Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Good and Bad of Deep Space Nine (p1): the Characters

Hey y'all.  So I've been watching a lot of DS9, lately.  It's a bit of the "black sheep" of the Star Trek franchise, as it goes too far away from what Star Trek is about, people claim.  While in certain ways this claim is true, it's also partially false.

One of the more ridiculous claims about this series is that it's not Star Trek because it's not a "trek": none of the characters are going anywhere to discover new worlds and whatnot.  This is very silly, because quite often Next Generation set exploration aside in favor of putting depth into the races and worlds already created.  The "Star Trek" label is now a label of a franchise, and only the first series and Next Generation (because it appeared after a long hiatus) were obligated to trek.  It's okay for there to be a side story or spin-off that focuses on things that aren't entirely unknown.  Yes, this changes the focus of the series, but that in itself doesn't make it bad.  Of course, if it's one's personal taste to prefer exploration over a space station, that's fair enough.  It's just not an objective concern.

However, there are objective complaints about it.  The primary one is that Deep Space Nine betrays what Roddenberry intended in having an ideal universe where people learn to get along.  For a series in Star Trek, this is hard to accept.  Some argue that by having people act more realistically, the show is better.  On an entertainment perspective, I agree.  On the other hand, Star Trek is made distinct by its idealism, and the goal of Trek was never simply about being entertaining.  It was to create something new and refreshing, with the belief humanity could improve itself.  While I feel that much of this philosophy is humanistic bunk, it was hopeful and fun in its own way.  In the original series, anyway.

So if you want to say that DS9 is too non-idealistic, that's certainly true.  It can also be argued that this series is more entertaining than the others.  It's certainly more entertaining than Voyager (a collection of mostly bad actors) and Enterprise (boring and insensitive to canon).

In any case, let's just talk about Deep Space Nine, shall we?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pre-school Update

Hey y'all.  So this Monday school starts.  By some coincidence, my work gave me a lot more hours next week.  Besides feeling uninspired due to personal events, I don't think I'll be able to continue an every Saturday schedule.  This blog has always been more of a space for me to rant and rave about whatever I happen to want to talk about, and trying to put a schedule on it has dried up my inspiration.  Particularly since I do have to work on other writings for both potential publishing and friends.  For example, I wrote a piece of a joke story for a friend for his birthday.

Also, I'm pretty sure I write more blog entries when I have no schedule telling me to do so.  Yes, my brain is badly trained.  However, I'm working on a Deep Space Nine blog, and I'm not ignoring the Me and Aldaris series.  Just...well, expect updates to get pretty scatterbrained around here, from all the nonsense I need to do.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go make some bacon and eggs.  Then get back to my writing.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

It's a Rainbow of Reading

Hey y'all.  So I figured I might as well talk about some of the stuff I read that I don't necessarily feel I should go into depth about and write a full nitpickery.  Generally, nonfiction.  Nonfiction works, when they make mistakes, tend to make simple, over-arcing errors that affect the entire narrative, rather than lots of several little mistakes (when the errors aren't factual in nature).  Probably because they don't have to make up the stories they're telling.

One of the books I've been reading is Charles Dickens: A Life by Claire Tomalin.  I picked up this book because of another I briefly got a glance at, one which claimed wild, factually inaccurate things about writers' histories.  The Charles Dickens fantasy was admittedly very interesting, so I figured I'd read the real story. And that's when I found out the first book was crap.

This book is okay.  It's better early on, when Tomalin isn't talking about Dickens' books.  Sure, much of what we know about Charles Dickens hasn't survived (he burned a lot of his letters at one point), but she holds Dickens at arm's length, tracing more his movements from place to place rather than telling us about him the man.  She also spends an absurd amount of time going over Dickens' books, and what each of the characters mean to him as a person.  That's not a good thing to do unless she knows for certain that Dickens would make that comparison himself.  Otherwise it's just Tomalin making assertions, and it's a pet peeve of mine when biographers always assume that characters in books resemble too closely the people around the writer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Top Ten Top Ten Robot Masters

Hey y'all!  I'm back at it again, with another Top Ten Top Ten.  This time I'll be going over favorite robot masters.  Now, you might think I should have gone for robot master themes, but I've already reviewed robot master music before.  Let's add character design, level design, and difficulty to the mix.  It's more fun that way.  I don't know, maybe some time in the future I'll do a top ten top ten for the music itself, but we'll see.

Like always, I will be going through the top ten best robot master lists I find on Youtube.  Each robot master mentioned in a top ten video list gets one vote, no matter how high or low they are on the list.  If a list is longer than ten, only the top ten will count.  Shorter than ten in a list is acceptable.  Robot masters that appear in more than one game, such as Tengu or Astro Man, will be assigned to the game of their earliest appearance.  Any ties between robot masters will be settled by game: the RMs in the games with the largest number of robots mentioned will be ranked above those with fewer (compensating for MM1 and MM&B's shortchangings, of course), and in case the games have the same number mentioned, the overall total of votes in that game will break the tie.  This is the fairest way I can figure it out.

But why go ahead and say the list when you can delay and add unnecessary tension?  Here are a few robot masters that had a good showing, but did not make the higher twenty robot masters list.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Top Ten Robot Masters

Hey y'all.  So I figure I'd go ahead and tell everyone what my favorite Mega Man robot masters are, while my Top Ten Top Ten for them is still being compiled.  These are the ones that meant to me the most when I was a kid, or caught my attention as an adult, or in some way distinguished themselves from all the rest.

Though, keep in mind that I like almost all of the robot masters.  Each one is unique, interesting, and has a lot of potential to become an interesting character based on what little information we know about them.  The only ones I mildly dislike are Search Man (his level is hideous and his music is the only robot master song I hate) and Tengu Man (I don't like his origins or attitude), but even those two can be interesting on their own. I came up with a backstory for Tengu Man that I really like when I made my Mega Man quintology.

Shameless plug!

Yeah, I'm a huge nerd.  I'm still proud of that story, though, and I developed most of my favorites from it. Also, writing the robot masters not on this list gave me a better appreciation for them.  That's the thing about robot masters -- despite being so little developed as characters, there's still wonderful potential for them, as we get to see who they are through the places they inhabit, and the data discs provided in the Mega Man and Bass game.

Speaking of which, note that I'm not counting Mega Man, Bass, or Roll as robot masters for the purpose of this list.  Also, none of my picks will count as votes toward the Top Ten Top Ten that I will write.  Not that it would have too much impact on the overall votes, but that just wouldn't be fair.

----- Top Ten Favorite Robot Masters -----

10.  Charge Man.

by Bluestrike 01