P.O.V.: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Did I like it?
No. With an emphasize on ‘n’ and ‘o.’

Let’s break it down. Mediocre acting. Rather lame script. Half-way descent directing. Outstanding worldbuilding. All in all: A simply below average movie. Some called it unnecssary; some called it a Wookiepedia article coming to live. To be honest: It is a bit of both. 

+ Han(dling) survival

Wow. What a surprisingly well depiction of the life under the Empire. The ruthlessness, the hopelessness, the darkness; the movie showed that the world of Star Wars is full of danger and threats as long as the Empire ruled. People forced to do nothing but to survive the circumstances. Some, like Han, try to get by by wit and confidence; other try to simply make it out like Kira. The overall asthetics supported and helped to craft a world of peril and simply sadness. It was very, very good. 

+/- Trivia(l) pursuit

The topic of trivia has been debated enough. My take? It was simply badly executed. The origins of hie name? Lame. The origin of his friendship with Chewbacca? Also lame. The kessel run? Nice visuals. (But lame.) If it weren’t handled so casually, so, pun intended, trivial, it could have been a nice and compelling way of demonstrating good fan service. Too bad it crushed and burned terribly.

– In honor of Alden’s reich

He can act. I am not denying that. His Han performance was, like some critic pointed out, trying too hard being Han as played by Harrison Ford. If he gave his own take and tried to extend him; trying to deepen his attitude, it might have been a great gig. Just like the rest of the movie: It failed hard.

– Kasdanian

The writing was… mhm, not bad. But not good either. It only presented the Han we already knew. It did not add, sorry I repeat myself, anything new to the character. Maybe he had doubts and regrets, fears and insecurities. But nope, it was just the same character we knew. Why making a prequel if everything is already as it is. (?)

Bottom line: Stop milking Star Wars. (Or you’ll oversaturate the market and the franchise dies a horrible death.)

Rudy’s Rating: SchuG (Regreting buying a ticket.)

Super Detective: Chapter 1 – I’m Back


Trivia #1

N. Burg had Kaito Kid in mind while creating Super Detective.

#1 New Berlin

New Berlin has been created out of nowhere as a small “colony” for diplomats working for the World Government. It was intended as a small and cozy place for people to enjoy life next to the sea. Most of the time, it is a harmless and quiet town with no crime and friendly people. Until it got discovered as a hot spot for people to surf. This sprawling scene brought skaters, then street artists, then start ups, and is now a sprawling city the size of San Francisco. 

It has a population count of 670.740 citizens and is known for a specialty called White Tea, which is a genetically engineered version of green tea. The sights are plenty and many draw a lot of tourists and visitors to the city. The Hillsight View, a lookout above the city, has the greatest amount of visitors are year. But there is also the Singer’s Swing, an open mic cafe in Vill Street. And the Ally Alley, a place for street artists to paint a piece and then being removed three weeks later for the next artist to place.

All good, but it also has a dark side. A serial killer named the Powder Killer took a powder to knock someone out, rob them and then killing them. He killed a total amount of 7 people before World’s Greatest Detectives could stop them. While many thought it was an heroic act, the agency itself, wailed itself in pity and self-hate. They could not accept this failure and indicted many new policies to become better. One detective got known and stalked, hence they installed a code name system.

But there were also good times. Once there was a surfer festival called Soul’s Out, where people surfed and had a great BBQ accompanied by DJs and other live music. But citizens condemned the dirt and loudness, and since no one could get it under control, they had to cancel it. There is now a small festival called Surf and Throw, where people enjoy a BBQ on a special ground that could be easily cleaned up and be purged shortly after the festival was done.

The current mayor is a Japanese-American woman named Hikari ‘Kari’ Kaito. She was elected with 54% of the votes. Her opponent, a Republican woman named Chelsey Running lost. Kari, so called by her family and fans alike, is part of the Neutral Democratic Party America. Which is a global party with many branches in many Local Governments around the globe. Kari’s agenda is summed up by her with the words: Democracy. Safety. Diversity. “And freedom!” as a popular chant finishes the slogan.

