hate Velvet. And Robbie is celebrating this whole thing, which I found fun to see. Aries then goes to open his case, I wonder what it’s gonna be... it’s the world title shot!

Okay, now my thoughts on each result:

Rockstar Spud getting X-Division case - I’ll have to see where they go with this. I’ve got nothing against Spud and do like him, but I have no desire to see him fight for the X-Division title. Personally, what I hope happens and how I’d book it is that Spud losses the case to EC3 at some point in their feud. EC3 then holds it for months, until the final episode of Impact before Destination X, where he cashes in and wins the X-Division title. He then uses Option C to fight for the World title at Destination X. This sets up a feud with whoever the X-Division Champ is (probably Aries since he always gets the belt in July), gets EC3 into the world title scene, and is just an overall decent story to me. Not sure how they’ll do it, but this is how I hope it goes.

Magnus getting Tag Team case - I was hoping he’d get the world title shot, but I’m fine with this. This I actually think is one of the most interesting, since that scene with Bram earlier seemed to be setting up a breakup for them. So, will they put their differences aside to fight for the tag titles, or will Bram still have a problem with Magnus getting it? I’m really interested to see where this goes.

Velvet Sky getting Fired - YAY! :D I really don’t like Velvet, she’s annoying on the mic (face or heel), and despite being there for over 7 years, has never improved in-ring and is still just atrocious. I know a lot of people find her attractive and think that makes up for it, but I’ve never found her attractive, and even if I did, that wouldn’t make up for her taking TV time, money, & title reigns away from far more deserving women. Let’s hope she’s gone for good and we never see or hear from her again.

Austin Aries getting World Heavyweight case - I was hoping for Magnus, but I’ve got no problem with Aries. He’s probably the most talented guy on the roster, and after his first lackluster title reign, he deserves a good second reign. Hopefully he ends up successfully cashing in the case. But TNA loves Lashley for some reason, so he probably won’t.

MVP & Lashley meet each other on the streets, and start brawling. I really hat the way that they’re filing this, because they’re doing that Zack Snyder thing where they randomly zoom in and out for no real reason. It becomes distracting. They then fight their way back into the building and continue brawling. Low Ki, Samoa Joe, Kenny King, & Eric Young then call interfere and start beating up Lashley. Joe’s still wearing that really stupid hat. They fight back outside, until Angle & Roode come in and run them off. Roode picks up the world title belt, and the show ends with the two staring at each other on the sidewalk.

Overall Impressions:

I actually really enjoyed tonight’s show. A lot of the finishes might have been screwy, but I never found myself getting bored, I was always entertained, and the show kept my interest the whole time. Part of it may have been Feast or Fired, as that’s always interesting, but even outside of that I enjoyed tonight’s show. EC3 was great, seeing Kenny King look good against Lashley was great (hopefully a sign of good things to come), and as much as I don’t like the Hardys, I’m always interested in whatever the Revolution is doing, especially after Storm’s great promo tonight. So yeah, despite my complaints & jokes, I thought this was an enjoyable show and the best on Destination America so far. I hope they’re able to keep this going next week, and I look forward to it.

That’s it for the review and I hope you enjoyed. I’m TheCannon, and I will see you guys later.

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TheCannon Reviews: Impact Wrestling 1/16/15

What’s up guys? I’m TheCannon, bringing you another review, this one for the January 16, 2015 edition of Impact Wrestling. After last week’s debut episode, how would this week’s official premier in its permanent time slot do? Let’s find out.

We open with Josh Mathews telling us we’re gonna see a new format in wrestling, and the main thing that stood out to me was the focused lighting. Um... after last week’s black hole? I don’t think so. Roode is then talking about how angry he is at Young for costing him the world title last week, and how the title is all that matters to him, before challenging EY to a match. Isn’t Roode a face? Then shouldn’t he be caring about more than the world title?

We open the show (again) with MVP, Kenny King, Samoa Joe, & Low Ki coming down to the ring with some pretty crappy entrance music and Joe wearing a pretty stupid hat. MVP talks about how when he came into TNA & the wrestling business, it was him against the world, so he needed to surround himself with like-minded individuals. MVP talks about how these guys are his family and go way back with these guys, and names themselves the Beat Down Clan, or BDC. I know I said last week that after the finish to the main event that I thought Russo was back, but I’ve changed my mind. There’s no way Russo would come up with a stable name that bad.

MVP brings out EY, and makes sure to say he’s not part of this family. EY comes out to the World Elite theme! That got me happy and a bit nostalgic since I was a huge fan of Eric Young during the World Elite days. EY has shaved the sides of his head a bit. EY talks about how he doesn’t like that MVP helped Lashley win his (EY’s) world title, but respects that he helped his brother. EY talks about how he thought he had a brother in Roode and immediately offered him a world title shot back in the spring (which is inaccurate) and how Roode was just worried that he’d beat him. And how during the holidays, Roode never checked on him in the hospital and he only got a text. EY talks about he took what mattered most to Roode, and he’s gonna take everything away from him. MVP also flat out admits that he’s just manipulating EY, but he doesn’t do a thing about it for some reason.

MVP introduces the 2-time world heavyweight champion, Lashley, but he doesn’t come out. Instead Angle comes out. Angle says that he only sees a bunch of thugs and not a family, and that Roode is gonna kick EY’s ass tonight. Angle says that he’s gonna make all 5 of them tap out, which causes Joe to come out of the ring and get in his face. Angle hits him, and they all try to run out and attack Angle, but security comes out to hold them back. Angle asks Joe if he wants a piece of him, and Angle says that it’s gonna happen right now. Doesn’t happen until after commercials though.

Well, it’s a typical TNA opening. 10 minute stable promo, booking a match for right after commercial, etc. As I said before, new network, new look, same TNA. Now, I said last week that we might get some logical explanation for all three of these turns, and if that happened, I’d have been willing to live with it. We got one for EY, and I could complain about it, but I won’t because I’d rather complain about Joe & Low Ki. They still make no sense. Joe & Low Ki have a history with MVP? Okay, then why was Joe feuding with MVP back in May/June? And why didn’t Low Ki join up with MVP back in July when he returned? Hey TNA, here’s an idea: Low Ki failed to retain the X-Division title last week, so he decided to join MVP for some strength in numbers to get the belt back. Meanwhile, Joe can decide that the company has basically been throwing him to the side since last summer or so and wanted to get noticed, so he joined MVP. I admit these aren’t the best ideas, and if they went with this I’d probably be complaining about it, but it’s still better than the half-@ssed explanation we got.

And before I go any further, I want to point out the lighting in the arena this week. I pointed out last week how the lights were turned off in most of the arena and it looked like an all-consuming black hole in the audience, and it looks even worse this week. Last week I could barely see past the third row, this week I had trouble seeing the first row and could not see anything past it. It just really didn’t make a good atmosphere for the show, which just hurt the show overall for me. I know it’s a petty complaint, but it still bothered me.

Match #1 - Kurt Angle vs. Samoa Joe

Angle isn’t Director of Wrestling Operations any more and can’t book matches, he said so himself. So how is this match happening? I suppose you could say that they both agreed, but still. And Taz agrees with me that Joe has no reason to join MVP, but Mathews counters that by saying that they go way back. So the announcers are now debating whether or not storylines make sense? Okay I guess.

Anyway, the match was okay, but nowhere near as good as their past matches. Kurt really shouldn’t be wrestling full time anymore. Finish comes when Joe throws Angle into the ref and puts the rear naked choke on him, and Angle taps out. The BDC & EY come out to beat up on Angle, but Roode comes out with a chair to chase them all off. And surprisingly, Angle doesn’t attack Roode! Gotta say, with TNA’s recent booking, I’m surprised.

Winner via submission: Samoa Joe

We come back from commercial, and Roode is sitting in the ring. Roode says he’s doing all he can to hold back his anger, but this crap tonight has already gone too far. Roode says generic stuff about EY destroying a 15 year friendship, ignoring how many of those years they were bitter enemies, and how much this business means to him. He says that tonight isn’t about wrestling, it’s about very long monologues. I honestly didn’t even hear what he said, I was just focused on that joke. Pretty generic promo, but that’s Bobby Roode nowadays.

They shot an interview with Mike Tenay & Magnus, and Magnus talks about how he does this for his family and son. So, we’re breaking character now? What happened to James Storm’s in-character promo last week?

Backstage we have Spud & Borash talking about EC3, and how much of a jackass he is and one day will get exactly what’s coming to him. Hopefully they’re talking about the TNA world title.

Match #2 - The Hardys vs. The Wolves

The Revolution is up on the balconies to watch this match, for #1 contendership for the tag titles. They all lift their arms and pose, and a fan joins in right next to them, which I thought was awesome. Spotlight is shown on the Revolution. I guess this is part of that focused lighting they’re having now, it’s mostly pitch black, but they can show you something when they want to.

Now, shouldn’t the Hardys already be number one contenders since they won that tournament back in November? Are we just gonna ignore that? Okay I guess. I don’t see why they wasted a few weeks of shows back in the fall then, but those last few Spike shows were just filler. Doesn’t mean they should just ignore them though.

They keep doing that dual-screen thing just to show the announcers sitting there calling the action in Nashville. I guess because the match somehow seems better in squint-o-vision. They keep the spotlight on the Revolution during the match and randomly cut to them, which just shows they could be lighting up the whole arena but chose not to.

Apparently Jeff is smarter than both James Storm & Abyss, as he actually avoided the Wolves’ suicide dive. They did a spot where Jeff walks across the rope and jumps on the Wolves outside the ring, and Taz says the only thing close to that impressive he’s seen is the Undertaking doing it, but he didn’t jump like Jeff did. Taz, you do realize that you’ve announced matches where Matt Morgan did this? And he showed much more balance then Jeff did? There was a point where Davey was up and fine, but after Jeff did a swanton that didn’t even hit him, he was down. I just cause the script demanded it. Anyway, this match wasn’t terrible, but I didn’t think it was very good either. But then again, I’m not a fan of the Hardys at all, so maybe I’m biased. The Hardys win after Matt gets the pin. So the Hardys are the number one contenders... again. They do realize that they already were, right? And why put the Hardys over the young & talented Wolves? Ugh. That’s just stupid.

Winners via pinfall: The Hardys

Bram is backstage talking about Feast or Fired, and talks about how he & Magnus are getting every case and aren’t going anywhere. Even though if they get all 4 cases one of them is getting fired. I don’t think they thought this through all the way. I suppose Bram could come out with those x-ray glasses you used to see adds for in the back of comic books to see what each case contains.

Backstage, King asks MVP if everything is fine with Lashley, and MVP says everything’s fine and he always has a backup plan, so everything’s golden. EY then comes up and asks MVP if he knows who’s not golden; Bobby Roode. Because EY took his gold belt. And tonight, he takes everything else. I’ve seen EY pull off a great heel before in World Elite, but here he seems like a young kid unsuccessfully trying to show how adult he is and you just die inside after seeing him fail. I hope that analogy made sense.

Backstage, EC3 & Tyrus take control of the production and cameras and get the cameras on the newly bald Jeremy Borash, and begins talking to him. EC3 challenges him to a match the following week and 30 minutes to make a decision. We also see Lashley showing up, and I’m not sure exactly why he couldn’t show up earlier.

Match #3 - Street Fight: Eric Young vs. Bobby Roode

It’s a street fight, so the ref better make sure to keep his eyes out for either of the wrestlers getting a rope break. What’s odd here is that Borash announced EY as being from Nashville Tennessee, but Taz points out that he’s Canadian. I know he is Canadian and could be living in Nashville, but I still found it odd. They do the dual screen thing to show Lashley backstage, and for some reason show the match on the smaller screen. WHY!?! Anyway wasn’t bad, but wasn’t really good either. Just mediocre. EY wins after a piledriver onto a steel chair. MVP & Kenny King come out afterwards, and say that Roode’s going to the hospital and that the world champion Lashley will be there tonight.

Winner via pinfall: Eric Young

Backstage Aries hypes up his match tonight with Low Ki for the X-Division title. He talks about how people keep forming groups in the company, meaning that no one can fight their own battles. He says something about if he’s back into a corner, he’ll fight back. Kind of a generic promo, but it’s at least nice to hear from Aries.

Match #4 - Taryn Terrell & Brooke vs. The Beautiful People

The Bro-Mans & DJ Z accompany The Beautiful People down to the ring, and Zema makes a fool out of himself on the mic. Sad that Zema went from X-Division champ, promising young start, & potential main eventer to just following these guys & TBP around. Brooke starts chasing Robbie E around the ring, but stops after a moment and focuses on the match. This match wasn’t good at all, but I didn’t expect it to be. Finish comes when Brooke slaps Robbie and Velvet gets a roll up win. Afterwards, the lights go out, and Awesome Kong is in the ring, continuing to steal Sting’s gimmick. She attacks the Beautiful People, and Zema gets in the ring, only to be chokeslammed by her. Zema’s never gonna recover from this whole comedy character thing, is he? Havok’s music hits, and she comes down, with the two staring each other down. Security then comes down and holds the two back. Yeah, do you care? I don’t care.

Winner via pinfall: The Beautiful People

Backstage EC3 finds Borash, and wants a decision. Borash says that he isn’t a wrestler and won’t agree to the match, and after insulting him a bit and saying no one respects him, JB ends up agreeing to fight him. I’m actually looking forward to this. Hopefully they don’t make him EC3 look bad or weak in it. Also, add for Feast or Fired next week. Another one I’m actually looking forward to. Hope Magnus gets the world title shot.

Backstage some sound guys are talking, and Manik gets them to bring them to James Storm. Storm tells them that it’s time to introduce his newest follower, Koya. It’s just the Indian guy from before who’s name I could never remember. In Indian, Koya means lost, because that’s what he was. But now he’s found the Revolution, and next week, the power will be unleashed. Storm finishes with that creepy whistling thing. Not much to say about that scene. Cool to see them actually get the camera men this time instead of just following them off-screen before being told to leave.

Video package hyping up Feast or Fire next week is shown. As I said before, looking forward to it.

