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Battle stations! E3 is coming, so prepare for war! Exclamation points galore! Here I lay out what each company doing a press conference should do, or else be scorned by history and gamers on the internet.

If you are so inclined, the link for my channel (where you can find other videos in the series) is here. And you can follow me on Twitter here.

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Games

You Won’t Believe This, But That Live-Action Halo TV Series Is Facing Development Troubles!

The series has lost director Rupert Wyatt, and reports of budget concerns put the adaption’s future in jeopardy. But what else is new?

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I’ve been following film and TV news for the better part of a decade and a half, and writing about it for nearly as long. And, in that time, you start to become numb to the cycle of development — creatives are always leaving, executives are always balking, and yada yada yada. Let’s just say there’s a reason why most of the movies in development hell stay there — once a project begins circling the drain, it’s hard to really pull it back out. So after years of this painful back and forth — this developmental ballet — I start to lose faith entirely. For pop culture that has been developing for years, my optimism for it actually get made morphs into the fun category of “I’ll believe it when I fucking see it.” Which, for the record, is why I still don’t believe Kingdom Hearts III is coming out next month. I don’t care that it has a release date, I don’t care that it has gone gold — until the damn thing is in my hands, it’s just vaporware. And you know what else is just vaporware? That goddamn Halo TV series.

Or should I say live-action Halo movie. Really, it’s all the same tale — Hollywood has been trying to monetize the Halo brand since shortly after the first game was released, and became one of the defining video game titles of this millennium. Creating a movie just seemed like the next logical step, and Hollywood recruited Alex Garland to do just that. And Peter Jackson to do just that. And Neil Blomkamp to do just that.  And D.B. Weiss to do just that. And so on and so on. Eventually, that entire project stalled and Microsoft, with the live-action rights back in their hands, decided to shift the game’s adaptation to the world of television, and partnered with a pretty big name to do it: producer Steven Spielberg.

That was five years ago. Just to show how much the world of TV has changed since then, Microsoft initially planned to release the series independently, through the Xbox TV brand. That brand no longer exists which, to these outside eyes, would seem to indicate the TV series was no longer happening. But, nope! After years of silence, Microsoft returned and announced that the TV series was still happening (sure), and that it would be released on Showtime (sure.) A little more time passed. I assumed the concept of a Showtime produced Halo TV series was just some weird fever dream I had. And then, boom! the Halo TV series was off towards the races, with Showtime hiring on showrunner Kyle Killen, a bunch of writers, a big name director — everything! The plan was set for filming to commence at the tail end of 2018, for a late 2019 launch.

And I never believed that shit for a goddamn second. This is a Halo live-action project we are talking about. It’s doomed to fail. And if news from today is any indication, the process has begun in earnest.

As reported by Variety, the “big-name” director hired to helm many episodes of the project, Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), has departed the series. On the surface, it seems like an innocent enough departure: standard scheduling issues. Wyatt even released this statement corroborating the reported reason:

“It’s with great disappointment that changes to the production schedule of Halo prevent me from continuing in my role as a director on the series. My time on Halo has been a creatively rich and rewarding experience with a phenomenal team of people. I now join the legion of fans out there, excited to see the finished series and wishing everyone involved the very best.”

So yeah: “changes to the production schedule” is the culprit. But the question must be asked: why did the production schedule change in the first place?

Well, thankfully, /Film looked into just that, and found that production on the series is not going as smooth as it might have sounded like it was a few months ago. The budget “has spiraled out of control” according to the website’s sources, and the people in charge are none to happy about what the series is becoming. Well the first few scripts were in line with what Showtime was looking for, latter scripts saw “the entire series balloon in size and cost, leading to some cold feet.” Well it’s possible the series might work through these issues (Game of Thrones, which Showtime is clearly hoping to ape here, ended up doing so), history is not on this franchise’s side as it paves its way to the live-action realm.

And, in my mind, that makes absolute sense. Putting aside the curse an old Hollywood witch doctor performed upon this franchise some time ago, I always thought that TV was a weird fit for the Halo brand. The games are massive, large scale explorations of intergalactic war. They are big war movies, essentially. Unlike Game of Thrones (which peppered its big fantasy moments with plenty of scenes involving political intrigue, dramatic exchanges, and other TV budget friendly concepts), there’s not a whole lot more to Halo than the big action sequences and massive, universe spanning lore. Which is fine and dandy for a big blockbuster movie to tackle. But a TV series? I literally did not see how this could happen. And if these troubles just continue to get worse and worse, that may indeed be the case. Will yet another live action Halo project fall apart right before it reaches the starting line?

