The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 117 – SDCC 2018 Trailer Fest

Welcome back to The Weekly Rapture, our fortnightly pop culture news and reviews podcast!

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Big News

This week we chat about Disney firing James Gunn and Dan Harmon quitting Twitter, the potential Buffy reboot, the 2 new Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition settings, World of Warcraft’s new subscription model, the Joker movie and No Man’s Sky Next.

Screentime – SDCC 2018 Highlights

This week we go through our highlights of what was shown off at San Diego Comic Con 2018 last weekend. We talk about these trailers: ShazamGodzilla: King of the MonstersFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of GrindelwaldDoctor Who Series 11The Steven Universe MovieThe Dragon Prince, Deadpool 2 Extended Cut, Alita: Battle AngelIron Fist Season 2TitansThe Walking Dead Season 9NightflyersAquamanGlassDeadly ClassStar Trek Discovery Season 2Young Justice: OutsidersDisenchanted, and the return of Clone Wars.

Now Playing – Reading/Watching/Playing

Adam The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders/GLOW on Netflix/Mass Effect Andromeda on PS4
Ian – Provenance by Ann Leckie/Steven Universe on Netflix/Octopath Traveler on Nintendo Switch

Check out any of those through those Amazon links and we get a kick back! Or you can go through here.

You can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at thelostlighthouse@live.co.uk or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.Fancy supporting our site? Head on over to our Paypal donation page! It’s completely optional, set your own price! Even £1 helps us with hosting costs and we’d really appreciate it! Cheers!

Time to Stop LFG

My name is Adam and I have a problem. I have a terrible addiction to MMORPGs.

I’ve been desperately trying to avoid this for years. I’ve reached the point where I just can’t even check new MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games for those who get off on having acronyms expanded for you) out, because before long I am spending all my waking hours (and a lot of the ones I’m supposed to be asleep for) pointlessly completing repetitive tasks and grinding for slight increases in armour and stats so that maybe, just maybe, I won’t die in one hit from some ridiculous multi-party boss.

I never actually tried out World of Warcraft, an omission that is probably the only reason why I haven’t totally fallen apart at the seams and become dangerously unhealthy like the kids in the ‘Make Love Not Warcraft’ episode of South Park. I know people who can’t play video games at all now because of how crippling their addiction to that game was, and have seen the childlike glee they have during a games night that confirmed that they can never go back, for fear of their work and personal life crumbling around them as they behead orcs, cackling like a serial killer.

FFXI

No, my first fall was Final Fantasy XI. I have always been a big fan of the Final Fantasy series, so getting heavily into an online world populated by the mainstays of those games was easy. Even easier was that a decent group of my school friends started at the same time, almost making up a full party of character roles. I was the tank, a Warrior/Ninja ‘HannibalKing’ with dual axes and shadow clones. I’m not really sure why I chose that, because being a tank is boring as hell. During the weekends and holidays we would often LAN party it up, all set up with numerous TVs, consoles and PCs, all while endlessly watching Futurama episodes and eating Doritos. It was a simpler time. What made this possible was that we were still in school, with part time jobs that didn’t take up too much of our time, and had free evenings and weekends and zero responsibility. We were also young, and our bodies could tolerate all-nighter video game sessions without feeling like we wanted to expire the next day.

Eventually it largely became myself and one other friend still playing it heavily. He actually ended up getting further into the game, trying out a lot more of the end game content. I never reached the level cap at the time, I think it was 70 and I was still in the early 60s. When I finally gave up it was taking me all night to find a party to play with, and in the rare occasions I did it would then take about an hour to get to the rest of the group, across areas where anything could kill me in one hit, followed by an entire late night of stressful and focused gameplay where maybe, just maybe I would level up once. And that is if no one left the party, leaving us to search for a replacement for at least another hour. Anyway, eventually I quit. Looking back and trying to remember my stats at the end, I want to think that my in-game time had just passed 31 days of playing, but I fear it was actually closing in on 60 days. 2 months. And a lot of that was waiting for a party. I won’t get that time back.

