- Dec 19, 2014 12:21 PM
So as you all have seen, Inkblazers is shutting down. As soon as I heard the news, I knew I had to write... something about this. My feelings are mixed to say the least. A lot of people are devestated emotionally and financially, myself included, by this news. There's rage. There's tears. There's confusion. And all of them are valid.
But I don't think I want to focus on that.
I want to focus on the truly amazing things that came out of this. First and foremost, the community has always been amazing, but in the last 24 hours my heart has swelled with pride at the what I've seen. The community has come together to help each and offer emotional support and make sure that no one is left confused and alone. Seeing this community that I helped build over the last two years prove their greatness is... it brings me closer to tears than any terrible news could have.
You are all amazing and never tell yourself otherwise.
For the artists, I've seen many talk about what to do now with their comics. Worried that this may mean the end. It doesn't. Many of us started before Inkblazers, all of us will continue beyond it. The finances may not be there, but the passion is and I beg you all to not let that passion die. There are other sites, other opportunities out there. You will find something if you perservere. That's how we all got here. Inkblazers shut down does not take away from the love and energy we all put into our comics to get us here. You got yourself to the position of earning money once, you'll do it again I'm sure.
For the readers, you may now be confused and wondering where you can read your favourite comics. All I ask is to please, please, please keep a close eye on all your favourite authors. Most of them have already made plans and announcements. Many comics you love may be ending, please still show your support for them. You are just as amazing as the artists, you're the reason many of us keep doing this. And I for one will not be letting any of my readers down.
As for my thoughts on Inkblazers itself, I think ultimately I am grateful for the experience. I may be angry in some ways, but ultimately working for the site has cretaed more good. It's helped me move on in my life into new opportunities, it's allowed me to grow a larger fanbase, it helped me publish my first book and it introduced me to not only some amazing people, but to some of my best friends. While I've lost a lot from this shutdown, I think I'm walking away with the most valuable things I could have.
The Inkblazers site may be falling, but the community we've created seems to be standing stronger than ever today.
Let's work to keep it standing permenantly.
Keep on being amazing,
- Just for Fun
- Nov 30, 2014 1:26 PM
So anyone who knows me even a little bit knew this one was coming. As I've covered multiple times now, I am a huge Pokemon nerd. Don't really feel the need to go over that again in any more detail and seeings as there is a new Pokemon game on the shelves right now, it's about that time that I gave my thoughts on the game.
Have I mentioned that the original Ruby and Sapphire are my least favourite main Pokemon games ever? My problems are humerous - the Hoenn dex is limited leading to a lot of repeating Pokemon, the storyline is stupid, the map is exhausting to travel at points and the game itself is weighed down by a lot of the clunkier game mechanics of the first two gens (item limit for your bag, anyone?). So when speculation on a remake was rife, I rolled my eyes. I didn't want a remake of those games. I wanted to just forget them and move on. Thus when Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire was announced, I groaned cynically. I saw it as them trying to cash in on what a huge hit X and Y was. I'd get the game but I was the first time ever, completely disinterested in an upcoming game.
All that said - and I can't believe I'm saying this - I think Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is one of the best games in the franchise and it is most definitely the best of the three remakes. The biggest reason for this is that this feels like a true remake. This is not just the same game with a fresh coat of paint and some more gimmicks thrown in, they actually put effort into updating this game properly. While I liked the previous two remakes okay, one area that always bugged me was the story. Instead of expanding on what they had, the games stuck rigidly the original plot lines (even mostly the same dialogue) and made no effort to update it outside of saying "Hey, this previously nameless admin now has a name, isn't that cool?". Those games have no climax, no character developments and the villains are... just sort of there.
Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on the other hand has decided to take the passing elements of the old game and run with them. Team Magma and Team Aqua have more defined goals now. Gone is the weird flip flop between the versions where one is completely good and one is completely bad (the 'good' team in the game is clearly a 'better the devil you know situation.) and their ultimate goals... make way more sense. Team Magma is now trying to expand humanity's reach while Aqua sees humanity as having expanded too far, which awas implied but unclear in the originals. Maxie and Archie now have distinct personalities and arcs, as do the admins. The villains are actual characters now, not just Rocket clones with funny outfits.
