Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue

So in the usual feast-or-famine way of things, “Mass Effect Andromeda” just came out, and “Mystic Messenger” is coming out with an April Fool’s DLC, and shortly “Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX Fight the Darkness” will be out, and sleep was for the weak anyway.

Before getting started on the behemoth that is the bulk of the whole Kingdom Hearts series, here’s an article I wrote recently for AllEars.Net about the last installment, “Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue” which I was forced to play before all the games in the series before it, because Square Enix released it for the PS4 out of order and they apparently hate me and continuity:

http://land.allears.net/blogs/lauragilbreath/2017/03/kingdom_hearts_hd_28_final_cha.html

As you can imagine, playing the end of an eight-game series before the rest of it resulted in not a little confusion, but we should be in better shape for the rest of it.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to put on some coffee…

 

 

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Once Upon A Time, S6E13: “Ill-Boding Patterns”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.
Spoiler Thoughts:
  • Ah, the Ogre Wars.  Part of the Rumple family album.
  • Man, Carlyle is getting a workout this season.
  • Sbaaaaarge
  • I dunno Hook.  Emma’s not always strong on the forgiveness front.
  • Belle, you are such a dolt.
  • Beowulf was kind of a dick.
  • Neal seems a little older here than when he got sucked into the portal.
  • Too bad Regina doesn’t have Emma’s superpower today.
  • Rumple, your son’s soul might already be missing.
  • How on Earth do you think Rumple is going to defeat Grendel without any magic, Bae?  He doesn’t even have a weapon!
  • Oh Regina.  You never do catch a break, do you.
  • You would think that the easiest thing would have been for Rumple to use his powers one last time, blink the two of them to a different town where no one knows them, and then start life over from that point.
  • You would also think that if Gideon knew that the Black Fairy was occupied and his cage door was unlocked (and he couldn’t save the other kid,) he would have just gotten out and left.
  • Good thing we never contemplated telling Belle that we found Gideon, Rumple.
  • Regina really needs to reincorporate the Evil Queen to get rid of these maudlin tendencies.
  • Well this puts a pretty poor light on all those self-righteous speeches Baelfire used to make, given that he was the one who started Rumple on his dark course to begin with.
  • It’s nice that Gold and his son finally found an activity they could do together (killing fairies.)
  • Rumple does enjoy his memory potions.
  • Ouch.
  • That dagger certainly was turning someone into a monster.
  • Baelfire had like the least resistance to evil of anyone so far.  He lasted all of about 10 minutes.
  • Of course Belle has about the same resistance to evil that Baelfire had.
  • Belle loves Rumple again, because he stepped up and volunteered to kill the fairy he’s wanted to kill for years?  This doesn’t seem like that big of a sacrifice on his part, Belle.
  • Meanwhile, Hook has spent this whole episode drinking at Granny’s.
  • You’d think Granny would cut a guy off after awhile.
  • OMG Emma.
  • Emma, you are the worst!  Why would you do that?
  • I guess when you think of it, Evil!Robin! and the Evil Queen are a pretty good match.

