BitPunch News September 2021

September Streams, Outer Worlds Wrapped Up, and MORE!

BitPunch September Recap!

  • The Outer Worlds (Game Pass Version) | Rich

  • Prey (Game Pass Version) | Rich

  • Halo: Infinite Technical Preview 2 (Steam) | Rich

  • Sable (Game Pass Version) | Rich

  • Final Fantasy III & IV Pixel Remaster | Michael

  • Yakuza 4 Remastered | Michael

October is going to be a full fun month for us. Rich will continue his Prey playthrough that started this month, along with more Halo Technical Previews. Michael will shoot to wrap up Yakuza 4 Remastered and move onto Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster, which doesn’t have a release date yet. Diablo II: Resurrected will be played together, along with Back 4 Blood, and whatever else gaming throws our way.


My Thoughts On The Outer Worlds and What A Second Game Can Improve On

By: Rich Matney

The Outer Worlds is one of my favorite games I have played this year. It showed that the open-world RPG formula could benefit greatly from being more focused and smaller. After playing a game like Assassins Creed: Valhalla, which is an enormous game with a repetitive story and combat, The Outer Worlds was a welcome change.

The largest benefit to this focus is the great writing and quests in The Outer Worlds. There are so many different ways a quest can play out depending on which speech check's you do or don't take and which decisions you make along the way. At the end of my play-through, an optional objective in the main story to save two people ended up affecting my game numerous times during the rest of my play-through. This was both awesome and frustrating, as it made me want to go back and see how that would have changed the outcome. I am planning on checking out some of the DLC and maybe even some of the side quests that I missed in my first play-through.

My biggest frustration with the original game is there is almost too much dialog. Conversations with NPC's can go on for several minutes, and while I think the dialog writing and content are great, there is just too much of it. I would also like to see more variety in the quests. Most of the main story quests have you play "middle man" between two factions that don't like each other. Most of these quests have several endings, with one of them usually ending with you making everyone agree. I did like how much agency Obsidian gave the player. Early in the game, I killed a pretty important NPC. The game, however, did not react at all to this, which is a bit of a bummer.

The Outer Worlds 2, the next installment of the franchise, is scheduled to come out holiday 2022. Obsidian has already stated that it will take place in a new star system outside of Halcyon and will feature a new crew. The Outer Worlds 2 will also launch on Xbox Games Pass which continues to be a service without rivals.


Game Pass is Great But Continues to be Frustrating on PC

by: Michael Perry

Game Pass is something Rich and I talk about all the time. It’s an incredible value of games for $15 per month and keeps getting better and better. I have always been a console gamer but have had an older PC to play various older games. Game Pass has challenged the idea of a console so much that I’ve completely switched to playing games on my PC. Not only is it easier to stream from my machine, but most games I really want to play are either on Steam or Game Pass. I miss the occasional Sony exclusive and am holding out hope that they continue to invest in PC.

Game Pass on PC is almost a carbon copy of what is available on Xbox, which is great. The frustrations come in heavily once you really start using the service. Game crashing is getting frequent enough that I’m surprised to be able to play a game for more than an hour at a time. Skyrim crashes every thirty minutes, almost on the dot. The only reason I keep going back to this game is the fact that it autosaves so frequently. User reviews details settings you can change that improve this, but it still continues to be a nuisance.

The Ascent, Fallout 76, Skyrim, and more games that Rich and I have played throughout the year have had random issues with Game Pass. Games failing to stay up to date, although my machine is on most of the day. The Windows Store is a nightmare to work within and download speeds are a joke. Microsoft has announced some major improvements with Windows 11 but the experience has been abysmal for so long I’m not holding out hope. Buyer beware that the service is good on PC, but beware your game may have issues running smoothly. User Reviews can be helpful but PC gaming is so diverse not every user suggestion will work for you.


September Episodes of BitPunch Radio

029 - Splitgate, Sony Showcase, Too Much Final Fantasy

This week, Rich and Michael discuss all the Final Fantasy, Splitgate thoughts, Streaming updates, and the Sony Showcase.

030 - 2021 Streaming Plans, Apple and Microsoft Talk

Michael and Rich discuss our streaming plans, Apple and Microsoft updates, Prey, and loads more.


