Made in China Shenanigans

These moments are what this blog is all about.

Every once in a while the planets align, a blue moon rises, gas goes on sale for no reason, and you win that one giveaway you were sure to not win.

And that’s when the purest of shenanigans grace the world.

Chengdu, China! A typical ceremony, one that was sure to be yet another humdrum of a time for the Municipal Bureau of Planning and Natural Resources. Don’t know what that is? Take watching grass grow, add some paint drying segments, followed by an intimate match of old people playing Dark Souls, and that’s almost the excitement level of that branch of government.

So lucky them, to receive this honorary moment! Surely, they are being smiled upon. They probably needed it! The ceremony is so boring I can’t find any information on it. Not that many people are going to report on this kind of news anyway; I’m limited.

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I Made a Sea Shanty

A long while back, during the novel’s development, I thought my pirate should have some songs to sing. I got to work, struggling through the amateur challenges of song writing, and a piece of slop came out. I put it up on other sites, but for some reason never thought about letting this blog and its followers experience the process of my terrible writing skill.

Well, here goes.

Verse 1:
A pirate, so stout,
Big as five barrels of ale.
Stole the pants off from folk,
So he covered his tail!

He never could find, 
a pant that would fit.
but he never stopped taking,
no he never could quit.

Chorus:
The pants thief they called him,
The pants thief they cried!
The pants thief will take 
All your trousers and pride!

Verse 2:
He stole from the men
He stole from the lass.
He stole from the king
But he had too much mass.

Bridge:
It was a quest for the pants he could wear
It was a journey he had to take bare!

And at last he came, *pause*
‘cross a giant the same, *pause*
size as his waist *pause*

And he almost acquired
The massive attire
but he fell to a sharp blade
And cooked o’er a fire

Chorus:
The pants thief they called him,
No pants ne’er he wore!
Smelled delicious and sav’ry 
as a great roasted boar.

Whaling Shenanigans

“Primo Shenanigan, why are you posting a picture of a beached whale?”

…you might be asking. If you’re not caught up on bizarre, wacky news, this was widely reported a couple days ago. But I’m here to let you in on the things you’re missing.

Brazil, that one country that appeared in the Mr. Magoo movie, found a beached whale. Scientists are dumbfounded. Why would they be, though?

Well maybe it’s because the whale showed up 50 feet away from shore? Also, it’s a humpback whale, which are rarely, rarely, RARELY seen so far north.

It’s also dead, but they concluded that it died at sea. So it didn’t suffer so harshly when thrown out of the water. The poor thing was young; measured between 26-36 feet. The saddest thing is a bulldozer can’t get into the swamp surrounding the corpse to take it out.

But how did it get there? Did the tides truly get so great as to throw a hefty baby whale so far from shore?

Or…

Teleportation?

Fire Fighting Shenanigans

(Feb 27) The shenanigans are highly afoot this week. Before I get into trouble, here’s the original article I found for my post today:

https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2019/02/27/Firefighters-run-hose-through-illegally-parked-vehicle/5861551277683/

Okay, my turn! I just finished looking at Florida, and now from the East coast to the West coast, we see another moment of pure Chronic Shenanigan Sickness. This car becomes the walking billboard for illegal parking consequences. The person owning the car will look to be facing fees and citations.

Sucks to be that person! I can only imagine how this could be: You’re coming over to a friends house for an important visit… Or you live there, and some newcomer comes into town for your neighbor, and you think, “what could be the harm for one night?’

On the other hand, can you imagine being a new firefighter on that day?
Chief: “Get this hose to the fire hydrant!”
You: “Sir, there’s a car in front of it!”
*Chief looks at car* “Smash the windows.”
You: “You want me to what!?”
Chief: We don’t have time to discuss this; he’s parking illegal, we need water, smash ’em up!”
You: “Yessir, you’re the boss!”

This is the second post in a row I’ve just noticed where a car was a major part of the news. Both results ended in getting into them. Wow, the world is so small. And yet… the shenanigans brings us all together.