Apropos diversity. New Berlin has a sprawling community from people around the globe, but also a small niche of white supremacists which terrorize from time to time. Due to global law, they can express their opinion, but racism and assaults are considered crime. In the end, they are only people who think they are better than others. Which they are not. For the rest of the citizens it is clear: We tolerate. They may not like each other, but they accept and respect people as what they are: People. No one chose their skin color or eye form, no one chose their hair or eye color. We have to accept others like God intended: diverse.

In the end, New Berlin is a happy place. It is not perfect, but people are working on it. It is a place people enjoy to be. Even when they have no idea what madness would unfold over the course of the next few years. Some pretend to saw it coming. Some pretend to ignore it. But all agreed: It is nuts. 


The story of Super Detective unfolds. And it all began of one man, and his ambition to be the World’s Greatest Detective. Now one saw it coming. But some wish they did.

Depth Note – Nintendo

Hello.

Nintendo – From Childhood to Adulthood

written by

N. „Guten Tag“ Burg 

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarin of Time. Aahhh … this brings back memories. We all remember our childhood. We remember the lightheartedness, our favorite toys, a harmless and innocent time. For my part, I owned the local skate park, rode my bike through our surrouding areas, and played videogames. My brothers and I had a blast figuring out Turok 2 (plus its multiplayer), enjoyed Bomberman (also multiplayer) and – of course – Nintendo games. It all began with Super Mario Kart for the NES. Quickly adapted to Pokemon Blue, Pokemon Snap, Super Mario 64 and one the greatest videogames of all time: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Which brings me back to …

Many of us owe Nintendo our childhood. We all had our certain systems and favorite games. All of us had a blast. The thing is, Nintendo is not actually for kids only. It was just the Zeitgeist. Gaming was coming out of the eighties, the nineties were about to end, and due to globalization and the internet; gaming, became a worldwide thing. People of all ages bought games or rented them. Games shared their cartridges and the rise of the CD made piracy a big thing. It was a fascinating and exciting time. We literally played everything on the market. There was no Steam store filled with 99% trash games. There was no digital market places for keys. All people – played all the games. And Nintendo reached – before it even began – its zenith.

In 1998, two game changing games were released: Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64. There were no spin offs at the time. There were no remakes. There was only the Nintendo 64 and those particular video games. Nintendo managed to crack the 3D code and used it to its full potential. Both of them. And it lay the foundation for the Nintendo formula. Which meant: no progress, no change, no risk; only re-iteration. Let’s examine the factors by those two games. To say one thing upfront: Majoras Mask was an excpetion of such rule. And: Nintendo Sunshine proved Nintendo sucks at storytelling. Back to topic.

What does a Mario game consist? A few points. Coins. Stars. Some enemies like Koopas, Goombas, Boos, maybe other colored coins and stars. And of course the same story over and over and over again. Bowser kidnaps Princess Peach. The Legend of Zelda. A cursed land – Link needs to save it. Hyrule in OOT, Termina in MM, in WW, in TP, in SS and in BOTW. Other things include dungeons, specific items, and an overworld to explore. And let’s not forget the sidekick who helps you. Such behavior – or simply playing it safe – is foremost trying to please shareholders, which I can understand, and not trying to alienate the playerbase. Okay. I get it. But what problems arise from such business strategies?

Yet, you may say: It is creative. Everything in their own right. You cannot compare all game and generalize. Yes, that is true. Each Zelda dungeon is unique, each Mario level offers plenty of creativtiy. But times move on, you know. I am not a child anymore. You cannot please me with the same shit over and over again. I am a reasonable grown up now. I leaned to make decisions, learned to analyze, learned make up my own mind. As a kid I played everything. Because it was simply fun. But as an adult. I am sorry – I cannot waste a single dime on Nintendo anymore. I grew up – and Nintendo – did not.

(Break)

I don’t want to sound particularly cricital, because people will tell me: It is about the gameplay! Who cares for the story. And that’s the point. People do not care for storytelling. And that’s the point I am trying to make. As a child: Mario was simply fun. And I did not even care for the story in Ocarina of Time. Just wanted to explore the world and find dungeons. Yet, you cannot maintain this forever. People change, they evolve, they mature. And an adult wants to be taken seriously. Sure, sure. It is Nintendo, it is family, it is elderly; it is for everyone. But that is no argument. Yes, they are mature games with mature stories for mature gamers. Like Half-Life or Metal Gear Solid. But my question is: Why can’t Nintendo grow up too? Why can’t it change and evolve? Just because it is Nintendo? No. This can’t be it.