News

The creators of Heavy Rain and Detroit: Become Human are shifting gears into the Star Wars universe. This seems like a good fit, especially with Disney trying to expand the extended universe with projects like the The High Republic.

Quantic Dream is making a Star Wars game | Polygon

Xbox Game Pass continues to impress with new offerings in September. At this point, there are so many interesting games released on the service every month, it is getting hard to keep up.

Xbox Game Pass September 2021 game list updates: Sable, SkateBird - Polygon

News came out that Marvel Avengers, a game that everyone knew would come to Game Pass at some point, would release September 30th with all the first year content included. Xbox Game Pass Members Assemble! Marvel’s Avengers Coming September 30 - Xbox Wire

The internet had a hay day when Nintendo announced the voice cast of the animated Mario Bros. movie during their September Direct event. If you somehow missed this, check this CNET article on the breakdown of this movie. A Super Mario movie starring Chris Pratt is coming in December 2022 - CNET

BitPunch News August 2021

What's New With BitPunch, Final Fantasy Madness, Gaming Computers!

What’s New With BitPunch?

Rich and I have been enjoying ourselves on Twitch. We have been playing multiple games separately and together and have also started streaming BitPunch Radio live on Twitch. It has an extra layer of setup and maintenance we have to adhere to but overall am enjoying the change of pace. Here are the games we’ve been streaming in August:

  • The Other Worlds (Game Pass Version) | Rich

  • Yakuza 3 Remastered (Game Pass Version) | Michael

  • The Ascent (Game Pass Version) | Michael/Rich

  • Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster I/II/III (Steam) | Michael

  • Fallout 76 (Game Pass Version) | Michael/Rich

  • Halo: Infinite Beta (Xbox One) | Rich

  • Spelunky 2 (Steam) | Rich

Unfortunately, Rich and I playing The Ascent is on hold due to the latest patch causing issues with the Game Pass version of the game. We decided to put a pause on that and picked up on Fallout 76, which has been a lot of fun figuring out those systems. You can watch us stream to Twitch multiple days a week but always find our archives on YouTube.

-Michael


All The Final Fantasy!

By: Michael Perry

I have been consuming a lot of Final Fantasy this year. While I was out of work, I played through Final Fantasy XII on my Switch. The Pixel Remaster series being announced was an instant buy for me that I’ve been enjoying streaming on Twitch. Then looking for something a little more lengthy, I ended up downloading Final Fantasy XIV and giving that another shot (still a tough struggle at the beginning.) I even found myself installing Final Fantasy XII again from Game Pass before questioning why the heck I would even do that?!?

All I’m saying is I may be a little obsessed this year on Final Fantasy. I’ve completed the first two games in the Pixel Remaster series and am currently playing through the third and enjoying my time in that world. These games show their dated experience, but I’m still enjoying them to see the evolution of the series. One was extremely bare-bones and held a generic story about the four warriors of light. Two brought in some enhancements, including a unique leveling system, a rotating fourth member of the team, dialogue options, and more. That game felt like an opportunity for Square to change things up, but the poor reception had them going back on their ways for the third entry. Three is fun so far but has several moments of leaving you wondering where to go.

The series really hit its stride on the SNES with the later entries. Those that were excited about the Pixel Remaster series were really looking forward to IV, V, and VI. Final Fantasy IV is coming out on September 8th. 2021 and my goal is to be finished with Yakuza 3 Remastered and Final Fantasy III before then. Keep checking back on our Twitch and YouTube to stay up to date!


So I bought A Gaming PC

By: Rich Matney

What have I done? Never did I see myself in this position, where I would not have already purchased the latest XBOX or Playstation console this far into the new generation, but here we are. Unfortunately, I have been extremely unlucky in my pursuits to get either console due to the massive demand and supply shortage. 

I have always been a console gamer up until very recently when Michael and I wanted to start recording and commentating over gameplay. Having a 6-year-old MacBook Pro as my only computer, I started looking into streaming and was able to secure a slot in the streaming service Shadow. This changed everything for us and allowed us to play through multiple games and let me dip my toe into the PC world with a low cost of entry.  