Match #5 - TNA X-Division Championship: Austin Aries (c) vs. Low Ki

I’m calling shenanigans for this match. Some sort of shenanigans are gonna happen. This was a pretty good match with not much to say (aside from me hoping it’d be a bit longer), but shenanigans did occur. Low Ki tapped out at one point, but the BDC distracted the ref so it wasn’t seen. After a little bit of interference occurs, Low Ki hits the Ki-Krusher and gets the win, regaining the X-Division title. So, here’s my question: Why the f*ck did Aries win the X-Division title last week if he was just gonna lose it this week? Hot-shotting the title around like this does literally nothing to help the belt or wrestlers, which you’d figure they’d have learned after they tried it with Aries & Sabin back in late 2013/early 2014. You could argue it’s part of why Low Ki joined the BDC, since he lost the title and wanted allies to get it back (as I suggested earlier), but I’m not accepting that as an excuse since it was never stated or implied. I just hope at some point we get a clean match with these two that gets a good length of time.

Winner via shenanigans and NEW X-Division Champion: Low Ki

After commercials, MVP & the BDC are in the ring. And Eric Young for some reason. What happened to him not being part of the group? MVP talks about how they’ve showed what the BDC is all about, and how they’ve got the world title back home, and he introduced Lashley, who actually comes out this time. MVP talks about this family and tells the crowd to take pictures, before he beings insulting them. He talks about how Lashley looks like a champion & wrestler, and how he made Lashley look the way he does (with the suit & everything). He says that the world title belongs to Low Ki, Kenny King, Samoa Joe, & MVP. He skipped EY, so why is he here!?! Lashley does something rare and takes the mic and says it doesn’t belong to any of them, as it belongs to him. I’m now reminded why he barely speaks. MVP says something about how the BDC works and Lashley was a founding member, before Lashley says this isn’t him and for MVP to get his hands off him. MVP says that they’re brothers and always partied together & everything, and doesn’t want to leave Lashley on hostile terms, so we get MVP awkwardly hugging Lashley until the BDC begins beating him up. Wow, What a shock! I certainly didn’t see that coming or anything. And why is EY helping them beat up Lashley? They made it clear he’s not part of the BDC! I’m just going to stop complaining about that. Chalk it up to TNA’s inconsistent writing I guess. After finishing the beat-down, MVP tells Lashley that the world title doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to the BDC and steal the title belt.

I have to say that while this scene was pretty predictable and Lashley should never be on the mic at all, it was pretty well-done. Although they could have cut it in half, not have lost anything, and let Aries/Low Ki have been longer. But maybe I’m just weird for wanting that instead of stable beat downs.

Overall Impressions:

As I probably made it clear, I wasn’t the biggest fan of tonight’s show. I’m just really bored of stable-takeover storylines, which was a big part of tonight’s show, and the BDC did nothing I haven’t seen before to stand out from others. And the nonsensical turns of Joe & Low Ki don’t help things. Overall though, it wasn’t a terrible show. I did enjoy Aries/Low Ki, and despite not being a fan of the Hardys (to put it nicely), I am interested in the whole tag division right now. But still, I just didn’t find myself interested in the BDC, the Knockouts, Roode/Young, or anything else really. And not enough EC3 hurt things (since he’s pretty much the main reason to watch). Instead of all this stable stuff, I’d much rather see guys like Magnus & Gunner getting some meaningful solo feuds. But it’s TNA, so of course we need stables non-stop. So yeah, not a terrible show, but I wasn’t that impressed either. Probably a below average night from TNA. But regardless, I am looking forward to Feast or Fired next week and hope the EC3/Borash match is entertaining, so TNA did do something right in getting me excited for next week’s show.

Well, that does it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. I’m TheCannon, and I will see you guys later.

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TheCannon Reviews: Impact Wrestling 1/7/15

What’s up guys? I’m TheCannon bringing you another review, this one for the January 7, 2015 edition of TNA Impact Wrestling, the first episode on Destination America. Now, I’ve never written a review for a wrestling show before. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but wasn’t sure where to start. I decided that TNA moving to a new network would make for a good starting point for reviews. I hope to get reviews up for Impact every week, although if this first review doesn’t go well, I doubt I’ll do more. Anyway, let’s start the review. Obviously, spoilers will be included.

Impact begins with a new opening video with a bit of a rap theme, which is cool I guess. Several roster members are shown hyping each other up and the new network, such as Bobby Roode, James Storm & the Revolution, and MVP, Lashley, & Kenny King. Most of the roster is shown to all be arriving at the arena at once, and it lines up perfectly with all the faces on one said and all the heels on the other. And for some reason several of the wrestlers are wearing their ring gear. You’re in New York City at night time during January, it’s about 20 degrees out! Why are you wearing nothing but very short tights? Crazy Steve even shows up with his ring get AND clown make up on. Anyway, Roode and Lashley begin pointing at each other, and a huge brawl breaks out between everyone. It begins outside, but works its way into the arena, into the crowd, and by ringside. For anyone who cares, everyone I noticed was Roode, Lashley, Kenny King, The Revolution, the Hardys, Samoa Joe, The Bro-Mans, Low Ki, The Wolves, Crazy Steve, Magnus, and a few of the Knockouts. In all honestly, I found this whole thing very funny. The best opening for the first show on the new network they could think of was a huge nonsensical brawl that comes out of nowhere. Is this a sign of things to come?

Kurt Angle’s music hits while everyone is brawling and he comes out, demanding everyone to stop and calls for security (which never comes out). Angle says that this is NYC and they want to see a fight, so Angle individually calls out Low Ki, Taryn Terrell, and Storm & Abyss and tells them that tonight the X-Division, Knockouts, and Tag Team titles are all on the line tonight. He then locates Roode and reminds us that Roode is defending the World title against Lashley tonight and that the fans want to see it be Match of the Year. Boy are they gonna be disappointed.

Kurt Angle beings to make his special announcement, but is interrupted by MVP. I honestly had a hard time following this promo, because the crowd was chanting stuff like “shut the f*ck up” and “M V P*ssy” that kept getting censored, which kept me from hearing some of what MVP was saying. Basically what I got was MVP talking about Angle hitting in the back, and how Angle isn’t the man he used to be and how he remembers the Kurt Angle people used to be afraid of and the 1996 Kurt Angle that was an Olympic Gold Medalist, but 2015 Kurt Angle wears a suit and has no balls. Angle says that he is no longer Director of Wrestling Operations but as of 15 minutes ago was an active wrestler again, and his final order is to book Kurt Angle vs MVP in a street fight, that starts right now. Angle then punches MVP and the match begins as we go to commercial.

I random thing I began to notice here was how dark the arena was. I could barely see anything past the 3rd row. I guess ticket sales weren’t that good and they had to cover up the empty seats, but it was really distracting. It’s like there’s a giant black hole in the arena that consumes all items, light, and energy that goes near it.

Match #1 - Street Fight: Kurt Angle vs. MVP

Back from commercial and Angle is beating down on MVP in a corner, and the referee tries to push Angle away. It’s a street fight, so why is he doing that? This match wasn’t that great, it was mostly the two just going back and forth in submission holds. Why make it a street fight if that’s all you’re doing? To be far a chair did come into things outside the ring at one point. The highlight of this match was MVP grabbing the ropes while Kurt had him and getting a rope break. In a street fight! What would have happened if Angle hadn’t let go of the hold, he’d be disqualified? Again, it’s a street fight! New network, new look, same TNA: Changing the rules to matches whenever they feel like it. Angle wins after an Olympic Slam. Glad to see Angle back in the ring, but I hope he’s truly healthy enough to compete this time. Last time he rushed back into the ring too quickly and got injured much longer.

Winner via pinfall: Kurt Angle

Backstage MVP meets up with Kenny King and yells at him for not helping him in the match with Kurt, and Kenny said he thought MVP could handle it. Scenes like this have been happening for a while now. Gee, I wonder what they’re all trying to set up...

Ethan Carter III and Tyrus are shown backstage after shoving Crazy Steve away, which I did chuckle at. EC3 says that he and Tyrus were just talking about New Years Resolutions and commitment, and says that he (EC3) swore he’d take Rockstar Spud apart piece by piece.

Taz & Josh Mathews are shown at the announce table, with Mathews talking about how honored he is to take Mike Tenay’s spot. Now I’m fine with them getting some new blood in on the announce team, but I just don’t like them replacing Tenay with this guy. I’m willing to give him a chance to grow on me, but I didn’t like him after this one show. And is having the announce team be two guys who were with WWE (and I believe they were the announce team together on Smackdown at one point) really the best idea? Doesn’t give TNA its own feeling to me.

Anyway, Tenay is shown backstage (I think that’s where it was supposed to be anyway) and hypes up how he’ll be hosting the new Impact Wrestling: Unlocked show and shows an interview with James Storm that’s supposed to be on there. Tenay says how he never saw the Revolution coming, and Storm says that if he can fool the great professor than everyone else should be easy. Storm talks about how every time management gave him something, he knocked it out of the park, but management hasn’t fulfilled their part, so Storm’s coming to collect. Storm talks about not wanting to give away long term plans for the Revolution, the recruiting process and how they’ve all seen the light, and how they doesn’t want to wrestler or entertain the fans; they’re just out for blood. Storm asks Tenay if his mother ever warned him about the devil, and says that she should have warned Tenay about him. I really liked that last line about the devil. Okay interview, but I’m still having a bit of a hard time seeing Storm in this Revolution leader role. He’s doing a fine job, I’m just not used to it is all.

Match #2 - TNA World Tag Team Championships: The Revolution (c) vs. The Wolves

Manik & The Great Sanada come down with Storm & Abyss, which makes sense, though the Indian guy whose name I always forget isn’t there for some reason. Also for some reason, Storm comes out with a rope tied in that position for hanging someone (not sure the exact name). Why? Wolves come out with new tattoos on their bodies that are claw marks (from wolves obviously). Glad to see how dedicated they are to the team, but what happens if they split up for whatever reason? The Hardys come down to watch the match from ring side. Good, that’s just what I wanted....

As for the match, it wasn’t anything special, but was decent. The main thing that sticks out to me was a point where Storm & Abyss are outside the ring leaning on the railing and the Wolves repeatedly hit Suicide Dives on them. Storm does seem to be taking them badly, but it doesn’t look like Abyss is getting hit too bad, so why doesn’t he just move slightly in either direction? Or Sanada & Manik are just standing there watching it, why don’t they pull Abyss out of the way? The finish comes when Abyss tries to grab that rope Storm brought down, but the Hardys come in to make sure he doesn’t use it. One of them accidentally hits one of the Wolves, which leads to Storm hitting the Last Call and getting the win. If I had to guess where this is going, I’d say we’ll get a Wolves/Hardys match for #1 contendership that ends with shenanigans, leading to a 3-way between the teams.

Winners via pinfall and STILL TNA World Tag Team Champions: The Revolution

The Revolution has one of the coolest theme songs in wrestling today. Just something I thought while watching the show.

Backstage scene where MVP & Kenny King confront Lashley. MVP tells Lashley that he brought Lashley into TNA, and without him he wouldn’t have a job or have been world champ. MVP also mentions how he leads the group and calls the shots. Lashley grabs him by the throat and pushed him up to a wall and says that it’s not about MVP tonight and it’s about getting his title back. MVP says if that’s how it’s gonna be, then good luck tonight and leaves with Kenny. Generic scene with really not much to say.

Jeremy Borash is in the ring and talks about how he’s been there since day one and how proud he is to be in New York City and the first Destination America show. He begins to welcome a special gentleman until EC3‘s music interrupts. EC3 comes out, looking damn good in his suit, and says that 2015 is the year of the lord of wrestling: EC3. He says that everything he says (he’s very good, has been un-defeated for 15 months, and 2015 is the year he becomes TNA World Heavyweight Champion) is true. After doing the standard you can’t wrestler/I disagree chant with the crowd, something awesome happens. When about half the crowd begins chanting “You can’t wrestle,” the other half begins chanting “Yes he can.” EC3 calls out Spud for their unfinished business. Spud doesn’t come out at first, until EC3 snaps his fingers and Tyrus comes out while kicking Spud out. In a funny moment, Tyrus just picks Spud up by the back of his pants and carry him to the ring.

Tyrus brings him in ring, and EC3 pulls out a razor to shave Spud’s head, but Borash asks him hasn’t he done enough. EC3 yells at him to stand down, and Borash slaps him. I hate when TNA does stuff like that, but I guess it does make sense. Tyrus begins beating up Borash, and after a failed attempt by Spud to save him, EC3 says that there’s a change in plans and grabs Borash, and shaves a strip of hair off his head. Overall this was an alright scene, with EC3 obviously being the best thing. My question is this: Where is everything supposed to go from here? We’re obviously not getting Jeremy Borash in the ring, so the only place this whole thing can go is EC3 vs Spud. But aside from the fact that it wouldn’t be a good match, it’s impossible to have it booked well. Either EC3 wins and we don’t get a proper conclusion to the story, or Spud wins and EC3 looks awful and never recovers. Still, maybe I’ll be proved wrong.

Backstage we see Kenny King talking with MVP, saying that Lashley put his hands on MVP and that they don’t put their hands on each other. MVP brings up the seeds they planted a while ago that are about to take root, and he takes out a cell phone. Interesting... let’s see how disappointing it is.

Match #3 - TNA X-Division Championship: Low Ki (c) vs. Austin Aries

Now, not that I’m complaining since I love Aries, but shouldn’t Joe be getting this title shot? He vacated the belt a few months ago and said he’d be coming for whoever won it. Well, Low Ki won it, Joe’s healthy enough to compete again, so shouldn’t Joe be coming for him? But we are getting an Austin Aries match, so I won’t complain. Anyway, this was a pretty good match. If you saw nothing else from this show, this match is worth checking out. Finish comes when Aries hits the Brain Buster and pins Low Ki, winning the match and title. Now, Aries is insanely talented, so him with a title is good, but I really feel he should be in the world title scene instead. I hope this title win leads to Aries getting pushed again this year, maybe using Option C this July and getting the title, but I doubt it. Regardless, good match here and I hope to get a rematch with some more time.