Nintendo is a master in stagnation without regression. It does not move forward, yet, it does not move backwards either. It just maintains the status quo. Re-iteration. What bugs me especially is the way we treat Nintendo. I find – and always found – it laughably that Nintendo games are always the best of the best. Every Mario and Zelda games get almost the best ratings every time a new game is released. Why is that? Yes, the games are good. But why can’t we be critical with them? Why can’t we critize re-iteration? The re-use of concepts and ideas, the implementation of one-idea-at-a-time-per-game? People seem to be satisfied with Nintendo games. Which make my plea totally pointless, huh.

People have zero demand. Literally. People swallow everything Nintendo offers them to eat. Which annoys me. The only exception are total and utter failurse like Star Fox Zero. But anyway. As long as people do not demand change; Nintendo won’t change. Yes, we get good games. Yes, they are often flawless; sometimes perfect. But that is no excuse to be a mature person. To question things, to explore things differently. To find new ways. To change. Why change? Why do I stess it so much? Why do I make myself so important? Because adults are not children. As long as we grew up. I perceive the world differently, I see things differntly. I cannot be pleased by the same meal at the one-thousand its time.

Nintendo won’t change. My video won’t change Nintendo. (Or anything else.) But at least I can find a way to critize it. To challenge known perceptions. I want Ninendo to be better. I want Nintendo fans to be better. We all can demand something different. Something like at least a new franchise. Or a grown up version of a known franchise. We can demand for Nintendo to listen to its playerbase and – in the end – its fans. My entire goal was, is, and will be, to improve gaming as a whole. To make it more enjoyable for everyone. And if all you can say is: Gaming is fine. Well, then at least I provoked a thought inside of you. Nintendo. I owe you a childhood. I wish I’d owe you my adulthood.

The next Depht Note will be about … telling interactive stories.

Valve soft where?


Yes, Valve Software, (now known as Valve Corporation), made great games. They made Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress. They made CS:GO and Dota 2. But their corporate structure shot them into the foot. Let’s break it down. They never finished the Half-Life series. Their SteamOS flopped, the Steam Machine flopped, the Steam Controller flopped, VR flopped.. The only succesful thing they now have are Steam Sales. (Of which I am an avid customer of.)

I know, due to a page on their new website, that they are working on new games. And their corporate structure may be their greatest achievement, yet is is ineffcient, slow and, for my part, rather stupid. For those who don’t know. Here’S the deal: They do not have a boss. (GabeN is not the boss. Or others.) They work on what their employees desire. And they have tables with wheels to come and go and work and try new projects as they, well, desire. 

Okay, okay. It may work. At least for Valve and their employees. Yet, it defies the thing the customer wants: Finished stories. (Or at least a sequel.) Their, or rather GabeN’s obession, with trying to make multiplayer games viable, cost them at least, (not money though), respect and credits of the industry and the gamers. Okay, okay. You may think: Who cares? But as an avid and vocal member of the community, I must say: No. 

There is a rift we have to look at. One one hand: Do what the customers wants. One the other hand: Do what the studio wants. You can do it like EA or Ubisoft and flood the market with sequels and spin-off, or do it like Nintendo who do a new installment each four or five years to their respected franchises like Zelda or Mario. Whatever you may prefer: People at least get a finished product. People may not get what they want, (because Nintendo has their own mind and corporate structure), but the customer at least can be happily waiting for a new installment. 

Yes, there is the elephant in the room: Episode 3. I don’t want to go into a rant of how and when and who and why. Let’s just say two things: Why start with episodes to ‘release faster’ but then cancelling the end? Second: Why not talking about in more than 11 years? Why not say: We are working on it. (But slow.) Or: We are not working on it. You won’t blow anyone away with it today. Half-Life 2 was a game of its time and era. Times have changed and so did the customer. Episode 3 is joke people make nowaways. It has become the new Duke Nukem: Forever. It may be released. But people will only care due to its ‘infamous’ status. Or maybe it will be a success. (I can’t predict the future.)


