Monday, January 16, 2012

I'll Take "Things That Confuse/Annoy/Frustrate Me" for $500, Alex

Since today is Martin Luther King Jr Day and a day to reflect, consider, and understand the world around us all...I'm going to reflect on some things that are annoying, confusing, and frustrating me lately. Be warned, highly geeky and probably NSFW at some point...

1) Mass Effect 3, the third game in one of the better action/adventure RPG series out there, is going to have online DRM via EA's Origin platform. Well, bugger that idea of finishing off the Mass Effect series until they have a DRM-free/Steam-only version. Why? It's intrusive, automatically assumes that I'm going to be involved/dealing with a pirated version of the game, and the moment they don't want to support the game anymore, boom goodbye. And, they probably will NOT release any way to patch the game to avoid DRM issues (Alpha Protocol did this when the game series was canceled-the company released a patch that disabled the server check).

Ubisoft does this with their games, with the addition of "you must have a all-the-time, fully on Internet connection or else!" DRM scheme that the moment you have packet drop or any other issues dealing with the Internet...goodbye game. It's almost like they're allergic to making money or whatever. And, as far as I can tell, it's because EA is a bunch of anal-retentives whom like being in control of everything with their games, to the detriment of the game itself. When you have Sony (notoriously anal-retentive on the whole piracy thing) that has a problem with Ubisoft and EA's copy protection schemes-admittedly for legal reasons-maybe you should be reconsidering the whole idea.

It's like watching Star Wars and the whole scene of "the more you squeeze, the more control you'll lose". Which, of course leads us to...
2) George Lucas and his increasing madness. Okay, sometimes it's a good thing (Red Tails probably would not have been released/produced if he wasn't involved-it doesn't fit the current Hollywood paradigm), but I Did Not Ask for a 3D version of the Phantom Menace. It has almost reached the whole insanity thing of "Lucas will not keep remaking A New Hope until he dies" in the madness involved. It's not as bad as Force Unleashed II, or the Clone Wars animated movie...but that's sort of damning with faint praise, isn't it?

Hell, I'm not asking for 3D movies at all-it's another attempt at copy protection (it's hard to record a 3D movie in the theaters, I think...), an effort to create a "premium" experience to drive up ticket costs (which are already at the "obscene" levels for even a casual movie experience), and it's an effort to create a "oooh, shiny!" thing for audiences. I did not ask for any of this. I very much DO NOT WANT this. If you spent more on making good movies, taking chances on new Intellectual Properties, that sort of thing...I wouldn't mind so much. Except, well, now, I do. Very little appeals in terms of films and I've pretty much given up on watching network TV-so far, my "big three" network schedule pretty much consists of House after Law and Order: SVU became Law and Order: Lifetime Movie Of The Week. I probably watch more BBC America and Comcast's Music Choice TV than any actual TV programming...which is exceptionally sad. Let's not even talk about "popular" music-I can't even understand it, let alone the appeal. I don't feel old...and there's no urge to yell at the kids to get off my lawn, so it can't be that.
3)Yes, I know-anime exists to cater to young people to buy licensed items and love pillows in Japan and the US market exists at best as a "nice bonus" bit, but still... There were some great series in the past that hit the US market like a lemon wrapped in a gold brick and I don't just mean Naruto or Dragon Ball Z or Evangelion-Ergo Proxy, Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Cowboy Bebop, Witch Hunter Robin, FLCL...the list can go on and on and I'm just in the official licensed stuff, not even counting fansubs.

But, this year? I'm mildly more optimistic than Steven Den Beste, but not by much... So far, my total list of series this year that look even remotely interesting is very, very short- Boacious Space Pirates, Aquarion Evol, and Lagrange. And, all appear to have US licensees already (which means it's either FUNimation, FUNimation, or...FUNimation, with the closure of Bandai Animation in the US), so no "legal" fansubs for any of them. Which means we can be waiting for up to two years for any of this to come out on DVD...after everybody and their cousin have been watching the horribly timed illegal fansubs out there. And, quite frankly, I want to give Aquarion Evol a test run for free before even thinking of buying it.

The rest of the shows out this Winter season? High School DxD looks like a plate of sick trying to fake being an "edgy" drama/fighting harem show that insulted my intelligence (the main character is a jerk asshole that is a massive violation of rule #1-when dying, he just wants to grope his killer's breasts). Listen To What Papa Says!, yay for vague incest loli erotic fun, not. Dog x Me SS, another supernatural "odd couple" romantic drama that looks like it'll be stalked by cherry trees (with all those blossoms everywhere...). Kill Me Baby! looks to be a very stupid show that will make most of it's "humor" from the whole "fish/soldier out of water" thing that Full Metal Panic! did so much better. And with giant robots.

Damn. It's probably the cold out there (it was below freezing last night here), but it's probably making me more cranky than usual. Still...not happy. The Secret Masters who run the world should clearly be fired and replaced with new people in charge. Immediately, please.