All that glory faded as Michael and I tried to do more complicated content. Adding webcam's and streaming to Twitch was just too much. Also, Shadow was eventually sold during this time, and the service became more unreliable as a result. 

So I broke down and bought a gaming computer. I LOVE IT. It makes streaming so much easier, games look better and run smoother. Services like Game Pass and cloud saves made this switch relatively painless. I find myself browsing Steam looking for games I missed these past few years and I can't wait to play things like HALO Infinite, Resident Evil Village, and eventually something like Starfield. 


August Episodes of BitPunch Radio

026 - Halo Infinite, Ice Breakers, Yakuza 3

This week Rich discusses the Blood of Elves Witcher book, streaming on Twitch, and the Halo Infinite Technical Preview. Michael starts off with ice breaker questions, Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster, and more.

027 - Suicide Squad, Pixel Remaster, Animal Rights

This week, Rich and Michael discuss animal rights, The Ascent and our technical issues, Suicide Squad spoilers, and a whole host of other topics.

028 - Witcher Talk, Final Fantasy Bonanza, Q&A

This week, Rich and Michael discuss Final Fantasy, Witcher stuff, Fallout 76, The Ascent, GamesCom news, and much more.


NEWS NEWS NEWS

Rich and I have had severe bugs during our co-op playthrough of The Ascent. Going through the Game Pass version has been a chore with us forcing our way through cutscenes, stuttering, and other game breaking bugs. We’ve discussed on the podcast and on our streams that we needed to take a break before a new patch was released. Looks like the latest patch addresses many of these concerns: The Ascent gets another performance patch to address stuttering and bugs | PC Gamer

GamesCom came and went this year with some major announcements. We covered it on ep. 028 but you can view the GamesCom site for all major news stories: gamescom 2021 | The Heart of Gaming | gamescom

At some point we plan on playing some Xcom together. We hear great things and would like to see if Parsec can handle us doing some local co-op together. If Xcom is your thing, the team is working on a brand new game set in the Marvel universe. Comic Books are super hot right now, and will continue to be for who knows how long! https://www.polygon.com/22641096/marvels-midnight-suns-announcement-trailer-xcom-firaxis-gamescom-2021

Halo Infinite is having a staggered release date throughout the year and beyond. Find the latest news here: Making Sense Of Halo Infinite's December Release Date, The Latest Ever In The Year For Halo - GameSpot

BitPunch News July 2021

BitPunch is Venturing Into Twitch, Pixel Remasters, and More

BitPunch on Twitch

Our YouTube channel is still going strong. We completed Yakuza Kiwami 1 and 2 and are currently playing through the Yakuza 3 Remastered. We played through Axiom Verge together and the entire playthrough can be found on our channel, complete with webcams. Next up Michael will be doing a BitPunch Play of Bloodroots before venturing into the Pixel Remaster series (more on that soon) and the next Yakuza game. Our next together game is the Ascent, which appears on GamePass on July 29th. Be on the lookout for that. We are spending some time testing out OBS/Twitch and lots of other services to ensure we get this right before we start streaming more.

Recording locally for YouTube has its challenges but adding a layer of Twitch on top of it presents an entirely new way of thinking. You have to juggle more and be available for your audience if people start talking in chat and asking questions. We are really excited to get into that piece of the community and want to grow out our Twitch presence with lots of different games and playthroughs. You can follow along and subscribe to our channel here. We will continue to use YouTube as our archive and full playthroughs will continue to be published there.


Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster

By: Michael Perry

Square Enix is re-releasing the first six Final Fantasy games on Steam and Mobile this year. The first three games will be available this Wednesday (7/28/2021) while the other three will release sometime before the end of the year. I made a pretty bold claim when we began streaming and recording gameplay that I would play through the entire Yakuza series, and will be adding the Pixel Remasters to this as well. The goal is to jump back and forth between Yakuza and Final Fantasy until I’ve completed everything.