Winner via pinfall and NEW X-Division Champion: Austin Aries

Match #4 - Battle Royal for the TNA Knockouts Championship

You know that you’ve got no shot at winning when your entrances are skipped over. After commercials, Gail Kim, Havok, Madison Rayne, & Rebel are all already in the ring and The Beautiful People are making their entrance. Jessie Godderz & Zema Ion (I refuse to call him DJ Z) come out with them, and grab the mic to welcome reality TV star Robbie E back to TNA. Robbie talks about how he didn’t win a million bucks and got rid of his girlfriend Brooke, but Taryn Terrell’s entrance interrupts him and he just goes away. That was pointless. The Knockouts title has a new design, though it’s the same as the old one just with new colors. The strap is black instead of while, the plate is all gold instead of the mix of colors the old one had, and the TNA logo in blue instead of red. Looks pretty generic to be honest.

Match starts, and only Gail Kim goes after Havok while The Beautiful People & Rebel to after Taryn. Since Havok’s already been proven to have advantages in battle royals, shouldn’t they all be ganging up on her? Anyway, this match wasn’t good at all, but I didn’t expect it to be. Angelina Love was almost tossed out at one point, almost got back in, but then was eliminated. Why didn’t Jessie catch her? She wouldn’t have been eliminated since her feet wouldn’t have touched the floor, it would have made sense with their characters, and would have been something I’ve never seen before. But whatever. Taryn Terrell wins after eliminating Havok, who then gets back in the ring to beat up Taryn. Lights go out during this and Awesome Kong is standing in the ring when they come back on. Haven’t seen her in almost 5 years. She gets in Havok’s face, but referees get between them and Havok leaves while Kong chokeslams a ref. I really don’t have much thoughts on Kong’s return. She’s put on good match before, which is more then several of the knockouts can say, but why are we rehashing things from 7-8 years ago? Would it have been that hard to find a woman on the indies who’s good in the ring? She probably would have been cheaper too. But regardless, the only knockout I care about is Gail Kim (anyone else I care about isn’t employed), so my opinion on this probably isn’t worth much.

Winner and STILL TNA Knockouts Champion: Taryn Terrell

Match #5 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship: Bobby Roode (c) vs. Lashley

This is the fourth match between these two, though TNA doesn’t like to acknowledge their 2009 match, so it’s advertised as the third. A video is shown in the corner of the screen with MVP & Kenny King with some hooded/masked guys backstage. Security doesn’t want to let them in, but the hooded guys beat them up. There really isn’t much to say about this match. If you saw the last two matches, it’s basically more of that, just without the unintentional hilarity the last one had. I know a lot of people like Lashley and are glad to see him pushed, but I don’t. I do think he works hard and has a good build (which I’m pretty sure is natural), but I just think his in-ring skills are so limited that it’s hard for him to do much good in the ring and needs someone like Roode to carry him.

Anyway, the match becomes interesting when MVP & Kenny King come out with the hooded/masked guys. You know what that means. Shenanigans time! They pull the referee out of the ring which leaves it where Roode doesn’t get the win. Kurt Angle comes out to try to stop them, but he gets beaten up by them. The masked guys get on the apron and take off their masks and are revealed to be... Samoa Joe and Low Ki...

Eric Young runs down with a chair to save Roode, only to then hit him with the chair...

Lashley hits the spear, the ref is thrown into the ring, and Lashley wins, looking a bit disappointed with MVP. More on this in a moment.

Winner via shenanigans and NEW TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Lashley

My thoughts on the main event... ugh. I was really ranting about it last night when I first watched it, but after a night of sleep and more time to think about it today, my reaction to it isn’t as bad as before. I still think it’s stupid, but I’m not yelling about it. It appears what we now have is MVP leading a group with Kenny King, Samoa Joe, & Low Ki. It looks like Lashley is gonna be kicked out of the group, which would raise the question why they helped Lashley get the belt in the first place, but they might be doing that just to swerve us. MVP posted something on Twitter with the new group, and EY was nowhere to be seen, so I’d assume his motivations for turning on Roode were different. But what reason could there be? There has been no build up, Young just randomly turned heel here for the sake of a turn. Same with Joe & Low Ki. Joe’s been feuding with MVP on & off since May, why is he suddenly with MVP? Low Ki hasn’t shown anything either way, which means I’m a bit easier on him now turning, but still seems random. It’s possible we’ll get a logical explanation next week for these turns, but this is TNA, so of course we won’t.

Before I get to my final thoughts, I just have one thing I want to say. You know what my first thought after getting done that show was? This:

I think Vince Russo is with TNA again. Think about it. Overbooked opening to the show, overbooked ending to main event, and 3 senseless heel turns at once. I remember early last year I thought the booking seemed Russo-ish and said it seems like Russo is back, and it turns out I was right then. Only reason he left was because Spike didn’t like him, but since TNA isn’t on Spike anymore, they have nothing stopping them from him back. My point in saying this is that I want it on record that I was the first one to predict Russo being back in 2015, that way if/when it’s revealed, I can say I was right. Even if there’s no official announcements about it, we’ll know if Russo is back if we see any object on a pole matches in the next few months.

Overall Impressions:

It probably seems like I hated this show, but I didn’t. The Aries/Low Ki match was pretty good, Wolves/Revolution was decent, I’m sure a lot of people liked Roode/Lashley, EC3 was entertaining, and there was nothing offensively bad on the show, just stuff I didn’t care for or thought was average. Even the ending with the Jow/Low Ki/Young turns, while I am bashing them a bit, it does leave me interested in next week’s show, which means it did a good job there. I’m interested where this goes, it’s just that I don’t expect it do turn out well with TNA’s track record with these kind of things. Not to mention I’m sick of stable take over storylines, which appears to be where this is going. Overall it was an okay episode of Impact. I’ve seen much better, but I’ve also seen much worse. Still, they did get me interested in things, which is more then they did during the last few shows on Spike, so that is a step in the right direction.

That’s it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry if it wasn’t that good, but as I said, this is my first time reviewing a wrestling show. I’ll try and get a game review up in the next few days. Just a reminder that next week Impact moves to its permanent time slot on Friday nights, so my review won’t be up until Saturday. I will see you guys later.

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Cannon Fodder #2 (Angel)

Hey there guys and gals. I’m TheCannon, bringing you another edition of Cannon Fodder. It’s only been almost 3 months, I think that’s a decent amount of time in between editions. In case you’ve forgotten or didn’t read the first one, Cannon Fodder is basically a little thing I write up where I pick a few topics to talk about and give my thoughts on them. If there’s anything you’d like to hear my thoughts on, feel free to suggest it and chances are it’ll probably be talked about (unless it’s too religious, political, or sexual).

Before I get started, I feel there’s two things I want to quickly cover. The first being why it’s been so long since I got one of these up. Well, it’s mostly because I didn’t have much to talk about. I had one thing I considered covering before deciding it was best not to say anything about, but other than that I had nothing to say that wouldn’t just be random stuff like my favorite Buffy characters. I didn’t see much of a point in writing if I had nothing I wanted to talk about, so I just kept getting some ideas then later deciding not to do it, and I eventually got to this.

Now, before we begin, I’m gonna be completely honesty with you: I had 3 or so other things I was gonna talk about (Marvel’s 2015 events, DC’s newly announced movies, & the new Age of Ultron trailer are coming to mind), but as I writing I just realized my heart wasn’t in it and I just didn’t feel up to writing about them. So I decided to only discuss one thing here: My thoughts on the complete series of Angel.

Angel

Angel is the spin-off series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, focusing on (surprisingly enough) Angel. Anyone who knows me recently knows that I’ve become a huge Buffy fan since last summer. Everything about the show I loved. The characters, the writing (most of the time), the humor, the emotion, the soundtrack, everything was just brilliant. After watching Buffy, I felt like I had to watch Angel, but I wasn’t entirely sure about it going in. While I loved Buffy, Angel was one of the few characters I didn’t like (with the exception of Season 2). There was nothing wrong with him, but I just found him boring outside of his backstory. I was still willing to give the show a chance though, and got the first season on DVD around the same time as Buffy Season 5, but I obviously finished Buffy first. When I was done with Buffy, I felt like I should move on to Angel and started it a day or so later. And I had some trouble with it. It wasn’t bad at all, but something about it just wasn’t clicking with me. So I stopped watching it a few episodes in and moved on to doing other stuff, with intentions of going back to give it another try down the line.

About a month ago, I was bored one day and decided I was gonna put on a DVD, and decided I want to watch a TV show. I ended up deciding not to watch Buffy since I wanted something new. I was torn between Angel or Firefly and decided to go with Angel. And I ended up making the right call.

Angel was just simply an amazing series that I’m not sure how to put into words. It was beautifully written, beautifully acted, beautifully shot, and was overall just an amazing and beautiful series. I understand how vague that is, so I’ll try and be a bit more specific (don’t worry, spoiler free).

The premise to the series is that following the end of Buffy Season 3 where Angel leaves Sunnydale, he moves to Los Angeles. There, Angel opens up what’s basically a Detective Agency to “help the helpless.” I’m not doing a good job at pitching this (IMO), but maybe someone who’s seen the show can pitch it better in the comments. The premise may not sound good the way I describe it, but trust me, it’s very enjoyable to watch and gives the show it’s own unique feeling to separate it from Buffy.

The characters on this show are also amazing. The main character is Angel obviously. Now, I wasn’t a big fan of Angel on Buffy. As mentioned before, I found him generally boring (outside of Season 2). On this show however, he’s become one of my favorite characters. Not just on the show, but if I was making a Top 50 favorite fictional characters of all time list, I can guarantee Angel would now be on there. When he’s not tied down to the romance with Buffy and is able to become his own character, he’s just flat out great. It takes a little bit of time for him to start to become a good character, but I loved him after a little bit. This probably doesn’t apply to most since Angel (from what I’ve seen) had a pretty good fanbase from Buffy, but I know at least one other person out there doesn’t like him. If you didn’t like Angel on Buffy, I’d still recommend checking this show out because Angel becomes likeable (in addition to other characters).

Outside of Angel, some other characters get plenty of screen time and are likeable. Former Buffy characters such as Cordelia and Wesley appear and have their characters developed amazing. It picks up where Buffy left off with the characters, but they forge their own path enough that you mostly forget the originated on Buffy. Wesley might be the best example of character development I’ve ever seen. The show isn’t just about ex-Buffy characters though. Several new characters are introduced in this series that are just great. Doyle, Lorne, Gunn, & Fred are all great, and some non-main characters are also good like Holtz, Lindsey, and various others that escape me at the moment. Even some characters I didn’t like or found boring always found a way for me to like them in the end. So, even if you still don’t like Angel, the other characters make this whole series worth a watch.

Some of the story arcs are great for the series. I really loved one that went on in Season 2, one that came up at the end of Season 2, one that went on in Season 3 (even if I didn’t like what it led to), and pretty much all of Season 5 (which did feel a bit rushed at the end, but to be fair they did find out half way through the series they were canceled). The show just had some fantastic overall story arcs that always kept me interested and I think were honestly better than Buffy’s Season long arcs (yes, including Seasons 3 & 5).

Now, what criticism is there for the series? For the overall series I really can’t come up with anything. While I can point to specific things in the series I didn’t like (which I will to be fair), that was more a problem with that specific season/episode/moment than the whole series. I had three problems with individual seasons, which I’ll go over.

This is something I had problems with in Season 1. I understand the series is a spin-off from Buffy which was the more popular show, but that doesn’t mean the series can’t form its own path. In Season 1, the show did a good job making its own path and show that felt separate from Buffy, but still kept clinging to Buffy all it could. An early episode in the series follows up a plot from a Buffy episode with Spike temporarily coming to LA to get an item. One episode features a huge guest appearance by Buffy in a secondary role in the episode. A two-part episode features a Buffy character coming to LA and continuing their character development, but they’re not added to the main cast, just the two-parter that while good, felt like they could have done something else and it was just done for a ratings spike. One episode ended literally with a cliffhanger to set up a crossover with Buffy the following week. Outside of Season 1, this show still occasionally had some issues like this, but far less often. The Season 2 finale ends with a Buffy character showing up to tell Angel & the group about something that happened on Buffy. A big plot point in Season 4 is resolved by a Buffy character showing up and helping out. Season 5 did this a little bit, but I’ll let it go there since it was after Buffy ended so they wanted to give you some info on those characters (which I liked), and since it wasn’t as in your face as the first season. The show does eventually get past this thankfully and transforms into its own unique, great thing, but I found it frustrating early on (and I love Buffy).

Another complaint I do have with the show is that Season 4 is f*cking terrible. A few things in it I liked, but overall I just hated it. It butchered characters, put focus on terrible characters, took a plot point that should have been awesome and just made it meh, and just became awful to watch. Thankfully the final episode of the Season is more about setting up Season 5 (which was spectacular), so at least it ended on a good note. But still, Season 4 was just terrible in my opinion, and almost ruined the show before Season 5 saved it.

One final complaint I have I can’t discus without spoilers for both Angel and the series finale of Buffy, so feel free to skip if you haven’t seen either:

Season 5 brought Spike into the main cast. Spike is probably my favorite character from Buffy and I do love him for so many reasons (which I won’t go into that way I don’t sound obsessed). He died in the Buffy series finale in the final battle. I felt this was a good ending for his character and is where it should be stopped. But nope. They brought him back for Season 5 of Angel as a main character. Why? Ratings I guess. They try to explain it in the show, but to be honest I don’t remember much of the explanation. I would even be able to give this a pass, but they have Spike stick around with Angel in LA instead of going after Buffy. Why? The initial reasoning I won’t go into but it makes sense. The later reasoning though is something about after having your entire body burn to death as you save the world, how do you come back? You can’t top an exit like that. I’m probably messing that up somewhat, but that’s the basic idea. That’s all they’ve got? I admit that I have no clue of how to explain why he stays, but I’m not a professional writer who created these characters, so Whedon and the others behind Angel should have been able to come up with better. And even ignoring all that, Spike didn’t add much to the show. There were some episodes & awesome scenes/moments that couldn’t have been done without him, but overall I don’t feel he contributed to much other than those scenes/moments and an extra body in a fight. So, was it worth cheapening his death and Buffy’s series finale by bringing him back just for some good and memorable episodes, scenes, & moments? I personally don’t think so, but at the same time I’m not gonna sit here and say it was too bad. Spike does have a history with Angel so it’s not like he’s a Buffy exclusive character that came in. And as I won’t shut up about, some great moments & episodes couldn’t have been done without him. So, not something I’ll complain about too much, I just wouldn’t have gone that route.