Once Upon A Time, S6E12: “Murder Most Foul”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.
Spoiler Thoughts:
  • I see we’re trying to make Charming’s mom seem less lousy than she seemed before, selling off both sons.
  • Such cute babies.
  • What on Earth is Emma wearing?  It looks like someone’s Grandmother’s muumuu.
  • It’s like her sense of style went away with the Dark One.
  • I still don’t get how we decided that that one fight was the one she saw in her dreams, when it didn’t look anything like it, she didn’t kill or even dissuade the dude, and she wasn’t dressed the same.
  • I feel like that fall would have been more convincing if his head had actually hit the ground.
  • Regina, Mayor of AwkwardTown.
  • Snow’s back!  The award season for “Zootopia” must be over now.
  • Sbaaaarge.
  • Well to be fair, Archie, Hook didn’t say he bought the ring.  Maybe he pillaged it.
  • The Charming family tree tendency to not share information starts at the trunk, I see.
  • Hook, starting to wonder if it’s really a good idea to marry into this family in the first place.
  • Nice Charming.  Always a good move to ask people for help after you’ve insulted them.
  • Zelena, making an appearance so we remember she’s still a regular.
  • Well, who among us has not had to make the people we love promise not to keep running away and trying to kill other people.
  • Ah, this is apparently the “Charming is a jackass and learns a valuable lesson” episode for the season.
  • Oh man, that was a great Rumple moment.
  • Carlyle is awesome.
  • Oh NOW Emma’s superpower suddenly came back.
  • Isn’t Emma going to wonder when Hook didn’t even bother to wait around until she came out of the shed?
  • It does seem a little weird that Good Regina never gave back any of those hearts she took.
  • Wait, there are girls on Pleasure Island?  Wasn’t it part of the deal that there were only boys turning into donkeys?
  • Pinocchio, still a cheap thief even at that age.
  • Wow, that was a pretty ineffective way of protecting the boy, shepherd.
  • Charming, you are only going to screw this up.  You know this, we know this.
  • I guess they weren’t big on autopsies back in the Enchanted Forest.
  • A nice scene with Charming and Hook, after all.
  • Of course, it would have been pretty harsh for Charming to turn him down, given that Hook’s saved his life plenty by now.
  • I guess you’re not going to ask SNOW for her blessing?
  • …What?
  • Oh, this is unfortunate.
  • It’s Bucky Barnes and “Civil War” all over again.

Once Upon A Time, S6E11: “Tougher Than The Rest”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.
Spoiler Thoughts:
  • Man, Henry is not a good tracker.
  • It’s hard to understand how Charming could feel that the appearance of the hooded dude whose coming has been foretold for the last year in Emma’s dreams is all because of his lame wish.
  • Well I guess the Black Fairy raised at least one kid.
  • Ok, I think young RumpleBelleSpawn may be confused as to how heroism works.
  • It’s not like you pass down being a hero by killing and eating the last one.
  • Maybe “Her Handsome Hero” was kind of a crappy book.
  • I like how Rumple doesn’t try to tell him how insane this is, but just starts trying to advise him on the technical difficulty.
  • Oh it’s Pinocchio!
  • Lying, thieving, ratfink Pinocchio!
  • Are you kidding me?!  Regina wrote that whole page-full of note in the five seconds it took Pinocchio to tell Emma about the Enchanted Grove?
  • I guess we know from whom Henry got his writing talent.
  • Regina, how well did you really think this would work?
  • Shouldn’t Robin be married, with a kid at this point?
  • It is amazing to me, how willing Storybrooke people are to just stand there while someone ties a bracelet on them.
  • Tip from me to you:  If someone who hates you starts putting something on your wrist without asking, you should probably shake it off first, and ask questions later.
  • Colin O’Donoghue, come to do his specialty number for the season.
  • Actually, can’t the Jolly Roger travel between worlds?
  • I guess the theme of tonight’s episode is sons and their father-induced angst.
  • Ok, I’m not sure how Robin’s timeline is working here.  How did Marian die before they got married, when Regina was supposed to kill her long after that?
  • Oh, Belle didn’t make it in this world.  So, already an improvement.
  • LOL that Charming thinks the best plan of action is to just never wake Snow up again.
  • For that matter, that means he can’t sleep either, which should do wonders to his already-tenuous state of mind.
  • Belle, walking in and basically asking Hook and Charming to let her son kill Emma.
  • “Can you trust me?”  Well, since you’ve already said that you’re ok with Rumple going off to find your son and help him kill Emma, I’m going to go with “no.”
  • Robin’s all “I’ll believe whatever you want.  We’re going to die in a couple minutes anyway.”
  • Robin, if you can pick any lock, why don’t you open up Regina’s cuff?
  • Look, Pinocchio was creeping on Emma even as a teen.
  • Emma, remember the last time you brought someone back?  And it was Marian, which was a disaster?  And then it turned out to be Zelina which was even more of a disaster?
  • Meanwhile, Pinocchio is all “um, could you guys get out before Rumple or Henry comes and kills me as an accessory?”
  • Good thing the tree Emma came from was a little better crafted, so it didn’t explode out babies.
  • I feel like this isn’t the fight in her vision, unless she all of a sudden takes off her jacket to reveal that she put on a tank top to go out in the cold rain that morning.
  • Hook is all “I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I had very little to do this season.”
  • Glad you kept tabs on Emma while she was out on the streets, Pinocchio.  I guess your interest didn’t actually extend to taking her in off the streets.
  • I still always think Pinocchio got off way too easy, for having actively ruined Emma’s life for the first 28 years.
  • If Belle ends up macking on Rumple at the end of this scene, after everything that has transpired, I don’t know what to say.
  • Rumple’s rationales for all the weird crap he’s tried to do this whole season don’t make any more sense in retrospect.
  • Gideon hates libraries.

