Tag Archives: disney infinity

FGC #307 Disney Infinity 3.0

Here comes some merchandisingYour love isn’t real unless it’s physical.

Look at most media… Hell… Look at practically the entire breadth of human creative output throughout history. Look at it, and consider how much of our entertainment is based on the simple notion of concretely defining fundamental concepts. “Family” isn’t the people you’re related to, it’s the friends you made along the way. “Hate”, “vengeance”, and “spite” will always rot you from the inside. Even the concept of a “soul” is obviously, in its own way, completely fictional. To be precise, I believe in “souls”, but I also know there’s absolutely no way to measure or quantify such a thing. Ultimately, we, as human beings, are continuously attempting to bottle and compute abstract concepts, and, somewhat ironically, we’ve managed to create more fiction about these imaginary concepts than should have ever been possible. Or maybe I should just write a story with the theme of futility to further innumerate this point.

But more than any other concept, the simple emotion of “love” has inspired more creative work than anything else in the feelings pantheon. Love can move mountains. Love can save the world. Love can change a person. Love is the strongest force in the universe. Assuming you were raised on a steady diet of cartoons, Disney, and Disney cartoons as a child, before you were even old enough to acknowledge what’s between your legs, you knew that love was the most important thing on the planet, and love is the answer to all problems. Even if you somehow missed that traditional modern fiction upbringing, this concept is the base of most religions, too. Love each other, love thy neighbor, and love your mother and father as The Father loves you. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Jesus, Buddha, or chaos, even when you’ve got a God that has a tendency to turn people into pillars of salt, He is still doing it because He loves you. Without love, there is nothing. Everyone understands that, from toddlers to your bald-headed granny.

Poor Nick FuryExcept… we’re idiots. We are human beings, and, even after thousands of years of proper society, we are still meat machines piloted by ignorant monkeys. We talk endlessly about how we believe in the fantastic (whether that be supernatural forces or unquantifiable abstracts) but, end of the day, we’re morons that can’t get through the day without forgetting something important. Ever study advertising? People will “lose their faith” in any given product or service if it isn’t drilled into their collective brains on practically an hourly basis. Pepsi is ubiquitous, but history has proven that if it stops spending billions of dollars on reminding people that Pepsi exists, its sales plummet. Small businesses constantly hit an echelon of profit that they think will be maintained forever, cut back the advertising budget, and then shriek as sales shrivel. And, let’s be real here, name any forgotten religion, and I’ll show you a people that didn’t lose their faith, but maybe did forget how to appeal to the youth market.

In fact, let’s look at religion a little closer. Christianity is omnipresent in the Western world, but do you ever wonder how it got to that point? Was it because 100% of US presidents have claimed to be Christian (Oh, I’m sorry, are we claiming Jefferson was an atheist this week? You do know he wrote his own Bible fanfic, right?)? Was it because many towns in America built a local church before they ever built a place to buy actual food? Or was it because there was never a time in American history when you couldn’t buy a happy little cross to hang around your neck? In short, Christianity is Christianity in America not because the country is filled with believers that are just that dedicated to the faith, but because you can’t go two square miles from Atlantic to Pacific without running into a random Christian totem. “Christian Love” is abstract, the church’s real estate records are not.

I am a Christian (we’ve covered this). I believe in things I can’t see, like Jesus, miracles, and an afterlife that will hopefully involve more communing with God than damnation. I also have one (1) cross on display in my home, distinctly placed on my inherited piano (a former possession of my very religious grandmother). I consider it a sort of communion with my faith, and my faithful ancestors. I consider it a sweet, sacred sentiment… that is slightly counterbalanced by the presence of Optimus Primal, Megatron, and a Pokémon.

Play it again, Megatron

I am a nerd, and, when you get right down to it, nerdity is a modern religion. I believe in the strength of Voltron, the compassion of Optimus Prime, and the insatiable desire of Galactus. I have experienced stories that took hours and hours to absorb, and then spent the rest of my life contemplating the greater ramifications of Unnamed Main Character’s decisions. I will one day forget my grandchild’s birthday, but I will always remember where I was when I first beat Kid Chameleon. These are the abstract memories that, when I think about what and who I am, define my life. I’m not only defined by my raw geekery, but it is certainly one of a few lenses I use to see the world and my place in it.

But those lenses, those memories are imaginary. They are intangible, and, as save batteries are notoriously fragile, one day there will be no real proof that I played Super Metroid until my thumbs fell off (well, I guess my bionic thumbs could be used as proof, but, for all anyone knows, I could have just lost the old ones in the revolving door). I may love videogames, but how do I prove I love videogames?

Well, I guess filling an entire room of my house with cartridges and discs dating back thirty years, and then haphazardly tossing amiibos all over the place, is a start. Oh, and then I bought some shelves for these dorks:

With Princess Leia!