Now, I feel filthy for badmouthing in the last few paragraphs, so let’s finish with some positives. The series finale, “Not Fade Away”. The series finale I thought was just amazing, and probably better than Buffy’s finale “Chosen”. The overall episode itself was great, in fact, spectacular. Great, emotional moments, and just everything was right. But the final scene is really what sticks out in my mind as amazing. I won’t say what it is to avoid spoilers obviously, but I loved it. It might be my favorite conclusion to a story in any medium. It was just presented in such a good way, fit the tone of the series, ended the way the series began, and just everything I felt was perfect. I’m actually afraid to read the Angel: After the Fall comics (taking place after the series) just because I’m afraid it’ll ruin the ending. I know some didn’t care for it, specifically when it first aired. I can understand not liking it at first, but if you don’t like it at first, just give it some time and think about it. If you have to, read Joss Whedon’s and David Fury’s comments on the ending, as they basically explain it very well. Just, overall the way the show ended I felt was amazing and a perfect conclusion to the series.

Also, another reason I love Angel (the show)? The fact that this scene happened:

Yeah. Seriously, even if every other moment in the series sucked (which it didn’t obviously), that one scene was worth the whole series.

So, I could talk more if I wanted to about Angel, but I’m just not sure what else to say. I just loved it about as much as I loved Buffy. The characters, writing, stories, filming, atmosphere, humor, and everything was just perfect (minus Season 4 of course). If you asked me what my favorite episode or Season is, I honestly couldn’t tell you (except that it isn’t Season 4). The quality was just always so high I really couldn’t pick any season or episode over another. I can’t even say something that good about Buffy. If you’re a fan of Buffy, you really have no reason not to check this out, even if you didn’t like the character Angel. If you weren’t a fan of Buffy (and if you weren’t, why?), I still think Angel has enough to offer you and is different enough you’d like it. If you haven’t seen Buffy, I’d recommend watching the first two seasons (I don’t care how bad Season 1 is, push through it to get to the end of Season 2) and watching that. If you’re somehow not a fan after Season 2, then I’d recommend reading a summary of Season 3 on Wikipedia or where ever before diving into Angel.

The only other thing about this show I have to say is that it’s inspired me to wear a trenchcoat as my main coat this fall/winter. I look pretty good in it to me. So thanks Angel!

That does it for the marriage proposal disguised as an edition of Cannon Fodder and I hope you enjoyed it. No clue what I’m gonna do after this. Sorry I haven’t gotten any game reviews up. I’ve got a few games I want to review, but I’m really not deep enough in any to be anywhere near close to review them. I’ve got one game I was playing (before I stopped for a little bit cause all I really wanted as to watch Angel) that I could write something for, but I’m not sure how many on the site would care. But if you have any recommendations for what I should talk about in the next edition of Cannon Fodder, feel free to mention it in the comments. I will see you guys later.

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TheCannon Reviews: Saints Row The Third

Hey guys. Sorry I haven’t gotten any reviews up in over two months. I honestly just didn’t feel like playing any games. But now I’m back in the mood to play them and will try to get reviews up quicker. No promise on how often I can get them up, but I’ll try to do my best. Anyway, let’s start the review.

Now, playing & reviewing Saints Row The Third is kind of hard for me. The reasoning for that is that I played Saints Row IV first, which made going backwards kind of hard. The story and no superpowers were the two biggest changes for me. I would say that I’ll just look at it by itself and not compare it to SR4 since that came after and had the chance to improve the flaws, but I had a hard time doing that. An example of that is when I was recreating my character from Saints Row IV, I was upset that I couldn’t get the exact same hair style or color I had in SR4. I know that was something they didn’t think of or add it until the next game, but I was still upset about that. The reason I’m saying all this is that way I make it clear that some of my criticism with the game might just be that it’s a bit different from SR4, but I’m honestly not sure. But, enough of that, let’s truly get started.

Since the events of Saints Row 2 (which I haven’t played), the Saints have become media icons (I guess is the best way to put it) with their own merchandise, energy drink, and even a movie in the works. The game gets off to a really good first impression with a fun & cool opening mission. It features The Boss, Johnny Gat, & Shaundi robbing a bank, dressed in giant Johnny Gat mascot heads. This was kind of stupid, but I just found it so awesome and it’s making me smile & chuckle as I write this. Fun & creative missions is actually something that this game has a lot of. Without getting too spoilery, two that stand out in my mind are: one where you get plastic surgery to look like another character, sneak into a place, and pose as him to get a few other Saints out of prison cells; and one where zombies are in a closed off area of town and Mayor Burt Reynolds wants you to deal with it. There are some missions in the game where things get kind of annoying and frustrating, but overall I though they were fun and thought some of them were pretty creative and cool.

The story of this game I think is alright. Nothing amazing, but again, it’s alright. The main set up is: After the bank robbery I mentioned earlier, circumstances happen that force the Saints out of the city of Stillwater and into the new city of Steelport. Here they once again have to start at square one while fighting three other gangs in the Morning Star, The Luchadores, and the Deckers. That’s the basic set up, I don’t go into too much detail about it to avoid spoilers. Overall the plot isn’t on the level of something like Mass Effect or Spec Ops: The Line, but it’s an alright story. I have a few issues with it though, which I’ll go over.

I really don’t think any of the other gangs you fight are that interesting. I’m not even sure I should use the word gangs and should probably cut off the s. They all merge together into one group, basically making them all the same. Fighting them is no different, the only thing that changes is the color they’re wearing. Even outside of that though, the only characters really shown the leaders, everyone else is just generic henchmen that look alike. To be fair, you do fight their leaders in some interesting & creative missions, like one where you face the luchadores’ leader in a wrestling match and one where you face the Deckers’ leader in a computer mainframe (I think is what it’s called). Still, I wasn’t too interested in the gangs I was fighting outside of a few scenes, which isn’t a good thing for any game.

This isn’t quite a problem with the story, but kind of is I guess. There’s an area of the game where literally nothing is happening with the story and the main missions I’m being given are nothing but different members of the Saints telling me to do a series of minigames that the game includes. I just got sick of all of these and felt it got repetitive during this time, so I just stopped playing for a while and did other stuff. Thankfully the game picks up again afterwards, but I just don’t like things like this. Some people might have gotten enjoyment out of them, but with the exception of one or two, I found most of them frustrating and wanted them over with. I would have been perfectly happy if we had just skipped these and gotten to real story missions.

They also kill off a fan favorite and my personal favorite character in the opening 30 minutes of the game for no reason. I’m still confused by their decision to do this. I guess it was to raise the stakes in the game, but even that doesn’t seem like a real reasoning. I can’t get too mad or anything about this, it’s just a confusing choice to me.

Now, one of the things that originally appealed to me about the Saints Row series was the customization. This game has very good customization. There is just a ton of stuff you’re able to customize your character with, from clothing to hair to face to body type to tattoos, etc. There’s just to many potential stuff here, there’s just great customization. Personally I just wrote down all my stats from SR4 and put the same stuff in for this game in the character creator, so I didn’t get to fully explore it. If you’re curious how she turned out, here are some pics I took (sorry for the poor quality pics):

Outside of character, there’s also vehicle customization. I complained in my Saints Row IV review that vehicles were useless since superpowers let you get around faster and were more fun, so I never had any reason to drive or customize any kind of vehicle. But with no superpowers in SR3, you’re gonna have to use vehicles to get around unless you want to triple your playtime. So once the set up was done and the game slowed down a little where I could do what I wanted without it feeling wrong, I grabbed a motorcycle and took it to a garage to customize. The customization I thought was really good for it, even if I didn’t do anything but make it purple & black. As the game went on I decided I wanted to try out some different vehicles, so I took some more to customize and really saw how deep the vehicle customization went. I actually spent quite a while doing nothing but stealing a car I thought looked cool, driving it back to a garage, and customizing it until I was happy with it. I spent at least 3 hours one day doing that. So if your a fan of customization like I am, this game is great at it.

The game throws a lot of humor in there. I have no problem with this, as I love to laugh. The only complaint I would have is if the humor wasn’t funny. Overall I have to say the game did have me chuckling a lot and sometimes fully laughing, so the game does have some pretty good humor. However, not all of it is. Some the humor just completely falls flat, usually on different levels. Sometimes I’ll just say “That’s not funny” and move on. Sometimes I won’t even have any thoughts and just pay attention to what’s going on. And sometimes I’ll just be facepalming at an attempt. An example would be the weapon “The Penetrator,” or probably better known as the/a dildo bat. What is this game’s obsession with it? Aside from being sold in weapon stores, they were one thrown in your face during a mission trying to get you to use them, I was once rewarded with one after a mission (so, what would have been the point in me buying one?), and one cutscene were a character is actually trying to mess around with the Boss by trying to shove one in her face. Some might find this funny, but I just don’t at all. Hopefully in Gat Out of Hell and Saints Row 5 (if it’s ever made) won’t include this.

Something I loved from the game was the interaction that the members of the Saints have with each other. Some of it is pretty funny. This isn’t something major, I just felt I had to mention this. I simply love the interaction & dialogue the characters have with each other.

Now, we’re over 1,500 words into this video game review and I have yet to talk about the gameplay, so let’s do that now. The gameplay is just what you’d expect. You can walk, run, shoot things, jump, lead, punch things, and driving is what you’d expect. Nothing revolutionary, but it is functional and can be a lot of fun. Some of the most fun I had in this game wasn’t through the story or customizing (as much as I did enjoy that), it was through just doing random sh*t on my own. One of my favorite things to do was shoot a few random people on the street to get the cops’ attention, then just keep fighting & killing them as more and more of them came in (and eventually SWAT teams), and test myself to see how long I could survive. I think the longest I went without cheating (taking a tank to a garage then coming back out would be an example of cheating) was about 20-25 minutes. Something else I loved doing was taking a plane, flying it all over the city, and then flying it over the penthouse to jump out of it and parachute into the pool. I unfortunately only managed to do that one or twice, but it felt really good when I did do it. I will say that all of this did get kind of repetitive after a while, but luckily the story missions were enough to get me interested again (except for the filler minigames that is).

Another minor thing I feel like brining up is the way the game looks. The graphics to this game aren’t that great, but they’re not outright bad, but that’s not my main thing here. I usually don’t bring up graphics unless they’re really good or really bad. I just wanted to comment on other aspects of the game’s presentation (is that the word?). The draw distance to this game isn’t that good. There were so many times I was driving along and was surprised by the lack of cars on the road or people on the sidewalk, only for them to suddenly pop in when I wasn’t that far away from them. This isn’t a huge deal, it just struck me as odd since other open world games from the same year like L.A. Noire didn’t have a problem like this.

This game has a choice system, but it’s not something you’d get like Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Fallout, or anything like that. Here, there are some missions that end with you having two choices. Some early examples are one where your hauling something and have the option of taking the load to the rival gang for some up front money, or take it to another Saint for smaller amounts of money over time; and the option of either getting a discount on weapons & ammo or a discount on things for customizing vehicles. There are some ones with a little more consequences later on, but overall it’s nothing too major. The only one I had to give much thought on was the final one which will give different endings, but even then that’s pointless since Saints Row IV shows one is canon and the other isn’t. The game does give you the ability to replay the final mission after completing the game, allowing you to see both endings, which I thought was a good thing. Much better than forcing you to replay the whole game if you didn’t save before. I thought this choice thing was an interesting idea, choices that don’t impact the main game too much and offers different rewards instead, but almost nothing you did meant anything (really only two of them I can think of actually meant something). I would say they should have kept it in Saints Row IV and tried to improve it, but I’m honestly not sure what else could be done with it. I don’t know where I’m going with this section...

Also, this is very minor, but it’s something that irritated me. As previously said & shown, I played as a female in the game to recreate the Boss from Saints Row IV. But there were a handful of moments in the game where she was referred to as a male. I don’t know why. This isn’t anything major, just something that annoyed me and I wanted to bring up.

To summarize, Saints Row The Third is a game where you can kill zombies for Burt Reynolds, compete in a wrestling match and use chainsaws outside the ring in it, drive around with a tiger in your car, and can drive a flying motorcycle wearing nothing but a kitty backpack. And it’s f*cking awesome. The game is just pure fun, which sometimes is all you want & need in a game. I can’t give an exact length for 100% the game, but I finished the entire story and did some of the side stuff, giving me 63% total, over the course of 20 hours & 33 minutes, which I think is a decent length. I plan on messing around with it some more later on and plan on playing it again down the road with another character, which is a good thing. I will say that I enjoyed Saints Row IV more, but it’s really not fair to compare the two since 1) SR4 came after and had the chance to improve on things, and 2) SR4 had you using superpowers as the thing in the game, meaning the main gameplay was different and thus the two can’t be compare. Personally, I’d recommend Saints Row The Third if you’re looking for a fun game to just kill some time with. You might be asking “Well why don’t I just get Saints Row IV if you’re saying it’s better?” I’d say get SR3 first, because I think my opinion on the game is being ruined a bit since I played SR4 first, and I want people to judge a game fairly. I went back and forth on whether or not this game deserved a 7 or 8 out of 10, but I eventually decided to give it an 8. It’s a good, fun game, but does have some flaws that could be improved.

Well, that does it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. My next review will probably be for Bayonetta, but I’m not going to guarantee anything. I’m not sure if I’m the only one who felt this way, but I feel like this review wasn’t too focused and seemed like I was rambling. I apologize for that if it was an issue. I’ve got to get back into writing stuff so this seems better. Anyway, I will see you guys on the next review.

