A Big Red Appreciation Thread

“That’s gotta be… that’s gotta be Kane!!!”

October 5th, 1997 marked the Big Red Machine’s debut in the WWE. The brother of the Undertaker, summoner of fire pylons, and chokeslammer of all.

Kane was one of the reasons why I started watching wrestling. I was 6 at the time and I was bewildered by this monstrous behemoth – one who stood toe to toe with the Undertaker – someone who was already someone who made regular wrestlers look tiny.

As he debuted, he brought his father Paul Bearer with him to the ring to destroy his brother in the first ever Hell in a Cell match – a match that Kane was not a part of. Kane ripped the door off the cell and entered to make sure that his brother knew that he was, indeed, alive. The iconic scene of Kane tearing the door off the hinges had me hooked from day 1 and I’ve been one of the biggest Kane fans since.

Through the years, obviously, there’s been some blunders. We’re not gonna bring up Katie Vick (dammit), or the Fake Kane debacle. Let’s focus on some of his accomplishments in the WWE ring;

-Ranked #4 of 500 in Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 in 2011
-9 time WWF/WWE World Tag Team Champion (6 different partners)
-2010 Money in the Bank Winner
-World Heavyweight Champion
-WWE Champion
-ECW Champion

The list goes on and on, along with some of the aforementioned blunders – Kane has been a company name for 20 years – feuding with everyone from CM Punk to Chris Jericho, Triple H to Undertaker, and Stone Cold to the Rock. Kane has cemented himself as one of the most versatile wrestlers to ever step foot in the WWE ring and today we throw appreciation for #20YearsOfKane.


The Curious Case of Horizon Zero Dawn

Don’t get me wrong – when Horizon Zero Dawn released in February 2017, I was blown away. The game, starring an outcast named Aloy, perfectly mashed the fast paced combat developer Guerrilla Games nailed in their Killzone series while serving up an impressive open world experience for gamers that were coming off a sprawling metropolis of Watch Dogs 2 and finally finishing their wasteland outings in Fallout 4. 

With incredibly detailed landscapes, an impressive scaling system, and beautiful sound design – Horizon Zero Dawn left players clamoring for more. With roughly 22 hours of story content, and another 20 or so hours for side quests, many were wondering when an inevitable expansion would come along. The requests were answered with an expansion, The Frozen Wilds, releasing in November 2017.

None of the above should be too interesting or surprising. The interesting part of this story is that, it seems, that Guerrilla Games is going to stop development on this iteration of Horizon Zero Dawn and go work on something else. Why would someone think that? Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition will release later in the holiday season, which provides all deluxe content & The Frozen Wilds expansion.

As the market evolves (or regresses, in some cases), if a game is popular and making money, the developer & publisher will try to suck the content dry. Providing with several DLC packs, several ‘named’ expansions, and the like. With Horizon Zero Dawn it appears that the developer is bucking the trend – and for the better. Another interesting point is, only a few months after release, the price was lowered by $10 – and has been featured on multiple PSN sales since launch – for a title that was so critically loved, not gouging customers every sell is a refreshing sight to see.

Let’s Wreact: Cuphead

Cuphead is a run & gun platforming game from StudioMDHR Entertainment and let me tell you that it’s ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.

Development on this 1930’s cartoon saga began in 2010, however this game could be noticed as far back as 2000 as brothers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer. Drawing inspiration from Disney, Fleischer Studios, and the artistic works of Grim Natwick (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves), Willard Bowsky (Betty Boop), and Ubbe Iwerks (Mickey Mouse) – the vision for Cuphead is pretty straight forward.

While out and about, Cuphead and his brother Mughead, come across the Devil’s Casino and, blinded with unfathomable riches, Cuphead bets it all after the Devil himself comes down to congratulate the brothers on their winnings and offers all of his loot in return for their souls. Cuphead and Mughead lose the bet and, instead of their souls, say that they will grab the souls of a list of creatures to repay their debt – and thus the Cuphead adventure begins – to grab soul contracts from creatures that have slipped the Devil’s grasp.

In just over 1.5 hours with the game, plus a few minutes at PAX West 2017, I can tell that this game is going to be rough! With an overworld akin to the Super Mario franchise, an inventory & shop system to allow you to equip upgrades, and the emphasis on boss battles – Cuphead is filled to the brim with personality. Once you complete a level or a boss, you’ll receive a score based on health remaining, how many super you used, time to beat, and a parry – as well as a skill level (simple or regular). You cannot gain soul contracts on simple, but it might be worth it to try out a few bosses before jumping to regular – but beware – the boss will change depending on what difficulty you set it to.

While I can’t give a full review until I have much more time in the game, Cuphead is infuriatingly fun – difficult enough to make me sweat a little, but rewarding enough that I want to continue. At $19.99 on Steam & Xbox One, I cannot recommend this title enough. I would have paid another $10 for sure.

I’ll be doing streams of Cuphead over on my Twitch Channel throughout the week – come and stop by – or you can catch the first episode right now!

Just Another Review: The Binding of Isaac

I know, I know. A review about a video game that came out in 2011. Not only that, but a game that has had millions of installs and physical copies purchased. What am I doing here? I just want to talk about one of my favorite games of all time; The Binding of Isaac. 

Released on the Flash platform in late 2011, The Binding of Isaac is a twin-stick, top-down roguelike dungeon crawler. With very few games hitting home the roguelike genre, the man behind Super Meat Boy; Edmund McMillen went to task to make what has become not a cult classic indie title, but a genre-defining gem among a sea of half baked ideas and games that don’t quite make the cut.