But it goes beyond that. The rival character in Ruby and Sapphire no longer vanishes into uselessness mid way into the game and the bond between you is emphasied more. Steven has more presence as a major story character ala Cynthia in Diamond and Pearl and then there's Wally.
Oh my word, thank you for whoever wrote this you made Wally amazing.
Wally has always been a favourite rival of mine, but now he is my favourite (Sorry Silver.) primarily because they fleshed out his arc to make it what it was always supposed to be. Wally in the original games was a sick kid who got better and stronger, but it wasn't focused on. Really his progress into a strong trainer just sort of happened in the original. He just pops up all full of piss and viniger with no explanation. Now we actually see Wally start off as a sickly kid as we did before, but more importantly we're present when he decides to set out on his own journey just like you. We actually see his father reflect on how much he's grown and now when we run into Wally on Victory Road and he declares he wont lose, it's nothing short of epic. It's a moment I will remember from this game and not just because his battle theme is friggin' amazing.
Seriously, look it up.
What really ties this together to make the game really work, is the addition of the Delta Episode. Acting as a sort of 'True Ending' for the game, the Delta Episode ties into both the main plot, and the plot of XY and caps off the story nicely. It fleshes out the mythology of the region and the Mega Stones and ends the game on a serious high note. My only complaint with it is I *wish* Nintendo hadn't announced Deoxys beforehand. I can't imagine how mind blowing a twist Deoxys appearing would've been if I hadn't known he was coming.
Which brings me to the bad I suppose - Nintendo need to stop announcing every little thing before their game comes out.
If you paid any attention to the pre-release info of these games then there's not really any big surprise for you. You've seen all the new Megas, you've seen all the new characters, you've seen how contests and bases work, there is nothing here you weren't expecting. And that's disappointing and I can see why some people may dislike the game because of that (XY had a similar problem) but it didn't ruin the experience for me. Exp. Share is still broken if you use it (which I did because I don't care) and after three gens of games making the HMs less and less vital, going back to them being front and centre again is jarring and unwelcome. They seem to have toned them down from the original games (Flash is just not needed at all) for what it is worth.
Also - and I may get yelled at for this - I agree with IGN's assesment of 'too much water'.
The water routes in this game makes sense context wise - as does the abundence of water Pokemon - but yikes is all the surfing tedious. The encounter rate has dropped and I threw on a repel most of the time, but even then I was still frustrated at times. Variety is the spice of life, and it's something that these games desperately needed with the water routes (and the Pokemon used in the main game, get used to seeing Zigzagoon).
Anything else? The DexNav is amazing (I prefer it to regular walking in grass to finding Pokemon), the graphics are gorgeous, the contests got a depserately needed nerfing (getting Milotic is easy as hell now) and the Secret Bases.... I haven't done much with yet XD I know a lot of people were exicted for them but I wasn't one of them. I'll explore em soon enough anyway XD
Gonna wrap this up so I don't drone on for too long but ultimately, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are a triumph for the Pokemon franchise. They took something I previously hated and made it great. I'm already excited to play through the second game next year (I got Omega Ruby and plan to grab Alpha Sapphire sometime next year) and I heartily recommend it to anyone who likes Pokemon.
- Oct 26, 2014 7:31 AM
So yesterday I was at London MCM, a massive convention in the UK that covers most pop culture interests, with focus on movies, comics, anime and games. This was my first time attending a con that big, first time attending a con in the UK and only second time I'd ever been to a con before (well... technically third but... long story) so I'm excited to record my thoughts and experiences for you to read! Let's dive in!
The plan had been to leave at 6am to get to the con at around 9am but thanks to delays and traffic, me and my two friends arrived at the con at about 11am. We were instantly greeted by the sight of hundreds of people wandering around in copslay. A little game was proposed to see who could recognise the most cosplays, but was instantly thrown out the window when it was generally agreed that I'd win by a land slide (neither of my two friends are into anime at all and that made up the bulk of the cosplays). We made our way to registration and were greeted with a huge line of hundreds of people, which worried us at first. Luckily MCM's organisers have their stuff together and were in after about ten minutes of waiting that was mostly made up of walking.
