Monday, 14 September 2015

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Cinematic Trailer and Release Date Revealed!

The moment we have been waiting for is almost upon us! Yesterday Blizzard announced the release date for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, the protoss campaign that will be the epic conclusion to the trilogy of StarCraft games that we have enjoyed so much.

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void release date is set for November 10, 2015! It is so close that I almost feel like I can touch it! Of course I won't be able to touch it as I bought myself a Digital Deluxe Edtion instead of a physical copy but still!

I was thinking that the game would be released around December but it's a month earlier than that. Count me in! Although it's a bit sad that I don't have enough time to truly finish Mad Max in this short amount of time I have :P But I'll try!

We all know how magnificent Blizzard cinematic trailers are. StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Opening Cinematic Trailer is also nothing short of the very high standard that Blizzard has set for their cinematic trailers over the course of 20 years!

Let's watch it and get even more hyped!!!

Let's take a closer look at what kind of goodies I'll be receiving as a part of the Digital Deluxe Edition:

Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void Digital Deluxe Edition Items:

Starcraft II: Portrait and Unit Skin
World of Warcraft: Archon Pet
Diablo III: Probe Pet and Protoss Transmog
Heroes of the Storm: Void Seeker Mount
Hearthstone: Protoss Themed Cardback

Players who purchase ANY edition of Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void will also be rewarded with upcoming hero Artanis as a playable heavy hitting warrior in Heroes of the Storm. 

"MY LIFE FOR AIUR" (It feels so good to say that as a Protoss player :P)!!

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Travis Wall Finally Wins an Emmy!

I wanted to pay tribute to my favourite choreographer Travis Wall for finally winning the Emmy he has deserved for ages now.

I feel like he has always been snubbed in the past years as his every single choreography is flawless but finally 2015 is the year that he picks up his first Emmy and I'm so chuffed to bits for him.

Congratulations Travis. You deserve this so much! I would also like to thank So You Think You Can Dance for blessing us and the world with such an amazing artist. He was only the runner up in season 2 of SYTYCD but he became so much more than the actual winners of the show and that speaks a lot for his talent and creative ability and I can not wait to watch more of his work in the future.

Among his nominated choreographies, Wind Beneath My Wings, When I Go and Wave, Wind Beneath My Wings is my favourite one but all 3 are simply amazing and scream perfection. When someone watches Travis Wall, they will realise how impossible it is to truly pick one of his choreographies as their favourite. Can you please be bad for once Travis? Us poor humans would like to know that you are one of us!

Ps, Season 11 winner and my most favourite SYTYCD dancer Ricky Ubeda is really doing those magnificent choreographies justice!!! There is absolutely no surprise as to why he won! When flawless dancer is combined with flawless choreographer, you get something truly magical that can't even be described as "flawless" as it becomes way beyond that!

Let's take a look at the SYTYCD Season 11 choreographies Travis Wall won the Emmy with:

  • Wave (Ricky Ubeda <Winner>, Zack Everhart <Runner up>, Casey Askew, Emilio Dosal, Rudy Abreu, Serge Onik, Teddy Coffey)
  • When I Go (Jessica Richens, Robert Roldan)
  • Wind Beneath My Wings (Ricky Ubeda <Winner>, Zack Everhart <Runner up>, Jessica Richens, Valerie Rockey)

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Southpaw Review: It is NOT "Just Another Boxing Movie"!

I've always been a sucker for Jake Gyllenhaal and there isn't a movie of him I haven't watched, which is why I've been quite excited about Southpaw especially following the great trailers I've seen. I finally got a chance to watch this movie last night and I have nothing but positive things to say.

Southpaw follows the story of a multiple-time lightweight champion boxer, Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his struggles to keep his life intact after a tragic accident breaks apart his family leading him to lose everything and almost everyone he loves. 

When Hope's loving wife Maureen Hope (Rachel McAdams) dies in a shooting during a charity event, he loses his will to fight and falls into a deep depression. Anger issues, drugs, firearms and even an attempt at suicide results in Hope's little daughter Leila Hope (Oona Laurence) to be taken into Child Protective Services which destructs Billy Hope even more.