Prison Shenanigans

Let’s go ahead and say it: it pays to know how to break into a car. Does this raise questions for you? Does it make you think? It does for me. I wonder if those guys should get a reduced sentence for an act of heroism.

I would think that if I was that guy. I became a convicted criminal because of drug sales or robbery, but I still have it within me to save a little baby.

Sure, he was put up to it, but whether he was reluctant, or done with ulterior motives, he still did it. An act of charity has been performed, and the actor is a person. The sum of the person is one of making bad choices and good. Let’s hope Florida pays for good choices as well as bad.

The Future of Shenanigans

Hello, your primo shenanigan is back. This week is going to be a short one, because I’m trying to make two posts instead of one. This first one is just me tearing back the facade, and sitting down on the stage so I can, “get real for a sec”.

This blog has been my creative outlet for some time now. If anyone is paying attention, I wrote on some funny stories from real life, in hopes to distract you from the mundane, and remind you that craziness is happening everywhere, and it’s not all a bad place to be, but then I was getting dry with them, because life transitioned for me. I then wanted to try my hand at video game reviewing, looking at certain parts, like post game content, that isn’t really touched on from YouTube gamers, or other bloggers. And then another transition cam when I wanted to try something new and post indie developers who were looking to make a name for themselves, and hoping I would make that blog that covered the game before it became a hit. And lemme just say, I covered Omno before Jacksepticeye played it on his channel, but no one noticed, but that’s okay that dude has earned his name, and his spot in the public by working hard.

I’m still trying to find my voice. The rest of you blog men and women out there probably are already there and have other problems to deal with like deadlines, sponsors, collaborations, ads, site maintenance, coding, etc. We all are working through our careers, at different levels, and this is where I’m at.

I want to be a writer as a career. Writing is my deepest joy. I don’t feel as effective a communicator than when I put my thoughts down into letters. Writing about my findings in the deepest depths of the imagination is one of my passions. In fact I think that’s why I focus on games, and funny life stories because I want to find examples of others diving in deep and coming up with the fascinating oddities of the mind.

So as you can imagine, there’s a dual-bladed sword in my fight to develop my name in writing. And I feel I’m not there yet. I feel like my voice, my message, and my direction are scattered, or that it’s so big I haven’t found the edges which I’m struggling to reach.

I also don’t get a lot of feedback. And I don’t ask for it, I hate being one of those people that begs. I find it as a desperate attempt for attention and validation, which I don’t need. I want to serve, to entertain, to reach, to inspire, to make profound statements, and be funny to others.

So bear with me as I keep going forward. It’s gonna get weird, but that’s what you can describe a cocoon as a worm turns into a butterfly. I’m in the cocoon stage, but it will pass.

If you’ve made it this far down the blog, wow. Thanks. Really I appreciate it. Leave a comment if you have any advice, or opinions to make me better. I would welcome it.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Review (Spoilers)

It’s been a week, so let’s get the real reviews rolling.

What a way to start out one year closer to the end of the world. After a certain number of years that I don’t have to say because everyone knows, Kingdom Hearts 3 is real, in physical form, and released worldwide for all to see with bated breath. With 10,080 minutes passing, those sighs have nearly released for the majority of reviewers, game players, and those interested in the Square Enix/Disney phenomenon. It certainly has for this particular writer. Thus, it is now time to give my personal thoughts to the infamous third. It will be detailed, lengthy, and full of emotions and opinions on everything, and if you didn’t catch the title, I’ll give one more warning: spoilers are coming ahead. Which may be useful to you, who are just looking for a quick way to know about the game without playing it. That way you don’t have to wait for your favorite YouTube artist, or sibling, or significant other, and you can be in the nerdy loop for the next month on breaks as words like, “disney”, “final fantasy”, “keyblade”, and expletives are thrown together.