DCUO

The second MMO I fell very badly into was the action RPG DC Universe Online. Being a DC comics fan, this was essentially a perfect trap created just for me. There was a gorgeous Blur trailer, and two of my flatmates during my first stint of living in London tempted me in. Shockingly, I made a terrible Batman clone with a hood and a massive rifle, and played as a damage dealer (all the fun of damage, none of the responsibility of actually doing anyway helpful!). Getting quests from the various DC heroes in the Justice League Watchtower was fantastic, and joining a League with my flatmates meant we could play together in the end game content with other high level players. The level cap was 30, which you could get to through single player missions in a about week (*cough* a day). The end game content with raids was where the game opened out, and you could gradually, achingly slowly, improve your skills and armour by grabbing Marks to buy them. I was pretty fortunate to be in a good League, but it did mean committing yourself days in advance to a raid at a later night that week, and when you get invited out to the pub replying with “Sorry, I’m taking on Brainiac’s Avatar of Magic on Themyscira with my League tonight” is likely to confuse people.

DCUO

I have no idea how much time I sunk into DCUO in the end. It was a lot. It became a massive time sink for me, signing in every single day to complete the same bounties or daily missions to finish sets of armour that didn’t even boost my stats, but would get me a few feat points that would mean I could increase my strength by one point or something equally undeserving of the hours I put in. But eventually, as with FFXI, I quit. And with both games it wasn’t a gradual loss of interest, and there wasn’t even a single trigger event that pissed me off. I just had an epiphany, a moment of clarity, and lost interest entirely.

I play a lot of video games, and I over-complete almost all of them. But actually completing a game, and finishing off its story (regardless of whether it has a good ending) is for me an essential part of a game, and that is why I do eventually, inexorably drop out of an MMO even if I am good at it. I realise there is no end to the game, no final battle and no conclusion. The only definitive end to one of these online games for me is to stop playing them, and unless it is a total cut off then I still feel like I’m wasting time in it without actually fully appreciating the scope of the game. On both occasions by this point there were at least ten new games that I really wanted to play, but fully committing to an MMO already meant that I was failing whatever level of education I was currently engaged in, or later neglecting my friends and slowly killing myself through sleep deprivation. So I quit, and despite the draws of trying out Final Fantasy XIV (after I heard good things following A Realm Reborn) or all the talk of the Elder Scrolls MMO, I drew a line under MMOs in all their forms. I’d never have time for them and I’d never finish them, so I would be far better served by keeping the time free for games with an actual ending.  I was done.

Like anyone who has gotten so ruinously drunk that they have debased themselves, alienated their friends and are now suffering through the worst hangover ever, insisting that they will never, ever drink again, every time I leave an MMO I say I’m done. And just like every time I drink again after the previous aborted attempt to replace my blood with whisky, I somehow fell into another online game just by ‘checking it out’.

This time it was Destiny, and I was hoodwinked in by the game not on the face of it being an MMORPG. Except that it is. It’s a 1st person shooter, but upgrading your weapons and armour, collecting materials and carrying out bounties are all RPG stalwarts. Despite its many flaws, like being largely bereft of story or the server issues (being booted out of a mission I was playing on my own and having to restart the whole thing is ridiculous, and giving the error a whimsical name like ‘bee’ or ‘weasel’ only makes me more irritated) the gameplay is a lot of fun, and it is a stunning looking game.

Destiny_20150114192857

I realised the other day that I had let it happen again. I found myself logging in to Destiny just to complete daily bounties, both PvP and PvE, for no discernible reason. Any armour upgrades and weapons I’m now likely to get can only be found by chance or in raids that I don’t trust my internet connection to get me through. I’m fully locked in to another MMO, but without anyone I know to play with, incredibly annoying connection issues, a story I wish was more fleshed out and without being part of a clan (also the lack of easy communication and matchmaking for some of the harder stuff too) means that I’m less connected to it than I usually would be. I care less, but I am still committing the same painful amount of time into it. Just one more Crucible game, maybe I’ll get that 5th Portmortem medal to complete my daily bounty, and get slightly closer to being able to get that weapon I don’t need and won’t use! Oh its 1 am.

Destiny_20150205202403

I think I’m done with Destiny too. If anything writing this has been a catharsis and has released me from the need to play it. I don’t at all judge people that do play and enjoy online games, either MMORPGs or the multitude of 1st person shooters, that’s very important to point out.  If that’s your bag, and you can engage with these games without it overcoming your life (or it does and you’re fine with that), more power to you. I just can’t do it. I don’t have the time to spare, because the amount of time I automatically commit to these games is so heavy that I never get anything else done. All or nothing, and I have to choose nothing. I’m done with MMOs once and for all.