Once Upon A Time, S6E10: “Wish You Were Here”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.
Spoiler Thoughts:
  • I see we haven’t learned the whole lesson of having to accept all parts of yourself yet.
  • Not a huge fan of Regina’s new haircut.  She always looks fabulous as the Evil Queen, tho.
  • Hey, good thing Aladdin took the leap and became the genie and Jasmine just sat around and never even made her wish.
  • Lol that the Charmings had a portrait made of Neal.
  • Nice that Team Hero is as good at working together as they ever were.
  • “Ew.”
  • Well, TBF, the Evil Queen probably couldn’t have accomplished half as much without the help of Jasmine.
  • Really Regina?  That’s your wish?  You didn’t want to wish that, say, you had never split off the Evil Queen in the first place?
  • Because I feel like that would have solved a bunch of problems.
  • Also, maybe would have thrown in a 3rd wish, that Aladdin was free, and then the season would have been over?
  • Here’s a thought Regina:  Maybe now is a good time to use those shape-shifting powers.
  • Emma, doing the full-on Briar Rose routine.
  • Nice to know that in any reality, Charming never gets to land a blow on Regina.
  • “I can’t bear to think what she’s doing to Aladdin.”  Way to get your head in the game, Jasmine.
  • Now Hook, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have faith in Charming’s plan.  I’m just saying that never, in the course of history, has any of Charming’s plans worked.
  • Wow, Carlyle’s had to get the makeup on more times in the last couple episodes than in the last couple seasons.
  • Regina, allying with Rumple is maybe not the best way to win Emma’s confidence.
  • “Be evil!  Have fun storming the castle!”
  • I guess I would have just assumed that Blue took Gideon somewhere into a different realm.  How could he be safe anywhere on Earth where Rumple could get at him?
  • Lol at the guards slamming the doors shut, not bothering to notice Regina standing right there.
  • First episode call back!
  • Regina cannot believe Emma is this useless.
  • Maybe this is the episode where we learn our lesson about good and evil both being necessary?
  • What does that even mean, Charming?
  • Wow, it’s amazing that he managed to make a worse wish than Regina.
  • Regina, I feel like this plan was maybe not that well thought out.
  • Savior-killing cloak guy arrives!
  • Goodbye, relatively ineffectual Jasmine and Aladdin.
  • GDI Belle, if you go back to Rumple now…
  • Man, it is hard to think of a bigger flail of an ending than that.