As I mentioned last year, I bought all these damn figures when the line was being discontinued, and you could buy one and get four free. I still claim it all started with the Inside Out cast, but… why did it start there? Oh yeah, because I liked that movie an awful lot, and I wanted to support it in some way. And I feel about the same way about Brave and Frozen, so grab a few of a those. Oh! Wreck-It Ralph! That makes perfect sense in a videogame room. Tinker Bell is adorable, so is Stitch, and Aladdin has always reminded me of my childhood. The Avengers? Guardians of the Galaxy? Oh yeah, it would be cool to have a Gamora toy. And I guess I may as well pick up the Star Wars characters while we’re at it, as, come on, I have a nerd rep to maintain here. How could I pass up a wookie? … By about the time we get to some members of the Cars cast, frankly, I don’t even remember what I was thinking. Something about completion? Maybe it was just to round out a “get four free” tally.

Just alongBut those are all excuses. The reason I bought these damn things is simple: it’s a covenant. I love my silly, hollow, nerdy interests, and I, even if only subconsciously, feel a need to prove that love. I enjoyed and continue to enjoy these properties, but a DVD on a shelf doesn’t cut it. I want a proper little totem, a tiny representation of my love, to always remind me of the good times. I want a framed portrait of my beloved family, and I want a Donald Duck statue right next to it.

We all have our fetishes. We all have pictures, crosses, and/or amiibos. We all have physical representations of our loves, because that makes the imaginary real, and we, as humans, need that. We all have our own Tangled statuettes, and that comes from a desire for the physical that dates back to the dawn of man. Our make-believe feelings become real because we make them such, and any ornament that does the job is a good one.

Well, except Funko Pops. Those things are ghastly.

FGC #307 Disney Infinity 3.0

  • System: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, PC, Apple, aaaand Android. That everybody? I wound up with the WiiU version, incidentally, because the vaguely portable capability of the WiiU always seemed like fun.
  • Number of players: Two, I think? You can only fit two little dudes on the scanning platform.
  • Rad!Maybe actually talk about the game for a second: This game feels like playing with toys. And that’s not a good thing. Everything feels very light and… inconsequential? Maybe it’s just a testament to how far games have come in recent decades, but the music and level design seem phoned-in, thus creating a weird disconnect between the fun of the gameplay (Nick Fury is fighting Captain Barbossa on the moon!) and the apathy the game direction seems to show for everything that is happening. In a weird way, this makes Disney Infinity the antithesis of Super Smash Bros, a game wherein everything feeds into hype. See also Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for something involving Marvel characters.
  • Why did this ever stop? Seriously, this whole thing seems like a slam dunk. Disney nerds by the figures even if they’re not going to play the game. Disney has an outlet to release “the official [insert movie title] game” within Infinity, and may then sell five random figures instead of just one game disc. Fresh franchises can be supported by setting up New Rando Character right next to beloved characters like Jasmine and Spider-Man. And there’s an excuse to release a “new” version every year or so that uses all the same assets. I’m really kind of amazed Disney got off this money train.
  • Favorite Disney Infinity Figure: As a surprise to even myself, I’m going to go with Princess Elsa of Frozen. She just looks so… dynamic. And her “character” is pretty useful, too!
  • Did you know? Apparently unrealized Disney Infinity figures include Moana, Spider-Gwen, the Rocketeer, Neytiri, and a figure that was described only as “all the hopes and dreams you ever had as a child.”
  • Would I play again: I’m going to be looking at these figures for the rest of my life… and I might play the game again, like, once. It does seem like the kind of game that might be fun to play with like a seven year old, though, so maybe I’ll break it out if I ever have a kid (and the squirt hasn’t destroyed my entire collection before being old enough).

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… well, technically BEAT chose it on the stream… Etrian Mystery Dungeon! Time to go dungeon diving with giant-eyed anime children! Please look forward to it!

Hover on

Year in Review: 2016

2016… wow, what a year, am I right? I mean, I got a new hammock, and… uh…. I’m sure some other stuff happened, but I can’t really recall exactly what right now. Oh, no matter, let’s talk about some videogames.

Disappointment of the Year: Street Fighter V

Right in the kisserYou don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone…

When I was first informed (by the owner of the videogame store that was selling me the game) that Street Fighter V launched with a limited story mode that included all of two or three battles per character, I was undeterred. “I don’t play Street Fighter for the arcade mode,” I feistily boasted, “I’m here for the rad characters and cool combos. I could care less about one player content in my fighting games.”

Turns out I’m very good at lying to myself and others.