 

Oooh wait, isn’t Firefly Online coming out soon?

Never mind.

The Great Video Game to Film Transition Curse

Nath ponders why video game to film adaptations are so awful.

As many of you know, most if not all video game to film transitions basically suck. They’re awful and I could’ve used the time I had to do something more meaningful like have a glass of scotch, see how quickly paint dries or catch up on sleep, something a lot more interesting. But it dawned on me, why hasn’t anyone made a good video game film yet?

I understand it is very difficult to condense hours and hours of gameplay and storyline into a 90 minute to 2 hour film, but still at least put some effort into it. I have tried my best to watch some video game films but some are truly awful. If you think there are some that are worth a mention then by all means let me know because I am struggling. Also Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Final Fantasy: Advent Children don’t count because they aren’t based on video games. They are in the same universe yes, but they are not based on a game. Here are a few that get a mention of being terrible

Doom

It pains me to this on the list a I’m such a Doom fan boy and that it has Karl Urban (Bones in Star Trek and Judge Dredd in Dredd) and the Rock (the Rock Bottom and the People’s Elbow) in it, but they got the entire plot wrong. Doom is based on monsters escaping from hell and causing havoc, mayhem and carnage. This version of Doom is some sort of werewolf thing where as soon as you get struck by the monster, you turn into it. There is one saving grace which is where you see the film in first person mode, I admit I enjoyed that, but the rest of it is awful.

Doom

 

Tekken

I remember a conversation with Adam when I said I would give this film a go and he said straight up “No, it will be terrible.” And he was wrong, so very very wrong. It is absolutely atrocious. The storyline was completely wrong and the characters were terrible too. the portrayal of Kazuya was awful and Kazuya is a great character. Also the Iron Fist tournament was changed. Why would you do that, that was the basis for Tekken. Idiots.

Tekken

 

Resident Evil

I will probably get some stick for this, but I’m not a huge fan of the Resident Evil movies. They are nothing like the games. Although the plot is solid and it does keep some of the basic gameplay and storyline, I don’t like the twist they have taken. Also the sequels were pretty terrible too and Nemesis was terrible. Nemesis is supposed to cause absolute carnage and he doesn’t. Again, why change that?

RE5

 

Max Payne

To begin with I thought this would be epic, Mark Wahlberg was the best choice as he’s always angry, the storyline was pretty basic but could be easily transitioned. Good action scenes and great cast throughout. So what ruined it? Well they didn’t stick to the storyline and why did they bring the demon stuff into it. Last time I played Max Payne there was nothing to do with demons. Unless I am completely wrong. Can someone inform me otherwise?

MPKS-001

However, could there hope on the horizon? Let’s face it, comic book movies started off quite badly as well. There was Batman and Robin (George Clooney’s nipple suit) there was Superman Returns (Brandon Routh, oh dear) and the Fantastic 4 (need I say more) however we then got Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. The comic book movies exploded because everyone saw the potential, so is it the same for video game movies? There are a few future releases to keep an eye out for.

Warcraft

A game based on World of Warcraft. Could be a riot, there’s some stars in it already, Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark) is in it, could be a good one but I’m not holding my breath.

Metal Gear Solid

This is a dangerous one because the game has a very intense storyline, albeit a fantastic one. To be honest the 4th one is like a film anyway. Still not a lot of details about this, but apparently Hideo Kojima will be involved which is some good news at least.

Shadow of the Colossus

Now this would be interesting. A truly amazing game being turned into a film. Kevin Misher (The Scorpian King, The Interpreter) is in line to produce and Seth Lochhead (Hanna) will write the script. Again could be amazing or it could terrible, lets hope for the first one.

Assassins Creed

Now then this is where the heat kicks up a notch. Ubisoft have created Ubisoft Motion Pictures and apparently Michael Fassbender will star and co-produce the film. Scott Frank (Minority Report, The Wolverine) is rewriting the script and we are looking at a release December 2016. Ubisoft are literally throwing everything at this so I think we can be pretty excited by it. Probably the only film we can be excited about. Could this be the film that breaks the curse? Only time will tell, but lets hope this will work.

Nath