I wanted to call this out because I’m really excited to play these games. I’ve never played FF2 and have only finished FF1 and FF5. These games are classics and Square Enix is adding some features including Auto Battles, which should help me speed through these games a bit quicker, and redone sprite work to adapt to modern times. While the internet went crazy a bit over the poor font choice, I’m willing to look that over and hope they do these games better than they have in the past. The DS 3D remakes were pretty atrocious, but here’s to hoping things are better now. They are currently slated for release on Steam and Mobile, although demand may have them consider releasing on consoles. To follow along, you can view these playthroughs on our Twitch channel, or wait until they show up on YouTube which should be a day or two after each live session.


July Episodes of BitPunch Radio

EP024 - Project Hail Mary, RE7, and Microsoft Stuff | BitPunch Radio

This week the gang discusses more of our YouTube channel, along with Loki, Microsoft news, and more. We then recorded a thorough discussion about Project: Hail Mary with Ashley Perry. We discuss the book in detail so be wary of spoilers.

EP025 - Switch OLED Model, Classic Movies, and Tour De France | BitPunch Radio

This week Michael and Rich discuss gaming, Tour De France, old movies and TV Michael missed out on, Loki, and much more.


NEWS NEWS NEWS (Handheld Edition)

While we were waiting around for a Switch Pro announcement, Valve swooped in and announced their upcoming handheld the Steam Deck. Valve is going after the Switch market with a $399 handheld gaming device that can play your “entire” Steam library. Preorders are already underway and the Steam Deck will be released this holiday. Steam Deck

Nintendo Switch is still selling strong where many stores are still having a hard time keeping up with demand. While Valve is releasing a more hardware heavy handheld, Nintendo announced a slight upgrade to their lineup called the Switch OLED Model. The major upgrades include a OLED 7” screen, Ethernet port in the dock, a sturdier stand and better speakers. You will now have three models to choose from this holiday when the OLED Switch hits the market for $349. Nintendo Switch OLED model - Nintendo - Official Site

When Rich and I started getting into Web Design over a decade ago, we purchased Panic’s IDE Coda, which has recently been renamed to Nova. Panic is known for making some high quality Mac apps for developers and software engineers. A few years back they announced they were developing a handheld called Playdate that looks like a Game Boy but includes a crank. It was quirky and my initial thought was it would never take off. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The internet is buzzing about this machine and preorders start July 29th. You really have to see this to understand what they are going for. Playdate

BitPunch News June 2021

E3 Happenings, Tesla Updates, and Lots of YouTube Content

BitPunch and YouTube, a Love Tale

So it turns out, Rich and I are loving making gaming content. We are in the middle of several different full game playthroughs and are still recording small snippets of games we call BitPunch Plays. Moving forward, you will see fewer BitPunch Plays and more full playthroughs of games. We are both just connecting with that format much more than the smaller bite-size videos. Turns out we like playing video games all the way through and would rather focus on that. We currently are recording four different full playthroughs and have many more in our backlog to cover. Below are links to each playlist within our YouTube channel. Thanks to everyone who is watching and sharing!

Resident Evil 7 (Rich and Michael) - Ongoing
Yakuza Kiwami (Michael) - Ongoing
Turnip Boy Commits Tax Fraud (Michael) - Completed in June
The Outer Worlds (Rich) - Ongoing
All BitPunch Plays (6 videos)


Our E3 2021 Thoughts

E3 came and went. We covered our initial thoughts on E3 during our latest podcast and think while the show may have been less enthusiastic compared to other years, there are still some great games to talk about. We wanted to go a little more in detail on what our overall thoughts were of E3 and deep dive into a few games that were exciting to see. Full disclosure we don’t care about the difference between E3 and Summer Games Fest, they may as well partner up and be a couple.

Michael’s Thoughts

The clear winner for the 26th E3 was Game Pass. The sheer value of that service blows everything else away in terms of the amount of content vs. dollars spent. Everything first party will be coming to Game Pass on Day One and will include the ability to stream them to multiple devices. Rumors are that Microsoft is already upgrading its streaming platforms to match the Series X specs. Microsoft announced they are working with TV manufacturers to include Game Pass Apps so you can pair a controller to your TV and stream the massive library of games available. It’s quite bizarre but seems to be paying off where Microsoft has millions of subscribers to their service. The latest rumor was more than 20 million people subscribe. As of this writing though you have Bethesda’s catalog, EA Play catalog, among one hundred other games you could play found on Xbox hardware. Then there is the PC, which contains its own number of games. It’s a marvelous thing that I’m always looking into for what’s coming and leaving the service.