Summary

The Good:

  • Great Customization (both character & car)
  • Decent Story
  • A lot of good humor
  • Great opening
  • Gameplay can be fun
  • Fun & Creative Missions
  • Good interaction between the Saints

The Bad:

  • Some of the humor fails
  • Story has a long time where nothing happens and gets boring
  • Villains aren’t that interesting
  • Graphics aren’t that great and the game has low draw distance
  • Some very annoying sections
  • Choices don’t mean much

Overall Rating for Saints Row The Third : 8 out of 10

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Cannon Fodder #1

In case you’re wondering what this is, Cannon Fodder is basically a new thing I want to do where I give my thoughts on any topic I want to talk about. Sometimes there will be multiple topics (like today), other times it’ll only be one. If there’s anything In case you’re wondering what this is, Cannon Fodder is basically a new thing I want to do where I give my thoughts on any topic I want to talk about. Sometimes there will be multiple topics (like today), other times it’ll only be one. If there’s anything you want to hear my thoughts on, feel free to suggest it and I may talk about it in a future edition (no guarantee though, if it’s too religious, political, or sexual it wouldn’t be brought up). No guarantee on how often these will be up, just whenever I feel like it. Let’s get started.

The topics I’ll be covering in this edition are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the new Female Thor, he Deadpool Movie Test Footage, & Which Marvel characters deserve their own film and which ones don’t.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

As I’m sure everyone who regularly talks to me knows, I spent pretty much the entirety of July watching all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Would have been done sooner, but I had some long waits for some arriving in the mail. I wanted to give my thoughts in an organized way and figured this would be the best place to do it. I would have just wrote a real review, but I don’t know how to review the entirety of a TV show.

You can probably tell by the fact I watched all seven seasons that I liked it. But it went beyond that, I just loved everything about the show. I didn’t quite know what to expect going in, but what I got was an amazing TV series that had great characters, great character development, amazing continuity, overall fantastic writing, some good humor, and even some nice romances. I won’t go into too much detail about the show, but I’ll give a quick rundown on my thoughts on each season (don’t worry, no spoilers):

Season 1: Season 1 had some flaws, there was a little too much humor, characters didn’t seem to be developing much, and it was just overall... what’s the word? Cheesey? Corny? Whatever. That said, I still liked it and saw a lot of potential for an amazing show. The characters were all likeable, the episodes took some unexpected twists, and I just found it an enjoyable time.

Season 2: This is where the series really picked up. The first part of the season was pretty much the same as the first season, only it seemed to take itself more seriously. At first I thought season was roughly the same as the first, but really by the half way point the show just got so much better and I really saw how amazing it could be. There were some amazing episodes this season such as Innocence, Becoming (both parts), and Passion might be my favorite episode in the series’ history. There were a few episodes that weren’t quite as high in quality, but I think I only noticed that because they followed such amazing episodes. Overall an amazing season.

Season 3: This is probably my favorite season in the series. While I honestly only recall a few specific episodes, I could describe some scenes from episodes word for word. It had the best story arc of all seasons, more great character development (even for some new characters), probably the best big bad in the series. It’s hard to explain what’s so great about Season 3, but it was just amazing and probably my favorite season. I had to wait 8 days for this to come in the mail which really annoyed me (especially with how Season 2 ended), but it was honestly worth the wait.

Season 4: This is honestly where the series began to go down a little for me. There was a bit of a change in setting which was hard to get used to at first. But aside from that the quality of the episodes at first just seem to be going down a little, but there was something they were introducing that showed some promise. Unfortunately, it went downhill as the season went on. The main storyline got very boring, and while there was nothing technically wrong with the big bad of the season, I just found him boring. But still, the season wasn’t bad, just weak compared to previous ones. The characters are still very well written and developed, and there were some great episodes (Hush & Restless stick out).

Season 5: This is where the quality went back up to me. There was a new character introduced that confused me (those who watched know who I’m talking about), but luckily everything made sense by the end. The big bad of the season I thought was pretty good and had some good fight scenes, writing was still very solid and characters were getting developed well, some great episodes (The Body), and a really solid finale. Also a cool episode that featured Dracula.

Season 6: I’ve seen a lot of hate for this season, and I’m not sure why. I thought it was fantastic. Sure, the big bads of the season might not have been as good as previous ones, but I still really enjoyed this season. As I keep saying, there was amazing writing & character development, along with some pretty good episodes, and some things were honestly just brilliant. I wouldn’t call this the best season, but I thought it was really good. My biggest complaint was the fact that they had a musical episode. Why? I know some people like musicals, but it’s just out of place and pointless here (though there was a storyline reason for it which was good). Plus, why not get people who can actually sing? I have nothing against any of the actors or actresses in this show, I think they all do a wonderful job, but they made a career out of acting, not singing. That said, there was one person who had a surprisingly good singing voice.

Season 7: The final season, did Buffy end with a bang or a whimper? Overall, this wasn’t the best season, and some flaws came out. Way too many new characters being introduced (though to be fair most of them made sense being there and only 2 of them got any real screen time), I like the big bad of the season but ones from previous seasons were much better (and very minor spoiler, this seasons’ big bad couldn’t touch anything. Why?), and it felt like they were trying to raise the stakes as much as possible to make us care and not worry about making us care the way they did previous seasons (sold writing & characters). I’m not saying the writing & characters were bad, I’m just saying it didn’t feel like they’re biggest concern. That said, I did enjoy this season. Truly felt like the end of the series which is good & bad, some solid character development that felt like a natural continuation/ending of previous seasons, and it was still enjoyable to watch. And it had a really great ending to the entire series. Not the best season. but still pretty good to me.

Overall, I loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think I can call it my favorite show of all time. I would summarize what I loved about it, but I’d just be repeating myself. I got the first season of its spin-off Angel and watched the first few episodes (more on that later), and it was continued in comic books. I got the first library edition of the comics, and when I’m done reading it I’ll be back to give a review. So, if you haven’t watched Buffy yet, go start watching it. Don’t finish reading this, go buy the DVDs (though remember it massively improves after Season 1).

New Female Thor

I’m a little late to the party on this one, but better late than never, right? For those who don’t know, Marvel announced a few weeks ago (on The View of all places) that a new Thor series, simply titled “Thor” would launch in October written by Jasan Aaron, writer of the current Thor: God of Thunder series. This might not seem like anything important, but what makes it important is that it focuses on a new Thor, this one female. After circumstances that involve Thor no longer being worthy to lift mjolnir, this new woman will come in and be worthy to lift the hammer, becoming the new Thor.

This caused a decent amount of backlash when announced. Personally, I understand where some would have a problem with it, but I think they’re going a bit to far (I’ve heard things ranging from “This is ridiculous” to “I’ll never read Marvel again”). I have some positive and negative thoughts about it, which I’ll cover.

I don’t like it because I feel like it’s a pointless publicity stunt to try and look like they’re for feminism (is that the right word/phrase?). That itself is fine, but they seem to be going at it the wrong way. They could have given a character like Sif or Valkyrie a book (didn’t Sif have one and Valkyrie was a main character in Fearless Defenders, and both were canceled?), or make a new character and build her from the ground up, but instead they make a new character and instantly give her mjolnir. This won’t do anything for her in the long run since Thor Odinson (have to specify that now) will regain the hammer and she’ll never gain her own identity and always be recognized as the female Thor (I love Beta Ray Bill, but does anyone remember him for much other than lifting Thor’s hammer?).

I have some smaller complaints, such as I hate that Thor Odinson is no longer worthy. Kind of insulting to the character, his fans, creators, and writers he’s had for the past 50+ years.

This isn’t quite a complaint but more of confusion. You’ve seen before where I’ve had to say Thor Odinson? Well, you know how Beta Ray Bill picked up the hammer but was still called Beta Ray Bill (I believe he’s sometimes called Beta Ray Thor, but close enough)? Well, not the case with this new woman. She’s going to be called “Thor.” It’s even been said that, “This is not She-Thor. This is not Lady Thor. This is not Thorita. This is THOR. This is the THOR of the Marvel Universe. But it’s unlike any Thor we’ve ever seen before.” How? Calling her the God of Thunder (or Goddess I guess) makes sense, but Thor is not a title, it’s a name. Why is she being called Thor? And what’s the original/male Thor going to be called (that’s why I called him Thor Odinson). Unless this is something like Sif or Valkyrie lifting the hammer (which I seriously doubt), people will just always call her “the female Thor,” going along with what I said earlier about her not gaining her own identity.

Despite my complaints, I will read this book when it comes out (I’ve already got it ordered). Why? Because I don’t see why you complain about something you haven’t read yet (unless it’s Superior Iron Man, but that’s another topic entirely). All we know is that Thor is no longer worthy, so a female is going to lift the hammer and become Thor. How does that deserve so much hate? I know I went on a lot of complaining (much more than I meant to), but I will fully admit if I’m wrong and this new Thor turns out to be remembered for years to come and make her own identity. I’ve liked Aaron’s run on Thor so far, so I’m willing to give this a fair shot before being too harsh. I’ll talk about it when the book comes out in October, and if it sucks I’ll complain then, but hopefully I’ll be able to talk about how great the book and character is.

The new Thor is pretty bad@$$ looking though

Deadpool Movie Test Footage

Has anyone else seen it? Go online and look for it if you haven’t (not sure I can post it). Go on, I’ll wait.

You watched it? Good. What words would you use to describe that? The only words I can use are: F*cking. Awesome. Seriously, if you don’t have that same response to the video, you just hate Deadpool and/or fun (though if you hate one you hate the other). I just loved this video, it was fun to watch and I feel captured Deadpool well. I know we all hated Deadpool in X-Men Origins Wolverine, but I think we can all agree that this is the type of Deadpool we want to see on screen.

Seriously Fox, make a Deadpool movie like this. I can promise that if you make a whole film like this and market it correctly, you will make a profit. I’m not saying that it’ll break records, but it would do well and gain a strong following. Deadpool has been showing he can be successful, his comics pretty much always do well (look at how many mini-series this guy gets), his game had some criticism towards the gameplay but had very well received humor and writing, and look at the reaction the internet has for this video! Please Fox, we don’t want to see your Fantastic Four reboot, but we want to see this. Viners, we’d all go see it, right? Right?

In case anyone from Fox is reading, I’ll even pitch my idea in hopes it’ll get made: The film starts with Deadpool watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and he gets to the climax of the film with Weapon XI. Deadpool complains how they ruined him in the film, so he decides to write a script for a solo movie to show everyone how awesome he is. When studios don’t want to pick it up, Deadpool decided to hire a camera crew and make the movie himself. At this point, you can pretty much do whatever you want and no one will complain as long as it’s funny, fun to watch, and captures the character of Deadpool well. This is basically the same concept as the Deadpool game I admit, but no one will care if it’s good.

Look Fox, just cancel the Fantastic Four reboot, give the rights back to Marvel, and start putting in some effort to get Deadpool starring Ryan Reynolds out by 2017. Okay? Is it that hard to do?

Which Marvel Characters Deserve their own films (and which ones don’t)?

Note that this is only Marvel Studio characters, so any X-Men or Spider-Man related characters won’t be here.

The title here is pretty obvious. I just want to look at some Marvel characters who deserve a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and look at some I’ve seen people want that I don’t feel deserve a film. I’ll briefly cover why I’d like to see a film about them (or why I wouldn’t). There are some characters who deserve films that aren't listed for certain reasons, I might cover them in a future edition. And I know I’m horrible at pitching these, but I still want to.

Deserves A Film: Ms. Marvel - Currently going by Captain Marvel, whatever you want to call her, Carol Danvers is a great character. She also has an interesting back story & origin that would make a great film if written correctly. And with Guardians of the Galaxy out along with a confirmed sequel and the likelyhood of Thanos in Avengers , Marvel seems to be pushing for a more cosmic direction in future films. Carol is perfect to kind of bridge those two worlds so it feels more natural. That was kind of vague, but that’s why I think Ms Marvel could be a good film and should get one in Phase 3. But wait, Ms. Marvel is a female character, so I guess the chances of her getting a film are insanely low. After all, Catwoman & Elektra bombed, so any film with a female superhero in the lead role must fail. It’s not like Disney is a multi-billion dollar company that can afford to take a risk and Marvel Studios is the studio that will make sure she’s done well. Nope, none of those things are true at all...

Doesn’t Deserve a Film: Black Widow - This is something I know a lot of people want to see, but I don’t understand why. Black Widow has a somewhat interesting background I guess, but I think seeing on film would just seem really generic. And why go for a generic movie when you have so many unique characters to make a film out of? Plus, why would you want a film with Scarlett Johansson in the main role? She’s a horrible actress. I know that’s an unpopular opinion, but it’s just how I feel and don’t see how others think she is. I know Lucy has done well at the box office recently with her in the lead role, but I just don’t want her in any more films in general, let alone as a lead. I’d be more open to a Black Widow movie if she was recast, but I’m still not crazy about the plot.

Deserves a Film: Doctor Strange - This is something I believe is pretty much confirmed for 2016/2017, but I’ll still discus it. This is gonna sound repetitive , but Dr. Strange is an interesting character with an interesting story. It would also introduce something new to the Cinematic Universe with magic. I know Thor already kind of had magic, but they explained it was just science we don’t understand yet, while Dr. Strange I think would work better if it was supposed to be magic. If casted correctly, I think Dr. Strange could also be huge for Marvel in the future and could be as big as Iron Man (maybe a little lower). No ideas for who could play him though. Plus it’d just be fun to see Strange doing magical stuff in fights against Baron Mordo or Doamamu (spelling?).

Doesn’t Deserve a Film: Loki - Now don’t get me wrong, I love Loki. I love the character, and Tom Hiddleston does a great job in the role. I’ve seen a lot of people want Loki to get a film, but I don’t see it. I’m open to the idea, but I’ve thought a while about it, and I can’t come up with a plot for the film. Anything would just seem odd and out of place, plus it’d basically consist of the same characters you’d see in a Thor movie, so why not just make it a Thor film? I can understand people wanting a Loki film, but I just don’t see how it could work.