…Probably, yeah.


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Cuphead Bosses, Ranked in Terms of Difficulty (In Getting Them to Help Me Move This Weekend)

The boss characters of Cuphead are notoriously a challenge…to get to help with even the most basic of moving requests! Fuckers.

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This is a real list of the Cuphead bosses, ranked in order of difficulty. It also is a tier list of difficulty to get them to help me move this weekend from Brooklyn to Manhattan, specifically Chelsea, so I can get to work without a real commute. A five-minute walk is way better than an hour train ride or taxi back home, after all.

Will any of these overpowered assholes lend a hand? Let’s dive in and find out.

S Tier

Grim Matchstick

Fuck this dragon. Fuck him to hell. He is the hardest boss in the game…to theoretically help me move in over a weekend. This guy would dodge you forever, never get back to you, burn your stuff with his fire breath turning into little jumping marching fuckers, and the whole time you just jump from cloud to cloud in the opposite direction like an asshole. Fuck this boss. I hate him. Fuck him forever.

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Rumor Honeybottoms

I hate this bitch, woo boy. Boy oh boy did my life slowly lose years as my cells disintegrated one by one. I cannot express in words how disgusting and difficult it was to beat this queen bee bitch motherfucker shit cock it makes me so mad. I wouldn’t even want to ask her to help me move because I know what her answer would be and I don’t want to hear any sass or attitude. Even her minions are the damn worst: the fucking pig cop and bees, and those other bastards. And her pink balls of death to boot! The whole stage is impossible, and no one that disorganized in life can or should help me move my stuff, which is already so neatly labeled and divided into boxes

Dr. Kahl

Another total jerk, wow, can this dude please fuck off. Too busy building robots and shit that piss me off, not enough time being a reliable friend who can give me free medical advice or, you know, help me move this weekend. You can’t see his health bar or use the progress meter to determine how far you are in the fight, and you can’t see his schedule or determine if he’s really going to a wedding out of state and“just can’t, man”, or whatever. None of his robot bots or little bombs and aeroplanes would help either, they would just get in the way. This was just infuriating and grueling and grinding for no reason and I had to be in the air the entire time. Fuck this shit, I’ll move in to my new apartment all by myself.


A Tier

Beppi the Clown

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck this clown and fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck him getting near my stuff and getting clown make-up all over it. Fuck his circus friends, and his roller coaster, and the merry-go-round, and all of that other shit in the way. The dog balloons that track you, it’s all too zany and crowded and suffocating and Beppi can go fuck himself and find a new profession. He is someone who would say yes, I think, but like I would have to do him a favor and ,yeah, no: I’m not having this guy in my life. Ever. Fuck clowns.

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Wally Warbles

Why is there a bird stuck in a birdhouse, and why is there a baby bird in an egg, and at the end, why is he fighting from an old timey hospital stretcher? How is this dingus supposed to help anyone, let alone himself? Also, this fight is a pain in the ass. Same with attempting to ask for help this weekend when I hire the movers to come over and drive between boroughs and unpack my stuff up four flights of stairs. It’s extra for the movers to go without the elevator, that’s why I need friends. Is Wally one of those reliable friends? No, no he is not. I mean, possibly, if he had hands with fingers and not wings and feathers. God damn there is no room on the screen for this boss fight and I hate it. The art is cool but it is so fucking cumbersome to dodge for so long without hitting him. Screw Wally.

The Devil

The literal devil would want me to check back into hell soon, why would I hit up his phone asking for more help? I’m not signing any deal with the devil for a move this Saturday.

Hopus Pocus

This is one of those mini-bosses during the King Dice fight, and he was the hardest for me IMHO. And I want nothing I own to disappear if he were to help me move. He has that crazed look in his eye, this fucking rabbit. He might like, want shit, and steal it by hiding it and doing magic and other garbage tactics like that.  I don’t like him, I don’t like dodging his moves, and I don’t like that look. That crazy look. It’s unsettling.

Phear Leap

Another King Dice mini-boss who sucks ass, but this time part of the screen is obscured for no god damn reason. Asshole. Trees and shit going by, you can’t see anything. No way, nah, I don’t fuck with that, or a skeleton horse who gambles on the ponies. He probably owes people money, and I don’t want that involved in my life. “Hey, can you help me move Friday?” “Sure, you owe me though! Ha ha.” And then I get my thumbs broken. No thank you.