The Keyblade War

We’ll cut to the chase: We were taken through an anime experience as, one by one, we fought a couple hordes of heartless, and three- count them three- Organization members at a time. Most of them final bosses of the past, Xemnas, Ansem, Marluxia, to name a few. At first, seeing the fights in the distance to decide which increased the feeling of intimidation. But, once the actual battles begin, small hp bars, and near practical inaction made me feel oddly superior. It was a little underwhelming not fighting Organization members and a mass influx of Heartless or Nobodies at the same time, and even further less with all of them having close to no health. I think I was around level 40 too.

The cut-scenes during the conflict between good and evil were all worthwhile however. Friends were reunited for the first time in years, some who had thought they would never see them again, and one they forgot. I’m talking about Xion. Strangely enough, I was surprised to see Terra restored, but happy all the same. In fact I would say the story from the end of the Disney worlds to the final boss became what everyone wanted. If only the fights were a little longer. Perhaps it was only me, but Kingdom Hearts fights conditioned me to expect several phases per one fight. But with characters like Vanitas, Anti-Aqua, Terra-nort, and Saix, they had only one mode. Especially Saix! That dude moon raged the whole time, which was exciting, until it was over in a minute. My wife got the mistaken idea that I was actually good!

And now the final battles. Xemnas, Ansem, and young Xehanort was beautiful- but still short! I would have been happy had the health on those guys were just longer. I didn’t prepare any items, and I still prevailed.

That is until Xehanort…

GREAT HIGH CAEDUM!

This was the challenge and fight I was looking for! Different stages, attacks so impossibly difficult to ignore or avoid. Guarding became a mandatory skill. And soon the armor came off, and the x-blade came out. Once it did, each phase was a new challenge that introduced me to the game over screen over and over again. Items were mandatory, as well as strategy, and the culmination of everything I’ve learned. Finally, when the time came to end this convoluted trilogy, I did not feel disappointed as friendship overcame an iron-handed lonely old man. But the best part to me, was Xehanort was won back to friendship by his old comrade, Eraqus, and wasn’t slaughtered. I loved it, Tetsuya Nomura reminds this barbaric American that no matter how evil you are, you’re never too far away from friendship. The only things that deserves the bit end of a keyblade- stock heartless and Nobodies apparently.

But oh man, that ending, epilogue, and secret video. What an emotional mess. Sora goes after Kairi, and apparently restores her at the cost of his life. But since no one dies, the bittersweet emotions simply clogged my throat until I saw him waking up in a modern city, looking up at a Ten Four building.

Shibuya?

And why was Riku there? And red eye Riku? Is this just another final game sequence that all secret endings are famous for teasing?

And that wasn’t even the hardest kicker. That trophy belongs to Luxu being Xigbar bringing the Old Masters back to present time- minus Ava- and showcasing the all-seeing eye Keyblade with the black box, Pete and Maleficent looked the entire game for. That was a magnificent move to keep the story of Kingdom Hearts going, transition into the next arc, and keep the series alive. But, this brings some questions, like, are the old masters going to meet these new masters? Will the girl Lea and Saix mentioned be revealed and integral to the next story? If Sora was found in Shibuya, is he part of the Reaper Game, and will we see more of a transition to more Square Enix worlds and less Disney worlds? Does that mean more Final Fantasy characters returning or appearing? Will Kairi receive more character? Will we play more than three keyblade wielders?

These questions we hopefully will receive and answer for in the coming years.

Disney Worlds

Corona, Arandelle, Toy Box, San Fransokyo, The Caribbean, Mount Olympus, and Monstropolis (without looking them up), became the exploration of choice for this installment. And they were good. Very good. Huge worlds, the size they should have always been, absolute gorgeous scenery and graphics, characters ripped from their movies, and stories that both compliment the world and create a new relationship between the dwellers and the outsiders. The cohesion between the overall plot, and the smaller narrative per world was the tightest the series has ever seen.

