Notes from the Kraken: September 4th 2016

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Live the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.

I mean, come on, that cartridge just looks so cool.

We are at a weird time for video game consoles. XBox and Playstation are taking steps toward being more like computers with their release of what are effectively generation 4.5 systems, with the Xbox One S and Playstation Neo. Nintendo, meanwhile, is still play a degree of catch up with the Nintendo NX, which may involve a system bridging the portable console and home console divide. For a market that has been relatively stable in terms of how things are produced, these are some big changes. Still, one thing that hadn’t been changing is the use of optical discs of some kind in the non-portable consoles. To be fair, at this point Playstation and XBox both use the discs as basically physical placeholders, as most of the real game has to be downloaded and installed when you first put it in, but the discs are still here. For years this reliance on physical media has been a real problem, because discs are actually too inefficient to keep up with modern games. More importantly, they just don’t look all that cool compared to the cartridges that were the industry standard 20 years ago. So that is why it is fascinating that the Nintendo NX is going retro, and returning to cartridges. Sure, these will be more like 3DS cartridges than those used by the N64 or Super Nintendo, but it’s weird and even kind of great to see a company being willing to move forward and look backward at the same time. It is still unclear how successful the Nintendo NX will be, because Nintendo may never be able to solve the problems it has getting third party support and balancing the casual versus hardcore gamer divide, but it is nice to see that the Nintendo NX is willing to do things differently. This cartridge idea could be a really cool way to both milk nostalgia, and justify physical media in a gaming world that is continuing to go digital. Hopefully, this is just one of the many signs that Nintendo is going to continue to think outside the box as it tries to return to its place on top of the gaming world, especially if it really does finally figure out a way to properly make a two-in-one system that can be at least somewhat portable as well as a decent home console. That alone is probably one of the last frontiers game systems can explore that doesn’t involve some kind of VR or AR. One thing is clear–console gaming is changing, and it’s anybody’s guess what the future holds.

From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.

Monday: Nothing new today, as the Kraken is taking a break to surf some tsunami waves. You don’t want to know how many he hangs, but it’s a lot more than ten.

Tuesday: The Screening Room returns with a nuanced take on the recent oddball thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Wednesday: Don’t blink. If you blink the content will– you blinked didn’t you? Yeah, the content’s gone. Come back another day.

Thursday: Not this day, the content is still hiding somewhere, and the Kraken is going to have to scare it out.

Friday: Today <redacted> content <redacted> ritual for <redacted>.

Saturday: Baturdays continues with the third story in Batman #5, “The Case of the Honest Crook.” Honest or not, this crook’s getting punched.

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.

David: So I am going to go with a bit of anime flavoring, as it has been some time. Keskel has mentioned this in his review of last anime season, but one show that has continued into this season and been able to shine among what is otherwise been quite a weak offering is ReZero:. This show took a tired concept of a person from the real world being transported to a fantasy/game world, and revitalized it through the use of a main character that actually deals with things like a real person, and side characters that have proper motivations. The dark concept of a character that dies and comes back to life to try to mess things up less the next time is played quite well, as his fearful and confused reaction to what is happening to him makes sense for a non-military character. This show’s plotting is weird, as it definitely spends a chunk of its first 13 episodes dealing with the main character becoming a butler, but at the same time it has been able to slowly build up a compelling story that makes it well worth watching.

That’s it for this week. It’s dance week, so remember, there is no walking or running, only boogieing. All who fail to dance will face the Kraken’s wrath, so for the love of God, dance, dance, dance!