B Tier

Phantom Express

This is my favorite boss battle in the entire game, and is only difficult because of the large amount of twists and different segments, and how slightly different they were back-to-back. sprinkled with lots of floating soap bars to parry. But it’s awesome, aesthetically and mechanically, it’s just super cool to learn the steps slowly and beat this right before the ending boss at the casino. But I’m not sure who on the train would come help me move, like which skeleton dude. And I can’t rely on any of them, since some don’t have hands, only wheels. Like, the conductor? Or the first ghost guy with the eyes? Can he even see what he’s doing? Who knows, but at least they seem nice enough to want to help, even if they can’t.

Ribby and Croaks

An unexpectedly tough fight for being so early in the game. I blame the fact that these two fucker frogs pull a Dragon Ball Z and fuse together to form an unholy alliance: a fucking slot machine that spits out the hardest shit to avoid. And half the time you can’t damage this stupid thing! The ending of this fight, and whatever comes before to whittle your health away, is dumb and I do not like it. Also, while it would be good to have two guys help lift boxes up the stairs, especially strong ones like boxers, I get the feeling they are too busy “training” or “working out” to do anything. Muscle heads. They wouldn’t take off their boxing gloves anyways, in order to lift anything. They would just drop it and blame each other. Asshats.

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Cala Maria

I would be too afraid to talk to her, or even approach her, to engage in a discussion about whatever inane bullshit I have going on in my life, let alone the nerve to say two words to Cala Maria. It’s not intimidation or timidness, really, just the way she shakes her hips in the water, it’s mesmerizing. I can’t talk to her. We’re moving on now to the next boss.

Djimmi the Great

This sneaky motherfucker. This magical, dodging little shit. He would be the kind of guy to lie to you and say “yeah I’ll be there, for sure” and then at the last second send a text message with some lame ass excuse and bounce. He’d duck you for two weeks and then ask, like a smug asshole “how did the move go?” Great Djimmi…it went great. Thanks a fucking lot.

Pirouletta

Pirouletta seems very stuck up, and prissy, and I don’t even know why I would need her. Can she lift? Can she endure the stairs up and down for an hour? Why would she want to? Because she knows me? Is that a good enough reason? Maybe she is nice enough to offer, and I would just say no and go without the hassle. Or maybe I wouldn’t even mention it to her at all. I really don’t know.

King Dice

You don’t ask him to move. You ask him if he needs help with his move.


C Tier

Cagney Carnation

This entire section involves people who are real 50/50 calls, and Cagney is just a weirdo. A total weirdo who I don’t like fighting, and I would be unsettled being around him. Anger problems. Not hygienic. Creepy friends. Bad company. Vines with thorns. The whole thing irks me, and while I could use his help, and he might say yes, I just don’t see this happening. His arm length would be appreciated, but I don’t want to pick leaves and shit off the floor after he left, and I don’t want my new place to smell. Sorry bud.

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Captain Brineybeard

I would like, hang out with this guy, but only in certain places. Not in my home. Not getting anything wet, he would show up drunk, and happily so, and just fucking destroy shit. No thanks. His whale and squid would be too much of a hassle too. Again, the help is appreciated, but one laser beam and it’s all over. Fuck that, no thank you, see you next week Captain.

Tipsy Troop

Three alcoholics? Yeah, okay. I can convince them to do anything, but who needs that, honestly?

Baroness Von Bon Bon

I’m going to assume she is royalty, which means I can’t approach her, get near her, ask her to go to a sub-par neighborhood, or have her touch anything that would dirty her gloves. Really I would want to hang with the candy and waffles and shit that protect her, THOSE people I would fuck with. But if they’re busy guarding the castle, the gingerbread one with pink frosting, then it might be hard to manage the schedules and I would just not bother. That’s what this tier is really for: these bosses could go either way and it makes it hard to pull off, you know? No hard yes or no, but just this weird lingering dance of words. Moving sucks.

Mr. Wheezy

HELL NO am I having this dirt bag over. HELL NO am I having his wheezy ass huff and puff and fail to help me at all. HELL NO am I having this sleazy scumbag get my shit covered in smoke, smelling up the joint. He would want to be there in a heartbeat, and he would say yes of course, and just smoke the whole time. Nope. Don’t want or need his help. It’s too much of a detriment, and the cost analysis of this premise is just C- tier all the way. Nope nope nope.