A lot of articles previewing the game all agreed Arandelle was a graphic bore and the level was uninteresting. But I have to ask them if they played it after the storytelling? And before I answer that, Did they not know what they were getting into? It’s the Frozen movie! And I didn’t hear them complaining at the time of it’s release. It’s also not as dreary-looking as Skyrim, that game was heavily uninspiring to walk through. But the post level content is where it’s at. The Flan task, and the sledding provide some wonderful gaming challenges. Sledding was a full mission of its own degree. Ten treasures were hidden within the course to find, and finding them all was essential in crafting the Ultima Weapon. Arandelle was just as filling and satisfying as any other. The Caribbean was a nice slice of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, with a touch of the classic KH formula.

All of the worlds were worthy of note, and besides Corona, Caribbean, and Mount Olympus, and Arandelle hving movie related plots, the others were delightfully original. San Fransokyo in example brought the original Baymax back to the world.

But my personal favorite was the Toy Box. And get ready to grab your raincoats, the tear storm is about to rage. Woody and Buzz were personal toys from my childhood. At the first mention of the world I was underwhelmed, however. I was too focused on the worlds all being too Pixar to care. And my worst fears came to life, all the worlds were Pixar movies, essentially. But then I actually entered the level, and Woody and Buzz were alive to me again. At two in the morning, exhaustion and childlike wonder filled my eyes with joy. The level was an absolute joy. Buzz succumbing to darkness, but Woody laying down the light against Young Xehanort, reminding him of the sad loveless childhood brought the Square/Disney collaboration to its highest peak. I hadn’t been fully sucked into a world since the Cerberus fight of the first Kingdom Hearts. It reminded me of why this series works, and why I love it above all other games.

Gameplay

The way you fight and explore in the game of Kingdom Hearts is another reason why I play it, and call it my favorite game. Action RPG is at its finest in KH3, and here’s why. You are unreasonably magical, over the top, and awesome. I watch anime for the fight scenes and the imagination of creators made from color and lines. Kingdom Hearts captures the feeling of anime fights in game form, without overly complicated button combinations. It’s so simple a child can play, but that’s why I like it. The child can play on Easy, and I can play on Proud and be challenged. Flowmotion, Attractions, Magic, Links, combat, and a full cast of arty members have never been tighter. I like that Flowmotion commands were broken up over the game, and introduced as additional abilities, so you’re not overtaken by so many abilities at the start.

The Gummi ship experience toned down from KH2, but enhanced over KH1, and it’s perfectly balanced. The open space challenge and exploration are what the game should have been since the beginning. Secret bosses, constellations, leveling up, finding ship fragments, grabbing both gummi and synthesis items in space are surprising and welcome. Also avoiding fights couldn’t have been more pleasing. I didn’t bother with the gummi section of the game until I went for the ultimate keyblade and the upgrades, and I didn’t have to do anything except use skill to get passed those necessary fights.

Speaking of gummi; the gummiphone… was pretty cool. It was like being introduced to the Sheikah Slate. Except the selfie mode was more fun. Just being honest. Also having the reports, and journal on it made sense. Using the camera to find lucky emblems was fun, really fun. I’m all about collectibles and hidden objects and their inclusion I welcomed with open arms.

I mentioned the ultimate weapon a couple of times, and I had a good time fulfilling the requirements, unlike KH1.5. In general, the synthesis section of the series has always been bogged with excess. 2.5 was enjoyable but there were too many items, and the level up system felt ridiculous in the later difficulty. But in 3, it was shortened and sweetened to a manageable level.

And the mini-games (except those terrible Pooh games) keep me coming back to play them. They weren’t chores. But at the same time they weren’t substitutes for the missing Colosseum. I missed it very much…

Final Thoughts

We finally have a Sora with character. KH2 was a bit brutal, and DDD gave me the impression he was shouting and one sided the whole time. But the moping, and the nagging, the bull-headed, brazen actions, and the relationship between Donald and Goofy hit higher points this time around.

I give Kingdom Hearts 3 a 9/10. Kairi needed much more character, the final level needed more length in the fights, and maybe should have had one or two additional Disney levels.

P.S. I played the game on Proud Mode.