I didn’t even realize it until Street Fighter 5, but apparently “arcade mode” is the main way I experience fighting games, and, when arcade mode is missing, I very quickly lose interest. I like fighting online against randos! I swear! But that experience is very… uneven? I can’t recall the last time I fought five online opponents at the same continuous difficulty level. It’s amazing when you feel out a fighter and learn the proper footsie game that is going to guarantee your victory… but most of the time you’re either fighting “someone too good”, “someone who uses the same three moves all the time”, or “clearly a ten year old”. And the ten year old is the worst! Even when I win that fight, I feel like that one jackass from the arcade that kept hogging the Mortal Kombat machine and stealing the quarters of the good children of the mall.

… I have issues.

So, with a lack of arcade mode, Street Fighter V went from one of my most anticipated games of the year to something that just randomly gets fired up when a new character is released. I want to play this game more, but every time I do, I wind up quitting within a half hour. It’s silly, but after the 27 Street Fighter iterations of the last few decades, this game somehow winds up being the best and worst all in one box. Well, it’s actually mostly DLC at this point, so maybe it isn’t really in the box…

Uh, anyway, I just don’t want to play survival mode. Too stressful.

Reason to not let me out of the house for the Year: Disney Infinity Figures

Look, they were on sale at Toys R Us, and I always liked the character designs for Inside Out. And then I figured I’d pick up a couple of cool characters, and I always thought Brave was underrated, and wouldn’t it be cool to have a shelf of all Disney heroines, and then there was another sale… and, long story short, I shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.

HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING

And, yes, the Amiibo collection grew, too. And there wasn’t even a sale on those…

Game with the absolute worst release date of the Year: World of Final Fantasy

World of Final Fantasy is a great concept for a videogame: What if Final Fantasy and Pokémon had a baby, and it was adorable? There, done, game of the year. Add in a Kingdom Hearts-esque plot about crossover characters that kinda sorta make sense in a delightful little world, and we’re all set.

But I have barely played World of Final Fantasy. Why? Because about a month after World of Final Fantasy, we had a real Pokémon game, and a real Final Fantasy game. That’s the first new, not-a-MMORPG, not-a-sequel, not-formerly-a-PSP-game Final Fantasy in, what, seven years? Seven years between Final Fantasy games, three years between Pokémon iterations… and Final Fantasy World is released a month before both. Good job, Squeenix. Way to look at a calendar.

World of Final Fantasy looks like a lot of fun, and I’ll get back to it after I devote years of my life to these other two games. Could have been a lovely Summer release, but nooooooo.

Compilation of the Year: Megaman Legacy Collection (3DS)

As long as they keep releasing this game on different systems, I’m going to keep calling it the best thing on those systems. Switch next year, guys!

Remake of the Year: Dragon Quest 7 Fragments of the Forgotten Past

Poor galI still haven’t finished any version of DQ7, but thank Yggdrasil 3DS Dragon Quest 7 exists. I’ve always told myself that I’d return to the PSX DQ7, a game I fished out of a used bin sometime after the release of DQ8, but coming back to that game after 8 was… difficult. And then we got 9, my absolute favorite adventure featuring questing dragons (weren’t they actually angels?), and it seemed very unlikely that I would ever touch 7 again. It’s so slow, guys! Like, if a turtle was trapped in a molasses spill while being menaced by a particularly curious cat slow. Bah, why do I feel like that’s probably the premise of an entire island in this game?

But DQ7:3DS (working title) is much more in line with the pacing of its DS/3DS brethren. Yes, it’s still long as hell, and it takes a slime’s age to get anywhere, but it does actually feel like you’re getting somewhere. And the translation is no longer drier than a sandslash’s armpit, so it’s even interesting to play, too. This is one of those rare, awesome remakes that improves upon the original in every conceivable way.

And, yes, you might be able to debate that statement, but that would require playing PSX DQ7, and I see now that that task is completely impossible.

Title of the Year: Nitro + Blasterz Heroines Infinite Duel

Because her name is.... nevermindHey, look everybody, it’s another anime fighting game with a ridiculous title. Will wonders never cease?

Nitro + is actually a pretty fun game. It’s got an all-female cast of mostly characters I don’t recognize (and I feel kind of bad that I immediately recognize Sonico and her supporting “other” character), and it could be just another lazy “let’s toss all these disparate characters together and feed off the nerds” affair. But it’s good! Well… it’s no Blazblue or Street Fighter (I said it was disappointing, not bad), but it’s still a fighting game that has some decent (and new!) ideas. Sonico, seemingly the headliner for this game (she sings the theme song!) attacks… with cats. Like… a lot of cats. That’s a little different from your typical Ryu. Oh, and the game actually looks like a PS4 game, and not something that could have easily worked on the SNES, like a lot of random anime battlers. Anybody play that J-Stars kinda-fighting game? For a game where Goku could punch Naruto, it was pretty damn lackluster.