What is a roguelike? A roguelike mainly has the main idea of ‘runs’ for the game. While games outside the genre have one or two sole story arcs, the entire story / gameplay is done so in one ‘run’ which lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so, depending on how much you’ve played and how many of the additional content you’ve unlocked.

The story is quite simple; a Mother hears from on-high that her son Isaac is corrupted by sin and she is driven by God to kill him. Isaac runs to the basement and the game begins where he is forced to kill creatures like silkworms, disembodied heads, and pulsating brains. There are a total of 15 playable characters, each representing either a Biblical figure (i.e. Magdalene, Judas, and Cain), or a created story character (i.e. The Keeper, The Lost, and Blue Baby).

As you fight your way through the different floors you will come across items to aid you in your quest; either passive items or active items. Most active items require clearing a room of enemies to gain a ‘charge’ to use the item, whereas passive skills are either stat buffs (damage, shot speed, etc) or character effects (flying, impervious to bombs, etc). Did I mention that you’re shooting your tears at enemies – that is the main way of dealing damage to enemies in the Basement and beyond – you must vanquish them with your own sadness.

Every floor ends with a boss of varying difficulty – it could be a goider, or a large corpse, or even a one-eyed spider – but when you defeat them you will get an item for your troubles, a chance to make a deal with the Devil or Angel (if you’ve not taken a lot of damage on the floor), and be sent on your way down to further your torment. A deal with the Devil will offer you high powered items in trade for your red heart containers – whereas a deal with the Angel is usually an item that helps protect you and doesn’t cost anything. As you complete the game, defeat different bosses with each of the characters, you’ll unlock more items to aid you in your quest to reaching a ‘completion’ rating.

The Binding of Isaac has had a few facelifts and surgeries over the years. From the switch to running on a more stable platform than Flash, to having a 3 major expansions (Wrath of the Lamb, Rebirth, and Afterbirth) – and even allowing mods and community-driven items in the last content in Afterbirth+.

If you’re looking for a game where you can pick up and play for a little bit, have something on in the background, and just chill for a little bit – The Binding of Isaac is a worthy contender for an incredible time. With just about 650 hours in the game across multiple platforms, I can definitely say that I’ve got my money’s worth a thousandfold.

The Binding of Isaac is definitely not a jobber. Pick it up on Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch now!

Let’s Wreact – WWE 2K18

Yesterday #WWE2K18 had their first gameplay trailer showcasing a couple of beautiful lighting advancements and a few wrestling-related upgrades; let’s chat about them!

-First off, 208 or so roster members is INSANE.
-The ability to have backstage fights came in 2K17, but a long-awaited return to the parking lot brawl appears to have made it’s return with moves from the top of semi trucks as well as moves ontop of cars
-A return to movable-grapples appears to make a comeback. A while back, moves (such as suplexes, powerbombs, and fireman carry) were made so you could carry your opponent to other sides of the ring, or the outside, to interact with different portions of the gameplay area. This appears to have made a comeback, per the video.

I’m super pumped about the new release and did a video breaking down the entire gameplay trailer which you can watch riiiiight here!

#WWE2K18 will release worldwide for the PS4 and XBOX One on October 17th, whereas Deluxe (Physical or Digital) and Collector’s Edition buyers will have access on October 13th.

Holy Whirlwind of a Week, Batman

Just a few things here;

I got married on September 14th, 2017 to the most beautiful bride on the planet. Don’t believe me? Check us out!

In front of friends and family, Avalon and I finally tied the knot and that’s a pretty damn good thing.

Now, onto the meat & potatoes of this post – until I have a normalized work schedule, the schedule for streaming is as follows;

Mondays – Off (or a TBA Stream w/ the wife)
Tuesdays – Starts @ 2pm PST
Wednesdays – Starts @ 2pm PST
Thursdays – Starts @ 4pm PST
Fridays – Starts @ 1pm PST
Saturday & Sundays – Off (or a TBA Stream w/ the wife)

What will I be playing over the next month?
-Destiny 2
-Diablo 3
-Binding of Isaac

The BIG news is that, on October 14th @ 1pm PST – we will begin our #WWE2K18 journey! We might even have a few special guests from the local gaming & wrestling scene!

As always, you have been the viewer and I have been the streamer – thank you for joining me in the ring!

First Impression: Destiny 2

**No Spoilers**

I, alongside MILLIONS, was extremely pleased to see that Destiny 2 got the big launch it did on September 6th (PS4 / XBOX One). With a big launch of the first title, but subsequent anemic content issues, Bungie has seemingly fixed a lot of the first person shooter as it hopes to score a sophomore hit.

I’ve got about 5 hours into Destiny 2 right now and I can tell you this; I understand what’s going on moreso than I did the last game. Not only is the story built alongside large set pieces, but the game is pretty explicit in where it wants you to go immediately after getting through to the hub ‘planet.’

With beautiful sights, an impressive sound design / voice acting outfit, and loot for days, it appears that I will be spending my time happily with Destiny 2 for quite some time.

Fellow guardians, you can watch me play the first hour or so of Destiny 2 right now!

What’re We Doing Here?

Wrestling with Subtitles is the catch all area for me. Gaming, wrestling, and life musings.

I will be updating this with video game reviews, wrestling stories, really tasty restaurants, and everything in between. While meant as a kickstart to a journalism hobby, I will focus mainly on the gaming industry for the time being.

I am also a Twitch streamer and will update with new videos, streams, and interviews.

Here’s some quick links for you;