D Tier

Hilda Berg

On the surface, she seems like a big bloated fatass who loves to complain. But that’s because she IS a big bloated fatass who loves to complain! Which is why she would easily be a good friend of mine, and at least show up to my move to heckle me as I do everything, but then offer to get food afterwards because she is always hungry.

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Chips Bettigan

I would use Chips to gamble my life savings away in a casino so I had enough to just live in a mansion and buy new clothes and furniture. Fuck moving, I’ll bet it all on red on the roulette wheel!

Sally Stageplay

I was a drama kid, and I feel very connected to Sally and that dude in the background. We stage people stick together, and she would show up no problem. And hopefully that other dude, who just shows up every now and again. Stage hands are good at carrying things!

Werner Werman

I am not a rat. I cannot trust rats. Rats are disgusting, and he seems like a German Nazi rat. I don’t know about this guy, but if he builds a cool cat robot to help me, then by all means! Join in and help lift boxes from the truck to the living room. How would a cat do that? I have no clue, but he should be able to build the cat with thumbs, that would do the trick.

Pip and Dot

Two heads are better than one, and Pip and Dot seem cool. I like playing Dominoes, I don’t know if that is cool with them or like a war crime to their people, but I would get along with them enough to triple the workload. I also don’t know if they’re too small or not, I don’t have a sense of scale on their actual size but I need all the help I can get.


F Tier

Mangosteen

Mangosteen is an anthropomorphize magic 8-ball, so he can only bring me good luck, right? And he always has a smile on his face, so that’s encouraging, probably a good spirit to be around, bring you some energy after a hard day of moving. Moving always brings so much stress and anxiety, nobody enjoys it, so why not have Mangosteen around to chill with, you know?

Goopy Le Grande

Goopy would be immensely helpful, I think, because of his literal and figurative flexibility. Being able to help me plug in things behind furniture, growing big to carry boxes up stairs, it would be a dream to just knock everything out in one day and then grab food after. He obviously is a polite man, tipping his cap to start the fight in the game, and I feel guilty for killing him and then shooting his headstone, but Goopy is straight with me, he’s legit. A true homie through and through.

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The Root Pack

I would just eat them for energy, so I can unpack faster and set up my new place.

Mr. Chimes

I love this dude, and I wouldn’t even ask him to help me in any way, because I just want him around to make me happy. We can just play puzzle games all the live long day, and then he’d clap his cymbals together and I’d laugh, and it would be just a rather refreshing experience, overall, I feel, to have Mr. Chimes around for an afternoon.

Lollygagging about in my brand new apartment. Just me and my best pal, Mr. Chimes. That’s the dream, folks.

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A Shot for Shot Breakdown of How Fucking Insane the Super Mario Odyssey Ending Is

I spent way too much time working on this ridiculous premise for an article, but it had to be done. It simply had. To be. Done.

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First things first, let’s all watch this clip in the otherwise masterful Super Mario Odyssey and then I can break down why it is one of the most batshit insane things Nintendo has ever done. This cutscene was so impossibly stupid and crazy, that I had to talk about it and wonder out loud why more people are not talking about it.

This game is a master work, and it still somehow hampered by the laziest and most misogynist writing for children’s entertainment I’ve ever seen. Absorb this nonsense and then let’s dive in:

Okay, process that shitstorm, and just sit with it. Okay, now we can break it down part by part, added with commentary to make sense of the senseless trash that ends this wonderfully fun game. It’s mind boggling, but I spent an afternoon learning how to create many GIFs out of a YouTube video. The process has gotten easier over the years, but still, it was a lot of work for a gag.

So first off, you become Bowser in an earlier boss fight. You go to the moon, go through lava levels and stuff (which are not on the actual moon, but I’ll give that a pass). All without an oxygen helmet (less of a pass but okay, I’m still with this for now). The fight ends with you throwing the hat aka Cappy onto Bowser to become him, and fight your way out of danger with Peach to save her life. Again. But here is where things really get out of hand.

Bowser tries to marry Peach this whole game, and you and Peach are ready to be married right here and right now? What? Why haven’t you done that already you idiot, you saved her life a million times because Miyamoto can’t get his raging boner over cartoons from the ’30s. I’m surprised he didn’t steal blackface for these games but they really should have put an end to this troupe after Sunshine was about him getting arrested for graffiti. She was the star of her own game, and used her womanly emotions to fight off enemies! Jesus fucking Christ.