System of the Year:

Nope. Moving on.

Game of the Year: Pokémon Go

GO!I’m completely serious about this: my videogame of the year is barely a videogame. And it’s on a cell phone! I don’t even know who I am anymore!

Okay, yes, Pokémon Go is kind of lousy as a game-game. Its desire to drain your pockets is obvious (boy, if you buy a bunch of incubators and walk around a lot, you’re practically saving money!), the “ball tossing” elements are about as complicated as learning to snap your fingers (… okay that took me like twelve years), and the whole “gotta catch ‘em all” setup is there to leave you crazy and wandering the streets at 3 AM hoping against hope that a porygon might show up and not immediately run away. This is not a good game, and Final Fantasy 15 or Overwatch should have this spot. Hell, even the surprisingly innovative Pokémon Sun/Moon should hold the “best Pokémon game” spot.

That said…

I’ve dex’ed 141 pokémon, captured 5,572 random beasts, evolved 419 mons, visted 5,706 Pokéstops, and walked… a whole lot. Apparently Go doesn’t have an in game clock… and that’s probably for the best.

So why is Pokémon Go my game of the year? It’s not just because I played it more than any other videogame this year (which is true and obvious), and it’s not just because my OCD compels me to play any Pokémon game (or “game”) until I have become the very best, like no one ever was. No, the reason Pokémon Go wins my vote is simply that it recontextualized reality. I’ve always been a fan of “walks”, but I got out of the habit a few years ago (usually because it becomes a might cold around these parts for a solid four months or so, and by the time that changes, I’ve rediscovered inside activities). With Pokémon Go, though, I suddenly had a reason to get out there and walk again, and maybe investigate the nooks and crannies of my local neighborhoods while I’m at it. There’s an apartment complex at the edge of town that I never noticed in three decades, but when there’s a Koffing nest on the radar, well, it’s time for some exploring. And I’m an insomniac, so a game that rewards me for playing at 4 AM on an August morning is amazing (the reward is less people around, the greatest reward of all).

Pokémon Go wasn’t the best videogame of the year, but it’s a videogame that seemed uniquely suited to my unique neuroses, so it’s my game of the year.

Now can someone tell me how to get rid of this fat guy hanging in front of my house repeating, “Isn’t technology wonderful?” over and over again?

Come to papa

Games I’m sure are great, but I haven’t played: Overwatch, Doom, Final Fantasy 15

I basically got all these games within the last month, thanks to sales or release schedules. I’ll get to them!

Games I’m sure are great, but I still haven’t played: Xenoblade Chronicles X, Undertale

I was working on other stuff!

Gogglebob.com Introspection 2016

I’m really regretting starting the site last Summer, because, had I started at the beginning of the year, I would be able to say this has been Year 2 of Gogglebob.com. Now, what, I have to say it’s been Year 1.5? Lame.

Rock outOther than terrible timing, I’m still enjoying the site, and I’m continually amazed by that. I really thought I would peter out on this thing around FGC #30 (which was actually… Rampage Through Time? Sounds about right), but here we are, looking forward to #223. What’s that robot going to choose next? Who knows! (Actually, I usually “roll” ROB for about fifteen to twenty articles in advance. I like to know what’s coming.)

I suppose a new thing this year has been the “theme weeks”, like Final Fantasy 7-palooza or even the recent Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past week (which basically happened because I couldn’t stop talking about one game I’ve played constantly… go fig), and those will likely continue to happen, because, in a weird way, a week of stability seems to work well for my mental health. It’s hard to switch gears from B.O.B. to Pinball Quest to Super Scope 6! I can only do it so much! Theme weeks let me work with some basic truth and expand it to a couple of days/articles. I think my brain likes that.

Oh, and this is the year that was practically defined by the Xenosaga LP, which is in its closing chapters as the year draws to an end. I’ll retrospect on that one a little more in its own section, but I’m amazed at how enjoyable that project has been, and that, ya know, I’m actually finishing it. That seemed impossible last year.

And here are five random articles from 2016 that I enjoyed writing/reading (and that I haven’t already mentioned):

You can mention your favorites in the comments. Or don’t, as seems to be the tradition. See if I care.

And, honestly, even though I don’t say it enough, thank you to everyone that has ever enjoyed an article, commented, and/or linked the site or commented about it on social media. It’s all very appreciated, and this blog is brought to you by viewers like you. I promise I’ll get better at Twitter, soon.

Alright, that’s it for 2016! Let’s hope next year is at least a marginal improvement!

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Lollipop Chainsaw! Okay, not what I would have picked to start out the year, but it’s still a fun game. Next year, get me a chainsaw. Please look forward to it!

One big one for the end of the year