Deserves a Film: Black Panther - Come on, I can’t get anything about black superheroes not doing well. Except Steel... and Catwoman again... oh shut up! Anyway, Black Panther is (yet again) an interesting character with an interesting back story. He’d also just feel different from other superhero films, from personality to look to setting. While films like Iron Man and Thor: The Dark World did show other parts of the world, pretty much every superhero film is set in America. Black Panther would introduce something new with Wakanda. He’d also be a fun character to be on the Avengers roster.

Doesn’t Deserve a Film: Nick Fury - I like Fury. I like the character, and I think Jackson plays him well. That said, he doesn’t deserve a film. I just don’t think the story would be that interesting, which raises the question of why you’d make a movie about him when there are other more interesting characters.

Deserves a Film: Hulk (again) - I know, Hulk’s already had two films. One sucked, but one was pretty good. So, why not a third film to try and make a great Hulk film? Even though I preferred Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo was praised in his performance as Banner in The Avengers, so giving him the lead role in a film would probably do well. There’s also the little loose end that wasn’t tied up with Samuel Sterns from the Incredible Hulk. I know a lot of people want a Planet Hulk movie, but I’d personally prefer to see him stay on Earth. I think something with him no longer being hunted by the army after working for SHIELD in The Avengers would be cool, but General Ross still wants him so he turns himself into the Red Hulk or something like that. This idea might not be great, but I think if fleshed out some it could make a decent film.

That does it for the first edition of Cannon Fodder and I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to give feedback, suggestions for future topics, and your own thoughts in the comments. I’m gonna try to get a review of Man of Steel up within the next day or so (I finally watched it), but I don’t have any plans other than that right now. That’s it for now and I hope you enjoyed reading it. See you guys later.

18 Comments

TheCannon Reviews: Heavy Rain

I know I said Saints Row 2 would probably be my next review. Well, turns out I was wrong. I tried to play it, but it just didn’t make a good first impression. I’ll play more of it in the future, but for now I moved on to Saints Row The Third. So, you’re probably thinking, “Well, Cannon, why aren’t you reviewing Saints Row The Third then?” I was out of town for a couple of days and didn’t have my Xbox, so I couldn’t play more of Saints Row, and I didn’t feel I could review it after only playing about five or six hours. I brought my new PS3 with me when I was away to try some of the games I got for it while I had free time, and after trying Infamous (don’t worry, we’ll get to that thing at some point), I played and finished Heavy Rain. So, I decided that was the next thing to review.

I have a bit of a weird history with Heavy Rain that makes it a bit hard to review. I originally watched a Let’s Play (wasn’t called that, but that’s what it was) for the game on youtube and thought it looked just amazing. I was extremely upset when I found out it wasn’t on the Xbox 360. I ended up getting a PS3 for my birthday and got the game, which meant I could finally play it. The problem is that its focus is on the story. And since I already watched a let’s play, I knew the story and the plot twist. This would make it seem like a waste of time to play, but there are two things about the game that still made it worth playing even though I knew the story. The first is that the game is still amazing to play, even when you know everything. I’m not sure why, but it just is. The second is because I was able to have the story change a bit from the version I watched (the core story is still the same, like in every game, but my version still changed a lot).

Yeah, the game’s plot changes depending on your actions. Some of them are just things like how characters interact with each other, others are stuff as major like whether or not a main character lives or dies. And if a character does die, then their death will cause a chain reaction that screws up the whole thing. For example, I had a character die in a section of my playthrough. This resulted in one character dying in the climax and one not being there at all. I enjoyed this, as it made playthroughs more unique and makes it something that can only work as a game instead of a movie, TV show, or book.

You’ll notice that in the beginning of the last paragraph I said that the game’s plot changes depending on your actions, not choices. While the game does have you make some choices, a decent amount of the stuff isn’t an actual choice, but a Quick Time Event. Most of the action scenes of the game are honestly just Quick Time Events, and failing them will result in either you getting at least one more opportunity to succeed, usually more, until the character ends up dying. I suppose you could say that you can choose to intentionally miss it, making it a choice. I suppose that’s right, but it’s still a Quick Time Event and not a more tradition choice making system like in Mass Effect or Fallout or something that merges well with normal gameplay like Spec Ops: The Line.

Now I know this sounds awful the way I describe it, but it’s actually not that bad. It might not be as involving as games like the Arkham Asylum & Arkham City, but I was honesty surprised by how much I was getting invested in all of the action scenes. It wouldn’t work for a lot of games, but the style of gameplay works for this kind of game.

When you’re not in an action scene and do more than Quick Time Events, you walk by holding the right trigger. If you want to change the direction you’re walking, you move the left stick. This caused me to mess up my direction a few times, and I don’t see why they couldn’t have just had you use the left stick like most games, but it worked I guess. If you hold the left trigger, you can hear the character’s thoughts about what’s going on by pressing a button for whatever you want to hear. If you’re talking to someone, it switches between the character talking himself/herself and having you press a button to determine what to say. The dialogue choices are well-written enough that it all feels in-character with the characters. My only problem with this is that there are times where it’s not clear what button to push. For example, there were a few times where I wanted to have a character say that Circle was. However, I pressed Square because I thought it looked like a square and not a circle. This only happened five times at the most, so it wasn’t a big deal, but was still frustrating at times.

I know I didn’t talk about gameplay much, but that’s because I was saving a lot of my talk for story. The reason for that is because the game itself puts most of its focus on story instead of gameplay, so I feel I should do the same in my review. To sum up the story of the game the best I can, it involves tracking down a serial killer called the “Origami Killer.” The Origami Killer has been active for three years, and in that time, has killed eight children by kidnapping and drowning them. The plot features you playing as four different characters while trying to discover who the killer is and stopping before he/she can strike again. The story is extremely good, and possibly the best main plot in a video game I’ve ever seen. The way I describe it doesn’t do it justice, because I can’t go into much detail without spoilers or just giving info no one cares about since they haven’t played. To put it shortly, the story is just really great.

There’s a few smaller things about the story I want to cover. It gets off to a very slow start. You start off the game by getting up, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, waiting for your wife & kids get home, helping your wife out a little, and playing with your kids, all before the real story begins. I was playing this in front of a few people, and all of them didn’t seem to have a good first impression of the game after seeing this. They all agreed it got better as it went on, but they didn’t like the opening. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with it. It starts off slow and builds up, which I think is good pacing for a story. Some may not like it, while other will, and I’m in the group that likes it.

Since the game is about tracking down a serial killer, the game obviously has to reveal his/her identity, right? Well, they do reveal who the killer is. I won’t reveal who it is because that’d make me a massive jerk, but I’ll just say that I was shocked and I never saw it coming. You might think that this makes it a swerve and not a twist, but you’d be wrong. A swerve is something done out of nowhere that doesn’t make much sense with what’s been established already. A twist is something shocking that happens, but still makes sense in the plot when you go back and look at what’s happened before. I was shocked when I found out who the killer was on youtube, but it all made sense when playing the game myself with the knowledge of who it was. So, I think the twist was just amazing.

I’ve heard some complain that the killer being the same in every playthrough is a bad thing. But why would it be? I understand that a different killer each playthrough would make it interesting, but it also wouldn’t make much sense with the plot. Every piece of information we get on the killer goes along with who it’s revealed to be, so changing the killer would also change the information gathered, and probably change the entire plot of the game. Why would you do that, and would it even be possible to put into the game and still have it be good? This is just something I’ve heard people complain about that I find stupid and wanted to mention.

I mentioned that you play as four characters, so I’ll briefly cover them. The person who I’d probably consider the main character is Ethan Mars, the father of Shaun Mars, the most recent kid abducted by the Origami Killer. Scott Shelby is a former cop, now Private Investigator, who has been hired by the families of the victims of the Origami Killer to track the killer down. Norman Jayden is an FBI Agent who has been sent to the local Police to help them track down the Origami Killer. And Madison Paige is a journalist who I can’t go into more detail about without revealing spoilers for the plot. It might sound like these characters are completely unconnected, which they kind of are. But the plot with the Origami Killer ends up causing them to start slowly meeting each other until finally all coming together by the end (assuming they’re alive). Those are just the four main characters. There are some non-player characters such as Lauren, the mother of one of the Origami Killer’s victims who helps Scott. There’s Lieutenant Blake, a lieutenant (obviously) at the police department that Norman works with to track down the killer. There’s Ethan’s wife whose name I honestly forget. And there are some smaller characters that are only important to one or two scenes. Overall, I like a lot of these characters. While sometimes their dialogue could be a bit better written, they were still good characters that I felt I knew by the end of it. Some of them were un-likable, but they were supposed to be.

I know a lot of people complained about voice acting, but I don’t understand why. I thought it was good. Not great, it’s certainly not on the level of Mass Effect or The Walking Dead, but I thought it was good. A few lines sounded off, but every game has that. I thought the voice acting was just fine and don’t understand why people had such a problem with it.

Now let’s talk about the ending to the game. Well, endings. There is a lot of different endings to the game. The final section of the game will change much depending on who’s alive, and what choices have been made (which will determine who’s able to be there). Depending on how that section goes, there will be a news report to give a general overall look at what happened, followed by 3-4 epilogue scenes for each main character. These will greatly change from each other depending on previous choices, who’s alive, and what quick time events were completed. They range from happy endings, to some that are kind of happy while also depressing, to just all being depressing endings where everyone dies (and some endings where everyone but the killer dies). Overall, the endings were just amazing to me. They’re everything a game ending should have: multiple outcomes that change depending on how you played that are satisfying and make sense within the story.

As you’ve probably been able to tell, I loved Heavy Rain. I thought it had an amazing story that still blows me away every time I see it, good characters, and had everything I want in a video game ending. That said, the game isn’t for everyone. If you’ve read this review and still can’t decide whether this game is for you, here’s how I’d settle it: Ask yourself what you want in a video game, and just use the first 3 things that come to your head. If the first thing you had was a good story, then I recommend Heavy Rain. If a good story is the second or third thing, then I’d recommend Heavy Rain as a rental (assuming it’s available) and make up your mind from that. If a good story isn’t even in the top 3 (what’s wrong with you?), then I don’t recommend Heavy Rain at all. If I had to give Heavy Rain a final score, I’d probably give it a nine out of ten. It’s extremely good and could probably be called a work of art, but does have a few slight problems that keep it away from perfection. That’s it for the review and I hope you enjoyed. Next review should be either Beyond: Two Souls or Saints Row The Third; I’m not sure yet. See you guys next time.

Summary

The Good:

  • Great Story
  • Good Characters
  • Good Plot Twist that’s shocking the first time, but makes sense later on
  • Great Endings where previous choices & actions truly matter

The Bad:

  • Some things aren’t a choice, but a quick time event
  • Some sections are kind of annoying

Overall: 9/10

52 Comments

TheCannon Reviews: Saints Row IV

I’ve wanted to write game reviews for a while now, but for whatever reason never got around to it. I’ve recently finished the story of Saints Row IV, so I figured now would be a great time to write a review for it. Please offer any constructive criticism you can, as I feel my writing could always use some improvements.

Before I get started with the review, I’d like to say that I haven’t played any of the previous Saints Row games, I started with Saints Row IV. Thus, I can’t compare it to the previous games and say that it’s gotten to ridiculous or anything like that. I can only judge this game by itself and not part of a series. With that said, let’s start with the review.

The Saints Row series, as far as I know, focuses on the gang known as the 3rd Street Saints, and the games have you play as their boss. By the time Saints Row IV starts, after one quick tutorial mission, the Boss has become the President of the United States. I thought that this was extremely cool, especially when I found out that Keith David (who voiced Anderson in Mass Effect) was the Vice President. Unfortunetly, you don’t get to actually do a lot as President. You make one decision, punch a guy who disagrees with you, and possibly high five one person, and that’s it. There are references to the Boss being President throughout the game, but you don’t actually do anything as President throughout the rest of the game.

After this section, the real plot of the game begins. The alien race known as the Zin, led by their leader Zinyak, are invading Earth and abducting the members of the Saints. You end up fighting the Zin in a simulation of the city Steelport, which I believe is where Saints Row The Third took place.

The special thing about the simulation is that you’re able to use superpowers in it. Initially all you get is super speed, strength, and the ability to jump high. However, throughout the game, you’ll get the ability to upgrade your powers and unlock new ones. These superpowers are really fun to use, both in combat and just messing around looking for collectables. It may sound like this would get repetitive, but it surprisingly doesn’t. You get a lot of powers as you progress through the game, allowing lots of variety for combat. There honestly might be a bit too many powers, as there were some I often forgot I had.

One thing I didn’t like about the powers though was that I couldn’t use them in most story missions. Not all of them, but most story missions come up with a reason for your powers not to work, which makes me wonder why I even bother to upgrade them. But then the mission is over and I’m able to go hunting for collectables again, reminding me why I loved them so much.

I have two other problems with the superpowers, which wasn’t a problem with the powers themselves, more of a problem with how they designed the game. For one thing, vehicles are completely useless. You can run and glide faster than any car in the game, so why would you want one? If I worked on the car customization in this game, I’d feel pretty insulted.

There are also some flying vehicles you can get, but I personally didn’t like most of them. They were cool at first, but I had a hard time controlling them, and you can get around faster using your powers.

My other complaint about the powers is that they make the world feel small. I can travel across the entire map in an extremely short amount of time, and I can get up so high that the game will create a force field to prevent me from going up any higher. When I can get that high up in an open world game and can travel across the entire map without touching the ground, I just don’t feel like I’m in a big open world. Some might say the world wasn’t that big to begin with, but I personally couldn’t tell you because I used the powers to get around which made it feel small to begin with.

Personally, I think they should have waited until Act 3 of the game to give you your powers. It would have been a great way to fix my previous complaints, make the climax seem more interesting, and the post-game stuff would feel like an entirely different game. However, I guess it would remove some of the appeal from the game.