WarioWare: Get It Together | Sept. 10th | Switch

The original WarioWare was a fun collection of wild minigames to twitch your way through. The sequels had their own gimmicks they would tack on like touch or waggle controls. This entry introduces co-op and I couldn’t be more excited about that. This game seems to be the perfect fit for families or for streaming purposes. It doesn’t appear to have been announced if this is couch co-op only or work through their Online service. Either way, I’m excited to play this one and hope it will be a fun party game.

Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster | TBA | Steam/Mobile

Complete hype over the announcement of this. I’m hoping they get the pricing right and cannot wait to play through these games again. The 2.5D remakes were hard to look at and I’m glad to see they are planning on retaining the sprite look that makes these characters and settings so iconic. Just bundle these up and sell them as-is and most fans will be happy. Out of the bunch, I think I had the best time with FFV. IV and VI may have better stories but I clicked with the Job system of V a lot! If they include a fast-forward option to get through the random encounters quicker, I may end up recording some playthroughs of these.

Death Trash | TBA | Steam/Xbox/PS4/Switch

I’m not jiving with the name of this game but everything else surrounding it looks really cool. Getting strong Children of Morta vibes visually with the grungy but gorgeous pixel art aesthetic. Their Website describes it as “A post-apocalyptic world where cosmic horrors crave humanity but meet punks with shotguns. Influenced by cyberpunk, science fiction, horror, the grotesque and black humor.” They also say the game includes stealth, which you can see from the trailer that enemies have vision cones. I’m not the biggest fan of stealth games so I’m hoping it’s not a core mechanic. There is a demo on Steam which is the first couple hours of the game to play. Check it out!

Starfield | Nov. 2022 | Xbox/Game Pass

We finally have a date and a small teaser trailer for the game. Todd Howard has boiled this game down to “Skyrim in Space” which I’d imagine most fans such as myself wanted to hear. He also mentions this game will have more customization options in terms of how you spec your character’s backstory which could influence the game. Take all the time you need to ensure we have a great experience with this new IP.

Rich’s Thoughts

It was very evident by all of the 2022 releases we saw at this year’s E3 that COVID and the pandemic had a large effect on the development process in the games industry. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if some of these games push even further out as the release schedule is packed for 2022. With the botched release of Cyberpunk 2077 last year, developers and publishers have to be wary of rushing games to market. Xbox clearly had a strong show with Game Pass. Nintendo seemed to be a little light on new content this year in my opinion. Sony has been very quiet this year, I look forward to seeing what announcements they have in store later this year.

Redfall | Summer 2022 | Xbox/Game Pass/PC

Arkane Studios has made some great single-player games in the past. I loved what I played of Dishonored 2. The 2017 Prey release is another game I constantly hear people talking about. Now they are taking their style and adapting it to an open-world coop shooter. The game sets you on a small island town that has been overrun by Vampires. You play as survivors, each with their own special weapons and abilities. I can’t wait to see Arkane’s take on this genre.

Replaced | 2022 | Xbox/Game Pass/PC

Probably the most visually striking game I saw during E3 was Replaced. This 2.5D platformer is set in an alternative 1980’s dystopian past. It’s hard to describe exactly what this game looks like in motion. You should just check out their reveal trailer.

The Outer Worlds 2 | TBD | Xbox/Game Pass/PC

I am only a few hours into the original Outer Worlds, but I am really enjoying what I am playing so far. I really like the humor and systems the Outer Worlds is built on and from what I have seen and heard from other people, this game definitely deserves a sequel. The game doesn’t have a release window just yet, but I am excited to see what Obsidian has in mind for a sequel.


Electric Cars: Thoughts On Tesla Ownership After One Month

By: Rich Matney

It’s been a little over a month since I took delivery of my new Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus ($39,990). Obviously, the biggest difference between an electric car and a normal gas-powered car is no gas or emissions.