You managed to make multiplayer games a service. Good for you. Could you go back to making new games now? You are talented, smart and creative. You have unique and original ideas. Why waste all that? Why waste you employees life on things that won’t come into fruition? I am not here asking or ‘demanding’ new games. I am a gamer, and fan, and since all the other studios let me down as a gamer and fan; I hope you will release new games that will challenge the parameters and push the envelope on gaming.

Thanks.

P.O.V.: Avengers: Endgame

P.O.V.: Avengers: Endgame

Did I like it?
Best. Movie. Ever.

I … I have no words. I mean … what the heck just happened? Was this a movie? Some lighthearted entertainment? Or something entirely different? For me it was an experience I have never ever experienced before. I never sat on the edge of my seat like this! Never was acting so good! Never has me a story more blown away! From bottom to top the best movie I have ever seen. Marvel manage to top everything that came before. Even The Winter Soldier. Even The Dark Knight. It was beyond everything.

+ Start me up 

Infinity War its beginning blew me away. There was no cluttered or clumsy introduction or some exposition. It was simply Thanos fighting the war. And Endgame managed to make it even greater with an even greater emotional and tensioned start. I won’t spoil it. All I can say is, that the Decimation plays a pivotal role and made me almost cry. (For the first time in an uproar of more to come.) It not only starts the motivation for the characters involved; it also gave me chills. 

+ Assemble

The acting was gorgeous. One critic noted, that the actors knew the whole world will see them and acted this good accordingly. It does not matter if or if not this is true; it hits the mark. The acting was terrific. I’ve never seen actors trying to deliver the emotional and human impact within a simple piece of paper a.k.a the screenplay. Chris Evans was great. Robert Downy, jr. was even greater. You could sense the urgency, but also the downfall and resignation of each individual character. Holy smoke was that good. 

Subvert me + 

Marvel is widely known to work by a simple formula: don’t do what is being expected. The twists were so damn good I did not see a single one coming. I had a theory throughout the movie but that was wrong. The whole story revolves around occasions and meetings of character you would never expect to show up or being brought up again in a vastly different way or execution. I don’t want to spoiler it, but you won’t see that one coming! I assure you.

The Overly Iron Man +

The best acting and best character development was attributed to Iron Man. He still dislikes Captain America (which does not spoiler much), he has a finished character arc. His whole fictional life comes full circle and it shows an Iron Man who is aged, worn and somewhat relaxed and happy with his life. He doesn’t want it any other way. He settled and began to live a life with his Iron Man persona being something that he was great in, but decided to let this thing don’t get in the way. 

Bottom line: Marvel at its finest.

Rudy’s Rating: No SchuG (No regret buying a ticket.)

Spotlight – Terrorist attacks

Again. And again. And again, and again, and again, and a fucking again. It has never hit the mainstream, so I will say it here: We cannot win the war on terror with sheer military might. The invasions in Middle East are not doing it. They made, and that has not hit the mainstream either, terrorists only stronger. It boosted their ranks, their morale, their financial situation. It only helped them. It made them stronger, better and more violent. Not only seeable by IS. I think we’ve created ourselves a problem we ourselves cannot solve. And to be honest: I have no answer or solution myself. Only indications. Like propaganda, psychological warfare or demoralization. How do we achieve this? I have no clue. Such attacks will plague us as long as we don’t find a proper solution. Why do we have all these alliances and joint forces when there is no one capable of finding a solution? It is pathetic. We will only prolong and prolong the problem until … well, until all of the Middle East has been bombed to dust. (But even that won’t stop them.) 

I don’t even know whom I personally should hate now. The U.S.? The CIA? Other parties involved? They all suck equally. They all do not seem to really care for the war on terror. All we, the people, can say is: Wow. Less freedom, more control and surveillance. Anti-terror-laws and acts. Cameras, AI based analysis, drones, rendition flights, torture in black sites. (Or wherever they torture.) Cases not based in Western jurisdiction and camps and mourning parents loosing a fallen son or daughter. Every person involved owes these victims of your war on terror. This war has never been a war on terror, but a war on freedom. We have to accept biometrical databanks, passenger flight record and secret services being less accountable and less controlled by their parliaments than ever before. No, we won’t win this war on terror like this. This war will rage on forever. 

Geht (trotzdem) wählen!

Ja, sie ist weit weg. Ja, niemand kennt die Kandidaten. Ja, die EU ist oft ein wenig skurril und voller Vorliebe für Verbote. Alles gut, alles richtig. Trotzdem steht die EU vor einer wichtigen und entscheidenen Wahl. Die Rechten sind im Anmarsch und wollen die EU übernehmen. Sie wollen ein „Europa der Vaterländer“. Unabhängig davon was das heißt. (Und ich nicht wissen will, was es heißt.) Solltest du den Rechten nicht das Feld überlassen. Sie sind Angetreten alles kaputt zu machen, wofür die EU mal stand und immer noch steht. Für Offenheit und Freiheit, Vielfalt und Recht und Ordnung. 

Und es gibt eben jene Dinge auch in der Politik. Es gibt Grüne, Linke, Konservative, Liberale und viele Zwischentöne wie Tierschutz, Öko- oder Esoterikparteien. Oder auch die MLPD. (Nicht, das ich die MLPD für gut befinde. Der Fairness halber sollte sie dennoch erwähnt werden.) Meinetwegen auch die Satirepartei Die Partei. Es gibt einen großen Querschnitt und viel Diskussionsstoff. Eben genug Möglichkeiten eine passende Partei zu finden. Und falls man keine passende findet, dann wählt bitte einfach etwasnichtrechtes. Dies ist immer noch tausendmal besser, als gar nicht zu wählen. Selbst, wenn der Begriff Protestwähler mir zuwider ist, darf der hier gerne ausgelebt werden.

Wir dürfen den Rechten nicht das Feld überlassen. Sie bekämpfen DEINE (!) Freiheit. Sie wollen Medien verstaatlichen und somit kontrollieren. Sie wollen die Grenzen schließen. Sie wollen die Religionsfreiheit einschränken. Und DU (!) lässt dir das gefallen?! Nein. Bitte nicht. Steh auf. Nimm dir ein paar Minuten Zeit am 26. Mai und mach ein kleines Kreuzchen. Wähl meinetwegen, wen du willst oder wer einen sympathischen Namen in der Liste trägt. (Und hoffentlich NICHT rechts ist.) Es steht so viel auf dem Spiel. Es gibt so viel was es Wert ist zu verteidigen. Heute mehr denn je. Bitte. Geh wählen. Bevor es zu spät ist. 

Willkommen im (C)lub (d)er (U)nterbelichteten


Ich finde es einfach bezeichnend, dass einerseits die evidente Politikverdrossenheit dazu geführt hat, das eine veraltete und stocksteife Partei wie die SPD fast verschwunden ist. (Und die AfD die drittstärkste Kraft geworden ist.) Aber die CDU noch bei knapp 30% liegt. Das ist so peinlich und lächerlich, wie es alarmierend ist. Die Linken und Grünen sind immer noch Teil der Nische. Die FDP hat sich durch Erneuerung erholt. (Schön für sie.) Aber was ist eigentlich mit der CDU/CSU Fraktion? Warum werden die nicht abgewählt? Warum sind die Regressiven immer so beliebt und werden immernoch gewählt?

Die CDU/CSU will “rechte Flanken schließen” und versucht “linke Republiken” zu verhindern. Sie schwadronieren über Leitkultur und haben jetzt endlich ihre verdammten Ankerzentrem. Die CDU ist doch die Partei ohne Profil, Vision und Ideen. Hat Angela Merkel eigentlich jemals ein Gesetz ins Gespräch gebracht? Sie hat viele Gesetze totgeredet. Mehr nicht. Das einzige Gesetz, an das ich mich erinnere, war das höchtlächerliche ‘Wachstumsbeschleunigungsgesetz.’ Und das war 2009!