Once Upon A Time, S6E9: “Changelings”

Are you watching this show? Do you wish someone would watch along with you because everyone else you know thinks it’s dumb?  Here is what I was saying while I was watching it–I WILL WATCH WITH YOU.
Spoiler Thoughts:
  • Alright, back to playing catch up with Storybrooke.
  • Actually, did we ever actually see Rumple taking a kid?  He totally failed with Cora.
  • I guess maybe Charming and his bro, but TBF, their Mom wasn’t all that good at staying attached.
  • Oh man, one Asian girl in the whole town, and he poofed her away.
  • Maybe that fairy should, I don’t know, make an attempt to get away?
  • The idea that either Rumple or the Evil Queen would ever trust each other is laughable.
  • Belle.  Constantly in distress.
  • I feel like a magical book that appears and tells you exactly what you’re looking for is mildly suspect.
  • I guess the non-fiction section is in a cave?
  • …And on the other hand, I’m not sure I’d believe any rando that shows up in my dreams and tells me he’s my son, either.
  • Jasmine, you haven’t been in Storybrooke for very long, so let me give you a heads-up:  Snow doesn’t always give the best advice.
  • Zelina, once again finding out what happens when you back the wrong horse.
  • You were already going to kill Hook, Rumple.  I’m not sure threatening him now is likely to be more effective.
  • Rumple, always two steps in front of everyone, throughout time.
  • The only one who could ever really defeat Rumple, is Rumple.
  • Didn’t we play out the crazy love-starved parent story with Zelina already?
  • It seems weird that Regina is so hung up on Zelina’s part in Robin’s death now.  Did I forget or didn’t they become best buds after that?
  • If Jasmine can just free Aladdin with a wish, it doesn’t seem like becoming a genie is such a big commitment.
  • “My magic can’t save him.”  Uhm…why, exactly?
  • Granny got screen time again!
  • Oh, maybe it wasn’t Granny.
  • Glad that Rumple couldn’t have done this Black Fairy deal at all without Belle’s meddling.  She really is the weakest link.
  • There ought to be a lucrative secondary market for squid ink.
  • OH SNAP.
  • Belle gets to find her own way back home.
  • Huh.  I always thought Rumple hated fairies because Blue wouldn’t help him get Neal back.
  • Why doesn’t Belle ask to go with her baby?  At least Snow had a reason.
  • This kind of feels like they needed to get rid of a baby but keep a regular character.
  • “I would never hurt you Belle.”  I kind of feel like you might have, Rumple.
  • Parilla and Carlyle are never better when they’re being opposing evils.
  • Emma, it’s a nice sentiment, but you really didn’t accomplish anything today.

Review: “Dragon Age Adult Coloring Book”

Images from DarkHorse.com
Dragon Age Adult Coloring Book

Illustrations by Pablo Churin, Juan Frigeri, Gabriel Guzman, Fernando Melek, and Facundo Percio.
Publication Date:  February 08, 2017                                             Price:  $14.99

I would have to admit that I have never had a complete understanding of the resurgence of coloring book popularity.  Are people actually coloring in the pictures?  Personally, I have a complex about making any kind of marks in my books, so the idea of taking some sharpies to every other page of a previously nice book sets my teeth on edge.

(The fact that from childhood I’ve had all the art talent of a Rhesus Monkey may also have had something to do with it.)

Fortunately, you don’t actually have to go all Picasso on the recent “Dragon Age Adult Coloring Book” to enjoy it.  The volume of 45 different line drawings is a fun look back down memory lane at characters spanning the length of the entire “Dragon Age” saga.  Each character gets a two-page spread of a color-able drawing and one of their memorable or distinctive quotes.

The pictures are, by and large, incredibly detailed and the poses are pretty characteristic of their subjects:  Mages are casting, warriors are fighting, Oghren is drinking, and Loghain is betraying everybody.  Even some of the lesser antagonists like Branka and the Lady of the Forest make it in, as well as DLC teammates Sebastian and Tallis.  More important characters may make several appearances, like Anders and Morrigan.

If there was one quibble I had with it, it would be that some of the depictions don’t really match with the mental image I have of the characters…but that’s probably just secondary to the difference in the mediums and their different resolutions, particularly  looking at Thedas denizens from 8-year-old DAO.

vs.

Whether you enjoy coloring or just like the idea of perusing it as more of a scrapbook, the “Dragon Age Adult Coloring Book” should help keep you occupied while waiting to see when/if the next in-universe comic/game will come out.