Instead of stopping at gas stations to fill up, I just plug my car into a 240v outlet that I installed in my garage. The cost to charge the car is very low, it uses roughly the same amount of electricity as a large electric appliance like a refrigerator. This 240v charger adds about 35mi of charge every hour. My daily commute is under 40 miles, this means I am charged back up after only an hour of charging each day when I get home. You can choose how much you want to charge the car on a daily basis, Tesla recommends not to charge the car over 80% for daily driving. You can of course charge it up more if you're taking a longer trip.

Speaking of trips, this is where Tesla really stands out from other electric cars. Tesla has a huge worldwide Supercharger network that allows you to drive just about anywhere. These SuperChargers can charge your car at upwards of 500mi of charge per hour. My Model 3 has an EPA range of 263 miles. So this means my car can be close to fully charged in about 30 minutes. An example would be a trip from Indianapolis to St. Louis. This is a 243-mile trip. Technically I could make this trip without stopping. If I wanted to have some extra battery when I arrive in St. Louis, I would just need to stop once for about 15 minutes. There are 2 Tesla Superchargers along this route.

I am loving the car so far and there is a ton of other features and thoughts that I plan on going more in-depth on in the coming Newsletters. I was definitely a bit nervous to buy something that is a relatively new technology in something as important and expensive as a car. One thing I know for sure is that electric cars are viable and are here to stay. There aren’t many cars that are more fun to drive!


June Episodes of BitPunch Radio

June 4th | EP022 - Vitamins, Space, and Pre E3
BitPunch is marching into video. We discuss our streaming to each other setup and the intricacies of capturing video for our YouTube channel. We also cover Andy Weir's books (spoilers on Artemis), some E3 news and rumors, and Dragon Quest XII.

June 18th | Family Lego Gambling and E3 Thoughts
This week we discuss E3 and some of the major announcements from the show. We also discuss our YouTube game coverage, a bit on Project: Hail Mary, Lego Masters, and figuring out Total War Warhammer.


News News News

Here are some interesting headlines that happened this month.

Windows 11 has been officially announced including deeper Xbox integration, visual quality improvements, Windows Store enhancements, and much more. If you are planning on upgrading, check the system requirements as they require higher quality components than years past. | Windows evolves: Windows 11, and the future of Windows 10 (msn.com)

The Steam Summer Sale has kicked off. A few times a year Steam does these yearly sales where the entire store is completely redesigned and thousands of games go on these huge discounts. Some games get into the 75%-80% off which can really pad out your Steam Library. I have my eye on four copies of Stardew Valley so I can play with my entire family. | Steam is here to take your moneys.

GameSpot has a big article outlining all the major reveals of E3. Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said but have a link that takes you to a page with tons of other links to link through. | GameSpot’s E3 2021 Recap

Walter Isaacson, the author of the famous Steve Jobs book, is in talks to write the autobiography of Elon Musk. This would completely skyrocket to the top of my must read as I thought the Steve Jobs book was very fascinating. Elon Musk, like many tech giants, is a unique person I would love to learn more about. Isaacson would be the perfect author to tackle this. | Walter Isaacson is reportedly in early talks to write Elon Musk's biography. His famous biography of Steve Jobs sold millions of copies. (msn.com)

BitPunch News May 2021

BitPunch entering into video, our hot takes on film/tv for the year, and more...

BitPunch News: We Are Expanding to Video

Video is all the rage, and Rich and I have been wanting to figure this out for a long time now. We finally have the setup needed to start recording some gameplay videos of new games and doing some longer-form content including entire play-throughs of video games. Our goal is to publish weekly but may be more or less depending on life happenings. Check our channel on YouTube and subscribe to keep up with our latest shenanigans

Our first videos:


Upcoming Movies/TV We Are Jazzed About In 2021

The summer blockbusters are among us and boy I’ve been pretty deflated about movies for a while now. While there are some diamonds in the rough, looking at you Mitchell vs. The Machines, I think movies have been pretty mediocre this year. We wanted to challenge ourselves to find some movies and TV that are coming out in these wacky times that hopefully has nothing to do with superheroes (we still snuck one in there though.) Let’s see what we’ve found:

