How to Train Your Dragon 2

Woo, went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2, it was great. In general, I tend to like kids movies. They can easily provide comedy and drama in the same film, are fun overall with lots of wild spectacle. How to Train Your Dragon 2 does not disappoint. The visuals are greater than ever with lots of new places.

One thing I liked was how all of the characters have been redesigned to look older. Five years have passed since the first movie. Hiccup is now a young man of 20, and the kids all look older while still being easily recognizable. Even the main adults have a more aged look. I think Gobber has less hair. Stoick definitely has lost some color to his beard. It’s not much, but it does add to the time that passed.

I think the dragons even look slightly different, or bigger. They are more expressive in general, too, especially Toothless and another dragon from the sanctuary, who I can’t remember the name of.

Visually, this movie boasts some of the most stunning areas I’ve seen from large ice oceans with some kind of dragon swimming under the waves to an entire dragon sanctuary. The dragon nest in the first movie gave an ominous dreadful feeling. The dragon sanctuary in this movie provides grandeur and wonder.

This time around, Hiccup is dealing with his father wanting him to be the new village chief and his long-lost mother. Come on, his mother was all over the trailers. Not a spoiler. Unless you’re one of those people that don’t watch trailers. Woopsy.

There are some wonderful scenes between Hiccups family that captures the awkwardness and love they have for each other.

This time, the bad guy is a human who can also control dragons. His reason for doing things is pretty much because he wants to. He is dark, menacing and taken as a serious threat. His full backstory is never revealed, but it was alluded to. I think it sort of fits his character to not learn everything about him because he wouldn’t even care about it.

Now, this movie has some of the best dragon combat I’ve seen. From the many different species each with different skills, they produce some great action. I can not think of a movie better for filling a need for dragon action.

So, this movie has great spectacle, catching up with the main characters 5 years later, some touching family talk, and a beast of a main villain. It all comes together in an emotional third act which I won’t talk too much about. Suffice it to say, dragons make it awesome.

Mell Melange

What is this? Well, as I’m out of stuff to write for the moment, and there was recently a humble bundle for RPGMaker VXAce, it brought back memories of an RPGMaker game I made a while back. Oh, by the by, I did purchase RPGMVXA and am chugging away at making a sequel to Mell Melange. I might give updates here and there.

Oh, and don’t worry, I’m still working on Feast of the End. The second book is in the final stages and I’ve started on the third one already!

I will be honest and say that the game has some bad design decisions that were made due to my inexperience and lack of planning with making games. I did finish the entire thing, though, and I’m happy about it. I did not set out to create an epic 40 hour + thing. I had 8 bosses, and puzzles to reach those bosses. That was mostly it. Some story scenes were thrown in the middle to tie it all together.

The game stars Platine, a bounty hunter looking to take down 8 Black Level bounties. She’s upbeat and gung-ho about just beating people down to solve problems. It isn’t a serious game by any stretch of the word. All I wanted was a clear goal.

This really helped my complete the game, actually. Being a one-man team, I kept things simple and straighforward. I had been meaning to go back and polish up looks a bit, but that never happened. There’s really just so much to consider when making an adventure game from locations to interesting enemies. I sort of just got sidetracked and never went back.

What would I change about Mell Melange? For one, I would definitely take out random encounters and levelling. Levels weren’t that important at all and random encounters just made the puzzles tedious.

Still, if you want to try an RPGMaker adventure game. Give it a whirl. I won’t say it will amaze you, but I hope it will amuse you. Go help Platine take out the 8 most notorious criminals in Okra County. Download below. All needed files should be included.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Woo, finally went to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. I have heard good things about it, and it did not dissappoint. The gist, future Wolverine goes back from a bad future to try and change it by changing one key moment in the past.

The film picks up about ten years after First Class. Pretty much an entire movie’s worth of events had passed by. Magneto’s locked up, Charles can walk and is depressed, Mystique is doing her own thing, pretty much everyone that doesn’t show up is dead. That alone would have made for an intersting film. However  the prospect of having both future and past versions of Charles and Magneto in the same film is much more enticing.

One of the funnest parts of the movie is definitely Quicksilver, or Peter, as he’s called. He doesn’t show up much (probably due to single handedly being able to solve the plot), but he does get an awesome display of his powers. The world was shown from his point of view. Faster than sound bullets are barely moving when he gets going. And he’s also no all angry and upset at everything, which brings a break from a rather somber movie.

While the future and past don’t interact much at all, the film does bounce back and forth between both of them. The climax essentially takes place in two different times at once. The future provides the cool special effects and powers. The past brings forward the feelings and emotional culmination of the story.

This movie is definitely fun to watch and having future Wolverine interact with the past is great. He actually does not steal the spotlight this time. This movie is firmly about Charles, Magneto and Mystique. They drive most of the conflict, Magneto for being an asshole, of course, and Mystique for being determined to kill the man that invented the sentinels.

Charles got a great deal of growth. Only X-Men would have an awesome moment of a guy going to sit down in a wheelchair.

This film actually ends in an pretty happy way, which I think most of the characters’ deserved, Wolverine especially. Wolverine nearly broke past Charles just from having his mind read. His healing ability includes healing mental trauma, right? Becuase otherwise he has a really hardy mind.

One thing I think they could have expanded on was Charles and Magneto meeting Wolverine after the end of the Wolverine movie. We know Charles got a new body at the end of Last Stand, but his new body looks and works exactly like his old one? Comic readers would probably know what’s up, but it would have been nice to include in the movie, too.

This is a definite watch for those that like the X-Men franchise of films. It ties most of the events together between the future and past, though some things are harder to reconcile, of course. But the brief flashes of other movies make everything roll into one.

I’ve heard the next movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, will be played by the younger version of the X-Men, not the older ones. All I have to say is why? Why tease us a good future where people didn’t die horribly and then not use the future characters? It would have been so rad to see them all again.