Getting back into more positive stuff, I mentioned before that there’s a lot of variety in the gameplay. Aside from all the different superpowers, you also get some guns and a melee weapon. Some of the weapons are normal stuff like a pistol, shotgun, heavy SMG, sniper rifle, baseball bat, and other boring stuff like that. You get a lot of stuff like that, but alien versions that don’t run on ammo and instead have an overheat system. You also get some insanely cool weapons such as one of my personal favorites, the Dubstep gun. There’s also a Black Hole Launcher which is just insanely overpowered and fun, despite the long recharge time. There’a also the inflato-ray that I know a lot of people loved, but I personally got too freaked out by seeing people’s eyes grow like that to use it.

I could go on listing the cool weapons in the game, but I won’t because it would take too long. The only other weapon I want to talk about is the dildo bat. I walked into a weapon store to get some ammo and see if there were any weapons I missed, and I saw this thing sitting there. Can I ask why? Is is supposed to be funny? Is it supposed to be shocking? Wacky? I didn’t think it was any of those things, I just thought it was stupid. Not the fun kind of stupid, just the facepalm worthy stupid. I’m going to assume this was something the developers thought players would find funny to use. Some might have, but I personally didn’t and just went back to using the energy sword.

Continuing with that, some of the humor in the game just fell flat and wasn’t funny. An example would be during one loyalty mission where the Boss ends up wearing barely any clothing and does a dance at a strip club in a scene Quick Time Events. I think this was supposed to be funny, but it wasn’t. I was just embarrassed to play it.

However, some of the humor was actually good. An example would be the romances, which are obviously meant to parody Mass Effect. These I honestly did find funny. I could list more examples, but this is what first came to my mind when I was thinking of funny stuff from the game. There is some great dialogue and other stuff. The game does parodies of a bunch of stuff, such as one level I believe was from Metal Gear Solid. There were also a few times where the gameplay style was completely changed up to match older games, such as my favorite where it becomes like an old 2D beat em’ up. There was also a point where the game turns into a 1950s sitcom, which was pretty cool.

One of my favorite things about the game was the character customization, which is by far the best in any game I’ve seen. They give you a lot of stuff to choose from, some of it normal while other stuff is just insanely out there (such as orange skin and tons of the hair styles). There’s also great clothing you can wear in the game. Some of it is serious (such as a leather jacket & jeans), some of it is serious but crazy for the situation (such as a tuxedo & top hat), and others that are just completely crazy (such as a zombie outfit). You can also choose you character’s voice, which is the first time I’ve seen that in a game. For anyone curious, here’s a picture of how I customized my character. I used the female voice 1 for her. Sorry for the poor quality picks, I took them on a cell phone.

Since I just covered the main character, I might as well talk about the other characters. They were all great. I really don’t have a problem with any character in the game. Every character also had a good voice actor/actress. All of the members of the Saints were great, and I felt like I knew them for a long time, even though I haven’t played the previous games. There were loyalty missions you have to do for all the members of the Saints before the final mission (obviously taken from Mass Effect 2), and I enjoyed bonding with the Saints throughout all of these.

Zinyak, the game’s main villain, was also a surprisingly good character. He was just cool and fun villain, and now has a place among my favorite game villains.

If anyone’s curious, my favorite characters (not counting the Boss) would probably have to be Johnny Gat, Kinzie, Zinyak, Keith David, & CID.

Also, there’s a surprise that I don’t want to ruin for anyone who hasn’t played the game. But there’s one character that shows up in the game that I loved. If you’re not a fan of professional wrestling, it won’t matter to you. But if you are, you should love it.

Following up what I mentioned a little bit ago with the loyalty missions, I have mixed feelings towards the side missions in the game. The loyalty missions are all great, but there’s also sidequests that don’t really matter in the end. These do give you some nice rewards, such as new weapons and outfits. However, they just get repetitive after a while, as they all come down to either killing the same things over and over, hacking things, or driving things. I suppose that could be described as the entire game, but it just got a lot more repetitive here for whatever reason.

And while they aren’t quite side quests, there are also little mini-games that you can do. Some are as simple as racing or destroying stuff, but most of them are fun. My personal favorite is fraud, which I’m not sure I could explain. Go to this video to watch someone play fraud if you want to see it. He plays it a bit differently than me, but it shows the main concept.

This is a small nitpick, but is still something I want to cover. Throughout the entire game, there is no day/night cycle like you see in some open world games. You’re stuck with night throughout the whole game, which I got sick of after a while. After you beat the story, you can change the time of day for the world. Why wouldn’t they just let you do that during the main game? I also don’t like the way they make you change the setting. You have to run around and find a computer on the ship to change the setting. However, it isn’t just night/day, there’s a whole list of stuff you have to choose from. They also don’t give you any pictures to show what the city will look like, leaving you to guess. If you go back into the simulation and realize you don’t like what you picked, you then have to go through a loading screen to change it, randomly pick one again, sit through another loading screen, and hope this one looks better. This all could have been fixed by putting this option in the pause menu, but they didn’t for whatever reason.

Before I finish this review, I have a few small problems with the final mission & boss fight. It is fun and very satisfying, but that doesn’t excuse the problems. First off, there’s an annoying free falling section that I kept dying on because they randomly threw a new set of controls at me out of nowhere. Secondly, the final boss glitched out and allowed me to shoot him all I wanted while he was just standing there, and he wouldn’t move until a scripted event ocurred where he had to. And throughout the game, killing enemies (and civilians if you bought the upgrade) would give you health orbs to obviously let you regain your health. However, this ability is removed in the final boss fight for whatever reason and they replace it with regenerating health, which is something I see a lot of modern games do that they just need to stop with.

Overall, Saints Row IV is a really fun game. There are a few small annoyances, but nothing too major to take away from the game. I paid $17.00 for the game, have played for a little over 25 hours and have 71% completion and definitely feel like I got my money’s worth for it. If you have some free time and want something that’s just mindless fun to play, Saints Row IV is a perfect. Overall, I’m going to give Saints Row IV an 8 out of 10. It’s very good, but could use some improvements. That’s it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. See you guys in the next review.

Summary

The Good:

  • Gameplay is fun and has nice variety
  • A lot of fun & creative weapons
  • Great characters
  • A lot of the humor is good
  • Great character customization
  • Fun mini-games
  • Side quests give good rewards

The Bad:

  • Powers make the world feel small and vehicles useless, and can't be used in story missions
  • Being President is a wasted opportunity.
  • Some of the humor isn't funny and tries too hard
  • Side quests get repetitive
  • No Day/night cycle

Overall Score for Saints Row IV: 8/10

13 Comments

TheCannon's 2013 Comic Book Awards

2013 is over. It was a terrible year for me (with a few exceptions), but 2014 is here and it's time to focus on a new year. But before we do that, I'm going to take a look back at comics in 2013 and give out awards to the best and worst of the year.

Before I start the awards, there's a few things I want to say. I have not read critically acclaimed books like Daredevil, Scarlet Spider, Green Arrow, and Animal Man, so none of those books can be on the list. Also, I stopped buying DC back in September. So anything that happened beyond September 10 can't be on here since I haven't read it. And finally, I also haven't read a lot of comics not from Marvel or DC (something I hope to correct in 2014), so nothing that happened there can be listed. Now, let's finally get started.

Best Writer of 2013

Jason Aaron

Might not be the best picture in the world, but I feel Jason Aaron deserves this award. His work on Thor: God of Thunder & Thanos Rising earned him the best writer of 2013 in my opinion.

2nd: J. H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman (I counted them as one)

3rd: Geoff Johns

Best Ongoing Series of 2013

Batwoman

I was torn on whether to give this to Batwoman or Thor: God of Thunder. Thor was putting on consistently good issues all building towards the plot involving Gorr (and now the villain is Malekith) and everything was well-written. Notice I said was. Issue 12 was filler (but at least it was good filler), but I haven't enjoyed the recent arc with Malekith. I don't know what it is, I just don't care for it. Meanwhile, Batwoman kept putting on fantastic issues that never dropped in quality. But when the creative team left (which I'm not recapping the events of), the plot was just left hanging there to never be finished. It's not the book's fault, but it affected the book too much by causing the book to end after a huge cliffhanger. I haven't read the book since Williams & Blackman left, because why would I? In the end, I decided to give it to Batwoman. Despite the cliffhanger with issue 24, the book still always had fantastic issues and I was just sucked into the story. I was for Thor too, but the book went downhill when the Gorr arc ended. I wrote a lot more here than originally intended, but of well. In short, Batwoman gets the award for best ongoing series of 2013.

2nd: Thor: God of Thunder

3rd: The Fearless Defenders

4th: Deadpool

5th: Wonder Woman

Best Mini-Series of 2013

Thanos Rising

I've heard a lot of people complain about this book (and a lot of people praise it), but I personally loved it. I haven't read much with Thanos, so the complaints that it didn't accurately portray Thanos didn't bother me. Regardless of those complaints, it was still a fantastic series that I was sad to see end.

2nd: Age of Ultron

3rd: Hunger

Best Single Issue of 2013

Green Lantern #20

This was another one I was torn on what to give it to. But in the end, I gave it to Green Lantern #20. It was the epic conclusion to Geoff John's run on GL, and was simply amazing, fantastic, terrific, I don't know how to describe it. If you haven't read this issue, read it. That's really all I can say. Just an amazing issue that takes home the award for best single issue of 2013.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Batwoman #16
  • Thor: God of Thunder #5
  • Thor: God of Thunder #9
  • Deadpool #13
  • Justice League of America #7.1/Deadshot #1
  • Batwoman #24

Best Male Hero of 2013

Thor

I'll probably be accused of being biased here, but I don't care. I can't think of anyone else who deserves this award.

2nd: Aquaman

3rd: Judge Dredd

Best Female Hero of 2013

Batwoman

After how much I praised this series earlier, did you really think anyone else would get this award?

2nd: Valkyrie

3rd: Wonder Woman

Best Villain of 2013

Gorr

No one else deserves it other than Gorr. Not much else to say.

Best New Character of 2013

Annabelle Riggs

In all honestly, the only reason she's getting this award is because I can't recall anyone else that debuted this year. That's honestly the only reason.

Best Team of 2013

I honestly haven't read many team books this year. Only Justice League, Justice League of America, & a few issues of X-Men. None of them compared to this book, and I just liked the team. There's not much else to say.

Best Costume of 2013

Green Arrow

I don't know what it is, I just love this costume. I think it looks amazing, and the art definitely helps.

2nd: Scarlet Spider

3rd: Batwoman

Best Comic Movie of 2013

The Wolverine

Please note that I haven't and will probably never watch Man of Steel or Kick-Ass 2, so neither of them can take this award. I have seen Iron Man 3 & Thor: The Dark World, and it isn't even close. Thor: The Dark World was absolutely terrible. Good acting by Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, & Anthony Hopkins (and Jaime Alexander for the whole 2 minutes she was on screen), but that's the only good thing about that movie. Bad humor, bad fight scenes, and they never even bothered to explain Malekith's motives (they had to take screen time to put into annoying comic relief characters with no reason to exist). Iron Man 3 (to me) was like going to someone's house for dinner and they serve you a dead cat. Yes, the mashed potatoes are very good, but I can't get over the fact that I was served a dead cat. The dead cat was problems like Mandarin, too much comedy, and the villain having a stupid origin/motivation (though at least they gave him one unlike they did with Malekith in Thor) while the mashed potatoes were the acting, fight scenes, and (at times) writing. To put it shortly, the flaws of Iron Man 3 outweigh the good. I honestly thought The Wolverine was going to suck (judging by how bad the trailer was), but it turned out to be pretty good. Not the best film of all time, but it's definitely enjoyable to watch. It also had the best credits scene

So I just wrote a lot more than originally intended. If you skipped all of that, in short, The Wolverine gets the award for best comic movie of 2013.

Best Comic TV Series of 2013

The Walking Dead

I was torn between The Walking Dead & Arrow for this one, as both shows are great. But since I haven't watched Season 2 of Arrow (as I said in the beginning, I've stopped with DC Comics), I gave it to The Walking Dead. There were some absolutely terrible episodes at the beginning of Season 4, but the mid season finale "Too Far Gone" was so good it made up for it. I know this series gets a lot of hate for not following the comics close enough for ruining what made the comics great, but it's honestly just people complaining just to complain (at least to me).

2nd: Arrow

3rd: Young Justice: Invasion (shut up, they did air new episodes in 2013)

Best Animated Comic Film of 2013

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2

This one was tough to pick, but I chose The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 in the end. There were some problems with it, but it was overall a fantastic film with no real criticism other than nit picks (I didn't care for the ending, but I assume it's the same as TDKR comic, so I won't complain too much). I wrote a review for this a while ago when it came out, so you can go read that if you want my full thoughts on it (sorry if that sounded rude).

2nd: Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

3rd: Superman Unbound

Worst Single Issue of 2013

Batman #23.1/Joker #1

The cover is good. That's the only thing I can say positive about this. This was a horrible issue and one of the worst comics I have ever read. I don't want to relive this book, so please look at my review if you want my full thoughts. This was just an atrocious issue that was part of a terrible gimmick.

Runner Up: Batman #17 (I still don't see how anyone can defend this issue)

Worst Comic Movie of 2013

Thor: The Dark World

I probably made it clear earlier that this was the worst comic film of 2013, but let's make it official by giving it the award. Congratulations, Thor: The Dark World, You're Winner!

The trailers for this film looked so good. I was so hyped up for this film. It probably was almost impossible to meet my expectations for this film, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't try. This was just terrible. Like I said earlier, there was good acting by a few people, but that's it. The best parts of the movie were Stan Lee's cameo & Loki changing his appearance to Captain America. The fight scenes sucked, the humor sucked (with a few exceptions, there were some funny moments, mostly from Loki), Natalie Portman didn't even try to put effort into her role, Sif & the Warriors Three did nothing but set up jokes for Loki, Malekith was boring, uninteresting, & his motivation was never developed, they not only brought back an annoying comedy character (I didn't mind Darcy in the first Thor, but she was so f*cking annoying here) but added a new one and turned a serious character into a comic relief character, and there were so many plot twists that when they finally do something that catches your attention, they do another twist two minutes later, making it pointless. I went on a long rant here, but I honestly can't understand how anyone can defend this film. It was just terrible.