Michael


Reminiscence | Sci/Fi | August 25, 2021 | Theaters and HBO Max

There is still a lot of mystery around this title. There is a teaser trailer available but it’s just Hugh Jackman narrating a couple of sentences with a shot of Miami that has been enveloped in water due to global warming. The synopsis of this movie is “A private eye who deals in recapturing vivid cherished memories for clients. He becomes vexed by one of the clients.” I like the director Lisa Joy, who worked on the HBO show Westworld, so hoping this one shapes up to be a hit. I think all the direct-to HBO movies that have launched so far have been mediocre. This will be Lisa’s directorial debut.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife | Sci/Fi | November 11, 2021 | Theatres

I’ll be honest, I don’t have the nostalgia of Ghostbusters like many people my age. I’ve seen those movies maybe once or twice but don’t remember a ton about them. I have a goal to watch them with my family before this movie comes out in November. I’ve seen one trailer which looked really fun, stars Paul Rudd which I’ll always be on board with, and appears the original cast is all smiles with the direction of this movie. This one will for sure pull me back into movie theatres.

Y: The Last Man | Sci/Fi | Release TBA | FX and Hulu

Let me be for real one minute here. I’m still not sure this show is coming out this year. According to IMDB, they should be done filming by July of this year with the pilot already completed for a few years now. This show has been tossed around through multiple different production companies but has ultimately ended up in the hands of Disney. I was shocked to hear them announce at their last major event that they are picking up the production of this show. This show is based on Brian K Vaughn’s fantastic comic series where the entire male population, besides one man, has been killed off by a virus. Hoping to see at least a pilot before the end of the year. Also, while I love Brian K Vaughn, his naming convention of comics is terrible for Search Engines. A series called Y, or the Last Man, or even his amazing series Saga, pulls all sorts of random results that have nothing to do with his comic.

Monsters At Work | Animated | July 2021 | Disney+

Monsters Inc. is one of my favorite Pixar movies they’ve released. I even enjoyed its sequel/prequel Monsters University that didn’t review highly but still a fun watch. Pixar is known for quality content and I’m hoping its witty humor and amazing visuals carry on into a streaming series on Disney+.

Dune | Sci-Fi | October 1st, 2021 | Theatres and HBO Max

I have a complicated relationship with this series. I’ve yet to read the books because it seems to be such a conflicted series. Some people love it and its sequels, others say read the first book and stop. They released a comic that followed a third of that first book but I was lukewarm on how that turned out. What has me excited is the ensemble they’ve put together, the budget they threw behind it, and how this movie looks. HBO Max needs a home run and they are hoping Dune does just that.

Rich


The Witcher | Fantasy | Q4 2021 | Netflix

If you have been listening and reading our content at all, you know by now The Witcher is one of my favorite extended universes’. I felt like the first season did a great job of setting up the characters given the first several books are mostly just short stories. This second season promises to continue through the books and I can’t wait to see some of my favorite side characters from the 2nd and 3rd books.

Spider-Man: No Way Home | Superhero| December 17, 2021 | Theaters

Spider-Man: No Way Home has been in development for a long time. Negotiations between Sony and Marvel Studios actually ended up with Marvel leaving the project altogether at one point. After a very negative fan reaction, the two sides patched things up, and filming began in 2020. I really like Tom Holland as Spider-Man. He has just the right personality for a younger take on the web-slinger.

The Matrix 4 | Action | December 22, 2021 | Theaters

It is crazy for me to think that someone is making this movie. However, with the success of the John Wick franchise, it totally makes sense. Given how far visual effects have come since the original movie, it is going to be really interesting to see what they do with a 4th installment. I never understood the convoluted story the sequels tried to tell, but I didn’t care. Those movies are awesome action flicks and this new installment should be no different.


I’m a Believer in Yakuza

By: Michael Perry

Yakuza is a franchise I’ve always heard about from a small group of podcasters who are extremely passionate about the series. I believed these games were a generic GTA clone that didn’t offer anything new to the genre. Once they starting hitting Xbox Game Pass, I decided to try Yakuza 0, and an hour into the game turned it off. The story didn’t catch me and I thought the combat was utterly boring.

Fast forward to April when I was browsing Game Pass to find something to play and kept finding myself toward the end of the list staring at all these Yakuza games. I have to be missing something because there is a long list of Yakuza mainline games, spinoffs, and more and more gamers are starting to discuss the series. I decided to get through the first couple chapters of Yakuza 0 and the game started to slowly sink through.