If you liked it you should have put a ring on it, but somehow here we are. Okay, so Mario shrugs after escaping the collapsing lava mountain or whatever. At this point things should just wrap up, a nice kiss, and a real wedding for this poor blonde woman. But no, that would be too easy.

Then their hat ghosts go to knock boots in a celestial dreamscape, sans their corporeal forms. As a symbol for Mario and Peach fucking? What the hell is this shit?

Mario, angry looking for some reason, after saving this helpless fool who I know for a fact isn’t, turns to her…

…the hats are waiting with baited breath making googly eyes…

…as he pimps walks up to her, doesn’t hear the gigantic and colossal dinosaur get up and run over to him????

He is a minimum of like 800 pounds, don’t tell me sound works in space and then use that as an excuse to mask his blindside shoulder hit Nintendo, that is garbage logic and you know it. So Bowser knocks his ass out, after being totally defeated and exhausted, and just finds the strength to wake back up. Yeah okay. Also we know that gravity is not normal, from like the gameplay and the jumping on the surface of the moon, but now it’s back to normal gravity? What gives? Did no one edit this before it went out to the public? Is there no editors or proofers or reviewers for stupidity in all of Japan? I know there are, hire them Nintendo, for the love of god.

Ok so Bowser, a gigantic monster who does nothing but kidnap royalty and race go-karts with strangers and enemies (the ones he made by being evil)  PROPOSES with piranha plant flowers, just magically ready to go, like WHAT you already tried the plan of stealing her for marriage and now you try asking her politely? AFTER? You KIDNAPPED HER what the fuck is this shit, those are living flowers who EAT PEOPLE she isn’t going to choose you right then and there.

So Mario freaks out as if she is going to say yes, like what dude? Why are you panicking? Why are you not finishing the job and murdering this sick creep? He runs over to her and shows her a different flower, the rocket one, in an attempt to win her heart in this sad pathetic competition? What? Uhhhhhhhhhhhh excuse me, you stole his idea and gave her weak ass flowers, not that you needed to, because to remind you my dude you SAVED HER LIFE and chose to NOT MURDER Bowser, he is right there!!!! So they feverishly and fruitlessly compete for her love and affection, scaring the ever living shit out of her, and she isn’t making a decision right after all of that shit, that is traumatic. How she ended up with these two after all of these years is beyond me, she deserves better or is just so damaged she can’t quit either. But that’s another column about her well being. Does she do anything as Princess? Who is the Queen? What are her responsibilities?

Is she confused, did she think Bowser saved her because Mario controlled his body? Why is Mario having to do this, and why can’t she decide, this makes no sense at all, it’s so obvious. Their motivations are all wrong, and logic has clearly stopped being an issue decades ago in the Mushroom Kingdom.

Okay so she gets pissed and storms off, lady you could have died. But maybe it’s just too much all at once and too ridiculous, okay, so just thank Mario he is right there, and leave to talk about it. She says something to the ghosts, what does she say to the ghosts, I don’t know, moving on, she’s walking to the ship wait what. You’re just leaving? Them behind? Excuse me? What the fuck is that, you’re just going to bounce like that? That’s not your ship lady, who said you could go on the Mario ship, with his logo, after he RESCUED YOU.

So Mario consoles Bowser LIKE THEY ARE FRIENDS or some shit, are you shitting me? This isn’t Mario Kart Double Dash, you can’t just team up all of a sudden, the entire length of the game you fought each other IN TUXEDOS AND TAILCOATS.

She fucking leaves them behind! On the moon! What an ungrateful bitch! You stole the ship to leave them to die! She waves goodbye, like this isn’t her abandoning them, a betrayal of the highest order.  And Mario has to leap and get to the ship, HIS OWN SHIP, in order to get off the moon with her. And so he ends the game by throwing his hat at the screen into a logo. That is the end of the game. Bounces off of Bowser’s head, who caught up to them by running? Isn’t he slower than Mario in every conceivable way?

WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK WAS THAT

HOLY SHIT

WHAT IN THE FUCK

what was that nintendo

that is how you end that game? really

give us the ending from super mario world, that was a real ending

im not even going to give you the decency of proper punctuation or grammar or capitalization, fuck you nintendo writers and copy editors and storytellers and narrative designers

luigi won a mansion in a fake contest through the mail

bowser jr thought peach was his mother

birdo is a poor soul trapped in a corporeal body and deserves the true form free from the social construct of a gender spectrum

the supreme court is stolen and illegitimate

im losing my mind

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