Worst Comic TV Series of 2013

Ultimate Spider-Man

I honestly haven't watched much comic TV shows this year, and all the ones I did watch were contenders for best. I've heard Agents of SHIELD is terrible (I've also heard it's good), but I haven't seen it. I also haven't seen Beware the Batman or Teen Titans Go. I ended up sitting down one day and tried to watch some of Marvel's shows, and while I didn't care for Avengers Assemble or Hulk & the Agents of Smash (God I hate that name), I hated Ultimate Spider-Man the most, simply because I can't understand how it made it past one season. They cancelled Spectacular Spider-Man for this crap?

Most Overrated Series of 2013

Batman

I originally had a very long written thing of why Superman Unchained deserved this award, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized Batman deserved it. I enjoyed issues 19 & 20, but that's it. The ending to Death of the Family was terrible and poorly written, issue 18 sucked (I just didn't like Harper Row), and can someone PLEASE tell me the point to Zero Year? I can't figure out why this story exist. It could be much worse, but it's just unnecessary filler. I could forgive all this, but the reason I gave it the most overrated series award is because people still buy this and act like it's the greatest comic ever. It's always in the top 5 of the sales chart, and I can't figure out why. This is really just my opinion and I can't tell others they're wrong, but I just can't understand why people keep ranking this book so highly.

Runner Up: Superman Unchained

I apologize to anyone I angered with this, but it's my awards thing, I can state my opinion.

Most Underrated Series of 2013

The Fearless Defenders

Why was this book cancelled!?! It was a great book cancelled for no real reason.

Looking into 2014

Well, that wraps up my 2013 Comic Book Awards. There were some ups and downs during the year, but hopefully 2014 will be a great year for comics. Here's a few things I'm looking forward to:

  • The Punisher - I've wanted another Punisher book for a while now, and Marvel finally granted me my wish. I'm really looking forward to this book.
  • Elektra - Another book I wanted, and Marvel is also granting me my wish. I also read somewhere that one of the former writers of Batwoman (don't remember which) is writing this book, and if it's half as good as Batwoman was, I'll be happy.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past - I was originally really looking forward to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but after Thor 2, X-Men: DoFP is my most anticipated comic film of 2014. This could turn out to be terrible, but I honestly think it'll be a great film and could be the best X-Men movie.
  • The Walking Dead - The Walking Dead (TV Series) returns in February, and I can't wait. I thought Too Far Gone was one of the best episodes in the series' history, and I really look forward to what happens next.

Well, that concludes my 2013 Comic Book Awards. Feel free to leave your thoughts on my Award choices and 2013 itself below. Happy New Year!

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance Review

Yeah, I was bored. Nothing better to do. I could probably play Ultimate Alliance instead of writing about it, but meh.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance was one of the first games I ever owned. I got it for Christmas in 2007, the same time I got the Nintendo Wii. I loved the game (even though I sucked at it) and played it for hours on end. When I got an X Box 360 in September 2008, I got several games for Christmas that year for the 360. One of those games was Marvel Ultimate Alliance: Gold Edition, which featured an extra 8 characters that were previously only DLC (I later got it on the PlayStation Portable, but that’s not the point). Controls were much easier and I was finally able to beat the game. And since then, I’ve beaten it an estimated 25 times.

Those who know me know how much I love this game, and I regard it as the greatest superhero game of all time (I’m not trying to turn this into an argument that Arkham City is better, it’s just my personal opinion) and my favorite game of all time. I decided to write a review for the game to show people why I love it so much. So let’s just jump right in. NOTE: This will contain spoilers.

The game starts with an awesome cutscene with the SHIELD Helicarrier under attack by several Ultron robots. Fury is yelling orders until Dr. Doom appears on a giant monitor. Fury summons Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, and Wolverine and we see them fighting everyone. When the cutscene ends, we get to play as the four characters and go through the Helicarrier and beat bad guys up ourselves. You are allowed to switch between the four characters at any time, which is great.

The controls for the game are very simple and fun. You have a normal punch, strong attack, you can grab enemies, jump and double jump (which some characters use to fly), and can activate special powers (I think that’s what the game calls them anyway) such as Captain America throwing his shield. The controls are simple, smooth, and responsive, the way a game should be.

You continue through the Helicarrier until coming across Scorpion, who informs the player that Dr. Doom has formed the Masters of Evil. You defeat Scorpion in an incredibly easy boss fight and continue through the helicarrier, which has you in boss fights against Winter Soldier and Radioactive Man. You eventually end the level with a boss fight against Fin Fang Foom.

And here we begin one of my complaints with the game. Most boss battles of the game are basically the same as fighting normal enemies, they just have much stronger attacks and a much larger health bar. This I have no problem with. However, there are some boss battles in the game where it’s more complicated than that, like Fin Fang Foom. If you get to close to him, you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose a member of your team. You have to keep hitting him with long range attacks. He’ll eventually fly off, and you have to use a gun to shoot him down and he’ll fly back to where he was, then you just continue this cycle until he dies. This itself is fine, but it’s a slight irritation. An example of why this sucks is MUCH later in the game where you fight Galactus. At first, you run away from him (fine). Then you beat him by clicking three computers, and do some quick time events using Silver Surfer. Repeat this twice and you’ve beaten him. This is one of my complaints about the game, that they do special stuff like this terribly. Anyway, back to the positive.

Before I continue with the story, there’s a little thing I feel I should say. Through out the game, you will come across S.H.I.E.L.D. Access Points. Here, you can save your game, change your team, or (at times) travel between other Access Points you’ve previously been to. If any of your team members have died, you can revive them here. You can use a Portal to travel back to headquarters, where there is always an Access Point. However, using the portal makes it impossible to use it again for another five minutes. I really like this. It’s hard to explain why, but I just like that if you’re in massive danger, you can quickly go back to headquaters, but you can’t abuse this, as there’s a decent length time limit after you open a portal before you can use it again. And there are certain areas of the game (mainly boss battles) where you can’t use a Portal.

Anyway, back to the story. At Stark Tower, it’s made official that the heroes are now a real team. So, they pretty much took all our favorite Marvel characters and made them into one incredibly awesome team. That is so amazing it blows my mind.

Anyway, you then go to the Omega Base and continue to fight the Masters of Evil in boss fights against Crimson Dynamo, Mysterio, and MODOK. You are then sent to investigate a riot that takes place in Atlantis, which it turns out the Masters of Evil played a part in. You eventually fight Kraken, which is the most annoying boss battles of the game. He destroys little buildings surrounding him which collapse on him and injure him. Each time he destroys a building, several Atlantean soldiers come out and you have to defeat all of them before he destroys another building. Seriously, it took me 3 hours to beat him the first time I played.

Also, right before the Atlantis level, you gain the option of naming your Team and making them official. After you do this, you gain skill points and can level up your team, allowing you to increase their health, energy, damage they inflict, Experience, and the “Team Bench,” which allows you to add more Team members. However, leveling up the team only works if you have a minimum of 3 of your team members on the team for a mission. If your team has Iron Man, Human Torch, Hulk, and Deadpool, and the characters you’re using are Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor, and Hawkeye, your team will not level up, only the characters.

And while we’re on the topic of leveling up, I really like the way you level up the individual characters. They each Level up, and leveling up does stuff such as unlocking new powers. You can also level up the powers. You can also select which 3 powers you want the character to have. I personally like the long range attacks that you can spam over and over, such as Human Torch’s Fireballs. You can have the game automatically spend points for you, or you can do it manually. I like to have the game do it automatically, but there’s one problem with that. Sometimes the game changes powers when you don’t want it to. An example of this is during the final level where the game kept changing Deadpool’s grenades to his default mele attack, which gets annoying when I have to keep pausing the game and changing it.

Back to the story, the team goes to Mandarin’s palace to interrogate him about him being at Atlantis. After an annoying boss battle (which is pretty much impossible without a flying character), you learn that Mandarin left the Masters of Evil and it was Loki in Atlantis. Then you learn that Nightcrawler (who is now playable with the Gold Edition :D) and Jean Grey have been kidnaped.

You then get your new headquarters: The Sanctum Sanctorum, the home of Dr. Strange. This is one of my favorite headquarters in the game, for a few reasons. One of them is some hilarious dialogue between Deadpool and the Ancient One. After exploring the new headquarters, you go to Castle Doom to rescue Nightcrawler. You end up in Murderworld, and fight Jean Grey and Arcade. You then find out that the Masters of Evil used Nightcrawler to teleport to Mephisto’s Realm, and you go after Nightcrawler, which results in you unlocking Ghost Rider. Now this is something that’s kind of annoying, but kind of cool at the same time. To play as Ghost Rider and progress through the game, you’re forced to swap out a member of your Team for GR (and that team member is not playable until after this level is done). It’s nice, because you have to put some actual thought into it and decide who you can afford to lose and who you think you need to keep. In another stroke of Genius, you end up having to save either Jean Grey or Nightcrawler. Whoever you don’t save dies. This is just a stroke of genius in my opinion. We’ll talk more about this later.

After defeating Mephisto, we get to my absolute favorite part of the game: Asgard. Doom and Loki have taken over Asgard and imprisoned the Gods. You have to go to the Bifrost Bridge and defeat the Wrecking Crew, and defeat several villains in Asgard to free Balder, Tyr, and Heimdall. This is just awesome, as I love Asgard, the story just becomes awesome, there’s cool enemies, etc. This entire Asgard area is just awesome. It even has some puzzle solving stuff which is a nice change of pace from just beating up enemies and helps keep the game from sinking into repetition. After freeing the Gods, you learn that Nick Fury knew Doom’s plan the whole time that he wanted to steal Odin’s power. You go to Niffleheim to save Odin, though end up fighting Loki. You then fight Loki again, who is now using the Destroyer Armor. Then, you’re too late and Doom has already stolen Odin’s power. Doom then kills you.

There’s then a cutscene where Uatu the Watcher says he saved the team from death. Uatu says that Doom is destroying the universe with his unrestrained use of Odin’s power, and to stop him, we need a shard of the M’krann (I spelled that wrong) Crystal and he Muonic Inducer. You go to the Shi’ar empire and stop Deathbird in an attempt to take over the throne, then go to a Skrull planet to take the Muonic Inducer from Galactus, in a terrible boss fight that makes Galactus look weak and pathetic.

After gaining these items, you travel back to Earth and find that Doom has remade Stark Tower in his image. You go to Castle Doom and fight evil versions of Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Psylocke, Spider-Man, Thor, as well as several Iron Man armors. This is an incredible awesome level, but the problem is I’ve leveled up my team so high that it’s a bit too easy. I’ll have to replay the game on the Hard Difficulty. You eventually face Dr. Doom, and (in what I feel is the most genius move in the game) his own Fantastic Four. You fight him in what’s an epic fight, and get an awesome ending cutscene which sets it up for a sequel.

Sorry I went into that long speech about the plot which was kind of pointless. Oh well.

Now that I’ve covered the plot, I think it’s time to go into some of the individual characters. I won’t go over every single character I’ve played as, as it would take forever. Instead I’ll just cover a select few.

Deadpool - Deadpool (in my opinion), is one of the best characters in the game. He has good mele attacks, some good long range attacks, he teleports, regenerates health, looks awesome, etc. Deadpool has pretty much everything you’ll want in a character in this game.

Human Torch - Human Torch’s mele attacks may be nothing special, but he is still a fantastic character to play as. He has several good long range attacks, flies, etc. To me, Torch is a must hame in the game.

Colossus - Colossus does not have any long range attacks. He is strictly a mele powerhouse. However, he’s the best powerhouse in the game. He’s still fast despite his size, has decent health, and just looks awesome (if you unlock his classic costume). If you want a powerhouse, I recommend Colossus.

Iron Man - Iron Man is similar to Human Torch, but has better mele attacks. Iron Man has perfect long range attacks which do an incredible amount of damage if leveled up, and he has really good mele attacks. Iron Man is pretty much the total package for characters in the game.

Now I’m not saying other characters in the game aren’t good. Captain America, Iceman, Cyclops, Storm, etc. are also extremely good characters. However, I simply went over 4 types of characters.

Now something else I like is how you unlock stuff. You unlock characters by completing certain tasks (such as unlocking Nick Fury after beating the game or unlocking Daredevil by finding 5 action figures), and costumes by simply using the character enough (such as I know you unlock one of Torch’s costumes by defeating 75 enemies with him). That’s one thing that annoys me with more modern games, most of the alternates are DLC. That just really annoys me, and is one thing I like about MUA. If you don’t feel like doing this stuff, you can easily find cheats for unlocking everything online. This will eliminate the ability to get achievements (or trophies I think they’re called on the PS3), but I’ve never really cared about them, so it doesn’t phase me.

Another great thing about MUA is its replay value. The game has tons of replay value. If you didn’t get a chance to use Daredevil the first time you played, you can replay the game again. If he sucks, you can swap him out for someone else you wanted to try. The game has so many characters to pick from that even if you’ve used every character in the game a few times, the game still has replay value for the side missions.

The game has side missions which you can do through out the game. Most of these will have a long term impact. It doesn’t effect the ending of the game or anything like that, but there’s a cutscene where Uatu goes over the side missions and says what happened with you doing or not doing it. If you completed a side mission, you get a good result. If not, you get a bad result. I won’t spoil these, but trust me, you’ll want to replay the game just to get the good endings.

Overall, I simply love this game. It was my favorite game when I first got it, and held the record for over 5 years. Yes, I have finally found a game that I like more than MUA. If anyone’s curious about it, I’ll write a review for it at some point. But even though MUA has fallen to 2nd place for my favorite game, it’s still an amazing game I strongly recommend. Even if you’re not a comic fan (then why are you on Comic Vine?), you can still follow the plot since you can learn about characters by talking to people. Most of my complains are nit picks, and in my opinion, this game is an easy 9/10. And hey, the game has a sequel. I bet Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 will take these complaints and fix them, creating one of the most epic games of all time. Right? Right? Riiiiiight?

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