I finally understood what gamers like about these games and to me boils down to the story. Sure, the arena combat is fine but the stories of Kiryu and Majima are so riveting, hilarious, and brutal. I burned through Yakuza 0 enjoying every second. There are so many lines of dialogue I could see printed on a shirt and sold. This game is very Japanese and does reek of the “women are weak and need to be saved by the strong men” but if you can look past that you’ll be met with an incredible story that goes many interesting directions. If you have any regard for these games, do yourself a favor and start with Yakuza 0. Play the first couple chapters and you’ll know if this series is for you.

I plan on playing through the Kiwami series next so keep checking back to the podcast to hear my continued thoughts on the series.


Something is Killing the Children Thoughts

By: Michael Perry

Something is Killing the Children is one of the newer comic series I’ve gotten into. It’s unique and imaginative narrative will appeal to fans of series like Stranger Things or The Walking Dead. The setup is that kids in a small town are going missing and townsfolk are unaware of the cause. Children are claiming to see monsters but of course monsters aren’t real. Insert an out of towner named Erica Slaughter who believes what the children are imagining and goes around killing monsters that adults simply cannot see. Of course the black eyeshadow crazy lady would be named slaughter but that’s one of the small issues I have with this series.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying it and keeping up with the series via Hoopla, but I’m also aware that this comic adopts some of the nitpicky gripes I have with modern day tropes. For instance, nobody has time to simply talk to eachother or work out problems with communication. Everything just feels super rushed, which I complained about on a podcast in the past. Crazy thing happens but we have no time to reflect on the fact that monsters are real, killing children, and we just have to move forward.

I will say the artwork is fantastic but the writing is geared more toward the younger adult crowd. I may not be the target audience but I’m still intrigued enough to continue reading. I want to see where they take this series and hope the material doesn’t become stale.

Something is Killing the Children is currently ongoing and I believe is on around issue 16. If you are looking for a newer series to jump into and are fans of The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, or even something like Game of Thrones, you may want to give this a shot.

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Werther Dell’Edera
Colorist: Miquel Muerto
Letterer: Andworld Design


May Episodes of Bitpunch Radio

May 7th | EP019 - Shadow and Bone and Tesla | BitPunch Radio
Rich has received his Tesla while Michael is falling hard into Yakuza 0. We cover some of the latest Marvel news, Apple foldable phones, Outriders running terribly, and much more.

May 19th | EP020 - Health Update Part 2 | BitPunch Radio
This week we wanted to touch base on where we left off with our last health update of Matt/Michael which was posted back in January.

May 21st | EP021 - Mass Effect, Bad Movies, and Yakuza
This week Rich and Michael discuss bad movies, Yakuza 0, Mass Effect Legendary Edition, and lots more nerdy stuff.


News News News

Here are some interesting headlines that happened this month:

The Epic vs. Apple lawsuit has been making headlines this entire month for some hilarious reasons. There is a lot to dissect and PC Gamer has a good breakdown on what the case is all about | Epic v Apple explained: What the trial is about, and what to expect | PC Gamer

We know that Amazon is made of money, but to see them renew the Wheel of Time for a second season before seeing audience react to the first season was shocking. A trailer has yet to be released, but Amazon is pushing forward, even with the considerable amount of money set aside for their Lord of the Rings series. | Amazon’s Wheel of Time is getting a second season already - Polygon

Internet Explorer is seriously going away. Like for real not even kidding. Web developers favorite browser is set to sunset on June 15, 2022. This is a big deal for many reasons. Web Devs hate the browser for having to support it’s archaic ways, but there are still programs out there that rely on the Active X controls that are a part of IE. Edge, the IE replacement, has been gaining popularity, especially with the chromium type features they’ve been adapting. Microsoft is (finally) killing off Internet Explorer entirely | Ars Technica

Don’t trust Rich, Popeye’s has the best chicken sandwich. | BitPunch News April 2021

E3 is next month, and while I typically would be beyond excited, I’m a little more hesitant to see how this all plays out. I’m sure our next issue will be riddled with thoughts surrounding E3. | BitPunch Newsletter (substack.com)

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