Once in the con, I split off from the other two to check out Artists Alley. After hunting through the aisles and getting some help, I managed to track down some of my fellow UKers on Inkblazers. I met Naniiebim, who was rocking an awesome Ryuko from Kill la Kill cosplay, as well as Petitecreme and YFStudio at their table. I bought the first books and other bits and pieces from each of them, and after learning that Teahermit would be back at her table later, decided to see if I could find my friends.
After taking about two seconds to realise that was a stupid idea to do without calling them given MCM was basically a sea of people all day, I instead checked out some of the retail stalls. I got myself an advanced copy of Kill la Kill Collection 1 at Anime Limited for a really good price. They also gave my some really straight-forward answers on their upcoming release of some series I was looking forward to. Actually this was true of most of the vendors, they were really helpful and didn't mess you around at all. After deciding I needed to get away from the stalls for a bit, I decided to check out guest signings.
I knew some of the Power Rangers actors were going to be there, so I located them. The line for the Red Ranger was HUGE, while the Yellow and Blue rangers had none at all (Blue Ranger didn't even get a cool sign like the other three :/) but there was a small line for the Black Ranger - not Johnny Young Bosch, Walter Jones - who I was most excited to meet (favourite ranger as a kid) so I got in line. He was a really nice guy who did his best to put me at ease when I spoke with him, as it turns out meeting someone you admired as a child is really nerve-wracking. I managed to babble out the usual compliments I'm sure he gets constantly and got my signature. I realised after I walked away that I had been shaking the entire time (I find social interaction daunting at the best of times).
I met up with my friends again for a bit, before diving back into the sea of bodies to look at more stalls. The Pokemon stall was probably the best in my completely bias opinion. It had a place where you could get a free demo for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire where they were playing the trailers, but what was cool was right next to it there were Gameboy Advanced SPs where you could play the original Ruby and Sapphire. That was awesome. There was also a little area behind that which was basically a tiny Pokemon museum. It had all the cards from the currently running TCG expanions on display, as well as a timeline of the various Pokemon regions with production artwork and promitional artwork on display. It was a small thing but it was also really awesome to see.
I wandered around a bit more before getting some food as I was starting to get a little light-headed (I'd barely eaten and slept so... yeah) before going to see if Teahermit was at her table. She was so I chatted to her and bought a copy of her first book (I promise I'll get the rest XD) and tried to meet up with my firends again. They were planning to go to a presentation that I wasn't interested in, so I gave up on that and went to get some more bits and bobs that was interested in buying (Psycho Pass and Pokemon Adventures vol 18 and 19) before spending the last of the money I had put aside for the day. I wandered around a little more and discovered some of the Red Dwarf actors were there (something that was definitely not advertised on the site when I checked so I was godsmacked.)
I frantically called my friends to tell them (and so we could meet up again) before asking a member of staff if we had to pay just meet the guests. Turned out you didn't, but the prospect of another nerve-wracking meeting with some of my favourite entertainers was a bit too daunting for me (plus I'd feel bad about not buying a signature from them) so I gave it a miss. Met up with friends and left singing the con's praises and excited to come back next year.
MCM was lot of fun. While the crowds were a bit much at times, I never felt as uncomfortable as I usually do in crowds. The level of enthusiasm and creativity on display was mind-blowing. From the artists to the cosplayers, there was so much hard work and love put into everything. It's also worth noting how *nice* everyone was. Aside from some lame (kinda sexist) jokes I heard one or two people making in passing, everyone was actually very pleasant. The organisation was great and overall it was just a great experience. I was asked by a couple of people if I'd consider doing a table next year and um... we'll see?
Either way I'm excited to do another con and I will definitely be at London MCM again next year :D
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MangaMagazine Community Manager
Hello everyone! The name's Rogo and apparently I'm witty and junk? I live in the UK and am a huge fan of anime and manga, and as such this of course means that I have decided to start my own manga - Gravston.
I'm something of a scatterbrain so if I don't reply to a comment right away please don't take offense, I'll get to it eventually I'm sure. I hope that people who check out Gravston enjoy it and keep coming back to more! I'm also open to constructive criticism so if I'm doing something wrong (like spelling mistakes *ahem*) then let me know :)