Most probably due to her upcoming role as a playable fighter in Street Fighter X Tekken, pink-haired, handcuff-sporting Poison has been popping up all over articles, online and on Twitter lately. If you don't know who she is, Poison (to my knowledge, anyway) is one of the only transgender characters in gaming who's gained a solid level of visibility and a decent fanbase considering that her exposure over the years has been far less frequent than some of the other well-known faces that one would usually associate with Capcom, or fighting games.
I mentioned in another blog recently that Official PlayStation Magazine had published an article referring to Poisoned with some transphobic language, and afterwards, had committed to correcting the mistake and doing the right thing.
The next thing that caught my attention was a link to a well-done YouTube video that essentially takes every single piece of information relating to Poison and her background and pretty clearly settles the dispute about her status once and for all. Despite plenty of evidence suggesting that Poison has always been transgender, a certain segment of gaming has been trying to argue that she wasn't originally intended to be that sort of character, or that her identity varies depending on what region the game is being played in. My hat is off to MegatonStammer for doing such a classy job with making his case and clearing the air.
Finally, my good friend @ApricotSushi posted a link to her blog, where she had posted a picture taken of a very special, one-of-a-kind custom arcade stick made for @Pikoeri. Fair warning, the pictures of this arcade stick might be considered NSFW in some circumstances, and since the hardware in question features Poison, you can probably guess what it looks like if you think about it for a little bit… Anyway, I thought it was rather clever and cool.
I'm in a bit of a holding pattern right now… Mass Effect 3 is coming up soon and I want to have a clear slate for when it arrives, so I'm trying not to start anything substantial at the moment. As a result, I've been putting some time into Mutant Blobs Attack, Army Corps of Hell and Hot Shots on the Vita, but it's been mostly at night before going to bed, or when I catch a few minutes turning some downtime at work. No hefty progress on any of them, and certainly not enough to bang out a review quite yet.
Otherwise, I went through Alan Wake's American Nightmare on XBLA recently, and the review is in the can. In a nutshell, I thought it was pretty decent from a run-and-gun perspective, but the series is still not living up to its full potential, conceptually.
After American Nightmare, I finally got around to the Missing Link DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution and finished that off with the "no guns/explosives/augmentations" Achievement. It really wasn't that hard, and the adventure overall wasn't bad. I'm just now wrapping up the review, so look for that soon. If you need to know what I thought of it right now, in a nutshell, I'd say that it would be a good purchase for fans of the main campaign if you can get it on sale (got mine for half off) but the idea that this add-on actually takes place in the story is pretty absurd.
Earlier this week, my wife and I were in-between some of our other series, and we were looking to start something new. I had remembered reading something about a UK show called Misfits and while ago, but it was nothing specific—essentially, that it was good, and that it was about juvenile delinquents or kids in rehab (or something like that) who gain special powers and then proceed to get into all sorts of trouble. We popped for the entire first season on iTunes for $12 or so, and sat down for the first couple of episodes.
People, this show is absolutely fantastic.
Now, apparently people in the UK and some super-cool folks on this side of the water have known about the show for a while, but it was new to me and after having conversations with some people on Twitter and otherwise, I'm guessing that it will be new to many of you, as well. Here's the scoop:
Five ne'er-do-wells are sent to do community service at a local neighborhood center, and while they are on their first day of trash pickup duty, a mysterious storm strikes and gives them all powers that (from our perspective, anyway) directly relate to their personalities in some way.
There have been many TV shows and movies that take the same basic "suddenly gained powers" premise, but the thing that makes Misfits stand out to me is that the characters are so flawed, human, and relatable. I've known people exactly like those on the show, and the things that happened to them and the way they use (and fumble with) their powers is totally believable… I could easily imagine a group of troubled teenagers getting into the kinds of sticky situations that happen on the show, and the fact that no one in the fact that no one turns out to be an intrinsic superman makes it even better.
The actors do a fantastic job in their roles, the writing is character-driven and feels genuine, and the plot and scripting overall is tight and engaging. We've been watching two or three episodes a night, and the show just keeps getting better.
Misfits is the goods. Highest possible recommendation.
I haven't talked about writing or books for a while, so let's change that now.
My favorite author in the entire world is Joe R. Lansdale, and he's got a new book available for pre-order over at Amazon. I could spend paragraphs talking about his work, his influence on me, and how much I admire his skill, but rather than doing all that, let me just say again:
He is my favorite author in the world. Full stop.
Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.
Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway