Friday, June 21, 2013

Rant Ramblings: Week of 6-21-13

What a week! Wednesday brought the stunning news that Microsoft has done a complete 180 on the mandatory online check-in and the used game restrictions that were recently announced for the upcoming Xbox One console. (Although the internet was quick to claim some sort of victory, we can be pretty damn sure the move is motivated by Microsoft's realization that it would wind up making far less money if it dug in its heels and stuck with the various restrictions. The outcry was loud and violent enough that it was an unmistakable conclusion.)
Personally, I thought the announced policies were restrictive enough that they partly led to my decision to preorder a PS4 rather than an Xbone, but the outcry was taken to rather ridiculous levels. Reddit, in particular, seemed extremely hypocritical; Valve's Steam platform is absolutely adored, and Valve can do no wrong, but when Microsoft tried to implement something very damn close to Steam's system, they were crucified for it. I think the restrictions were a bad idea, but I don't like them on Steam, either. Of course, it must be noted that Steam also brings many positive features to the table along with the drawbacks, and Microsoft was bringing the negative aspects of the service with no evidence that the good stuff would be included with them. People do not like being told how they can buy their games and what they can do with them, and if you're gonna try doing that, you'd damn well better have some great bonuses to make up for that lack of freedom. Microsoft may well have delivered on that, but there was no indication that they would, and they paid the price. Under the circumstances, backing down was far and away the best option.
If you're still undecided about which next-gen console you want, here's a handy graphic with direct comparisons in pretty much every category.

Here is a fun photo gallery chronicling a group of people decorating an old van with Sharpies.

Stephen King did an AMA, so you might wanna check that out.

Finally, I've gotten pretty sick of some of the complaints about Man of Steel, the thoroughly awesome Superman movie that debuted last week. (Maybe you've heard of it.)  No movie is flawless, of course, and I have no issue with people who just didn't dig the movie. However, some of the incessant gripes are downright ridiculous, even by the standard of whining we've come to expect from the internet whenever a comic-based movie is made. Spoilers lie ahead, so highlight the following if you want to keep reading: "Superman DOES NOT KILL" has become the mantra for a great many people in the past week. To them I say, "Oh, is that so?" That looks an awful lot like Superman executing three super-powered criminals to me! Oh, and one of them is General Zod, the very same dude who Superman is forced to kill in Man of Steel! This is from 1988's Superman #22. Not a hoax, not an imaginary story! It also bears mention that the beloved Christopher Reeve version of Superman also killed Zod in Superman 2. I've never heard anyone go apeshit over that, and Superman was far more callous about it, and didn't show a shred of remorse. Look, the movie has its flaws, and not everyone is gonna like it. But c'mon, don't try to bash the movie based on something as spurious as this. People love to claim fictional characters as their own in some way based on their personal ideal of the character-- and surprise, surprise, that nearly always just happens to be the version they first encountered when they were children-- and deem anything that sways from that ideal just plain wrong. If someone doesn't like the movie, that is just fine, but they should at least try to judge the movie on its own merits, without dragging their own personal baggage into it as if the director should have hired them as a consultant for the project. I don't normally get so annoyed about people on the internet disliking something, but I've encountered this several times daily since last Friday, and I had to have my say.

That's it for this week!

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