Und hier sieht man auch das wahre Gesicht der CDU/CSU Fraktion. Wirtschaftskonformität. Und wer mir jetzt was dagegen sagen will, muss ich auf ein Zitat inhweisen, welches die Wirtschaftsgehörigkeit rechtfertigen soll: “Das ist soziale Marktwirtschaft.” Es war ein Kommentar irgendwann im TV und ich kann die Spuren leider nichts zurückverfolgen. Tut mir leid. (Erinnert mich irgendwie an den Satz der “Informationspflicht” zu Amokläufen und toten Flüchtlingen im Meer.) Die CDU/CSU gehorchen und kuschen allein vor der Wirtschaft. Bestes Beispiel ist der Abgasskandal. Es gab einen gehypten Gipfel und das Ergebnis waren Softwareupdates. Nicht mal der Satz “Das vernichtet Arbeitsplätze” lässt dies rechtfertigen. 

Aber wie ich schon sagte: Sie haben keine einzige Idee. Sie managen das Land und klammern sich an ihre Macht. Es ist einfach nur peinlich. Angela Merkel sondert immer nur Blödsinn ab. Man kann aus der Frau keinen vernünfigen Satz herauskitzeln. Wieviel Interviews musste ich schon ansehen? Wieviele Wahlveranstaltungen? Immer dasselbe: “Ja ja, wir machen was. Wir tun was.” Sie tat nichts für die Flüchtlinge in drei (!) Jahren, tut nichts gegen den Pflegenotstand, tut nichts gegen die Kohle, tut nichts gegen den Wohnungsnotstand. Sie ist eine Salzsäule, die ab und an anfängt zu blubbern und die Leute halten es für Progressivität. Das einzige was sie tatsächlich getan hat, war G8 Abitur. Super. Noch mehr Stress und psychische Belastung für die Schüler. Gut gemacht. Daumen hoch. (P.S.: Die Wirtschaft wollte das so.) 

Und der Spaß geht noch weiter. Knackpunkt Leitkultur. Unabhängig davon, das all unsere “Kultur” mit Alkohol zu tun hat. (Karneval, Oktoberfest, Weinfeste, etc.) Wird jetzt das jüdisch-christliche Abendland heraufbeschworen. Da sind einige Hosen voll, und einige Köpfe leer. Anstatt einen Schritt auf die Muslime zuzumachen. Anstatt zu sagen: “Willkommen. Wir respektieren euch. Wir haben aber eine andere Kultur wie in euren Ländern. Wir können co-existieren.” Sagen alle: “Oh Gott! Islamisierung! Umvölkung! (Die AfD benutzt diesen Begriff.) Wie sterben alle aus!” Und klammern sich an das bisschen Christentum was noch übrig ist. 

Volker Pispers hat mal ein tolles Beispiel gebracht: “In Düsseldorf gibt es Japaner, die nur Japanisch sprechen. Japanische Schulen, japanische Restaurants, japanische Läden. Es ist nebeneinander.” Und genauso fair sollten wir zu Muslimen sein. Lasst sie doch in ihren Parallelgesellschaften leben. Stören die denn? Machen die Probleme? In jeder Gesellschaft gibt es Problememacher. Doch wiegen wir auf: Was ist schlimmer? Deutsche Nazis die Migranten töten oder Muslime die in ihrer Parallelgesellschaft leben? Um es auf den Punkt zu bringen: Lasst die Muslime einfach in Ruhe. Und wenn es Salafisten gibt, wird sich der Staatsschutz darum kümmern. 

Die CDU/CSU Fraktion ist reaktionär, ohne Ideen und machtgeil wie sonst keine andere Partei. Sie will nicht den Sozialstaat stärken wie die Linken, oder die Umwelt retten wie die Grünen. Sie will nur möglichst alles so halten wie es ist, um so den Status Quo beherrschen zu können. Sie dienen nur der Wirtschaft. Und ihre Wähler sind wahrscheinlich genauso desinteressiert an Veränderung wie die Parteien selbst. Es ist peinlich. Um es abzuschließen: Wenn wir einen Feind haben wollen, und jemanden zur Verantwortung ziehen wollen, dann bitte nicht SPD, Linke und Grüne, sondern die CDU/CSU. Wer es am Ende Schuld war sollte jetzt jedem klar sein.