In order to get his daughter Leila back, Billy Hope needs to get his life together and prove to the authorities that he can take care of his daughter and be a responsible parent. We see him try to do whatever he can to win back her daughter's trust and to prove to court that he is able to take care of her.

In order to do that, he needs to take anger management classes, find a home after losing his possibly billions of dollars worth of mansion, hold a job to have stable income and take weekly drug tests.

Billy meets his future trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) in his gym where he tries to find a place to work and train. Tick Wills agrees to help him train against Miguel 'Magic' Escobar (Miguel Gomez),vthe current lightweight champion which is a title once belonged to Billy Hope and a title that he must win again to get his life back together. Miguel was the factor that started the chain of events that led to the death of Hope's wife so I'm sure you can imagine that this will not be just any other boxing match.

I've never seen Jake Gyllenhaal be this emotionally invested and vulnerable in a movie before and I must admit I was totally stunned by his impeccable acting. Before I saw this movie, I said that he had the best performance of his career in Nightcrawler, but right now I will rectract that statement and say that Southpaw is his ultimate prime moment. If he doesn't get a nod from the Oscars I will most likely rage about it on this blog...

I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Jake Gyllenhaal and Oona Laurence. If Oona decides to pursue an acting career, I think she has the potential to be quite successful. My favourite scene took place during the court where child protective services took Leila away from Billy. It was such a dramatic and very well done scene and both actors were completely flawless! 

If you aren't watching Southpaw for thinking "It's just another boxing movie" (based on some posts I've seen in a social media website I frequent), you are mistaken and you are missing out on a fantastic movie. Because Southpaw is not "just" another boxing movie. It's an emotional story of a father's "fight" to win back his daughter. Stories like that always manage to move me as most fathers just abandon their daughters or abandon them even when being physically present in the family which is possibly even worse...

If anything else fails to capture your attention, I'm sure Jake's hot body uhm... I mean magnificent acting *coughs* *coughs* can keep you more than interested. In short, give Southpaw a go. It's a great movie!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Goodbye Hannibal, It was Great Knowing You! :'(

Hannibal said its goodbye with a fantastic finale that left me quite satisfied unlike most series. While the open-ended ambigious finale can leave something to be desired for certain people, it also leaves the possibility open for a season 4 if the show is to be revived in the coming years.

There are tons of different theories about the very final scene with Bedelia and all these various opinions are amazing. I love it when finales are left open ended like that so people will believe what they want to believe based on what they have seen in the scenes and how they interpreted them.

Spoiler... Earlier in the episode Bedelia tells Will when he asks if Hannibal is in love with him; "You can't live with him, you can't live without him". Will, aware of this fact, decides that he might as well stop living altogether. In an oddly romantic scene (I am disappointed that there wasn't a kiss! :P), Will embraces Hannibal and jumps off the cliff to certain death, holding Hannibal with him. I say certain death because this is my interpretation. 

Spoiler... I am of the opinion that the very last scene after the credits with Bedelia's leg on the menu took place before the fight between Dolarhyde, Hannibal and Will. So in my theory, Hannibal and Will consumed Bedelia and then the fight happened leading to the ending I mentioned above that I found very poetic.

Spoiler... Other theories include Hannibal and Will surviving the fall and consuming Bedelia after all these events took place or Bedelia going crazy and deciding to prepare herself for supper as she knew Hannibal would do it eventually. Realistically, I can't think of a way for Hannibal and Will to survive. I guess the water would be deep enough for them to survive the fall from the cliff but they were quite wounded to begin with from the fight with Dolarhyde. But a lot of characters survived from some pretty insane wounds in the past so I guess you can never be truly certain when it comes to Hannibal.

Anyway, enough theorising about the finale as it can be endless. I just wanted to pay tribute to this wonderful series that made the last 3 years similar to what Bedelia says to Will. "Can't live with it", because waiting for episodes to air is suffocating, "Can't live without it", because TV is already filled with so much garbage that without Hannibal, we will be lost. My emotions about Hannibal cancellation remains the same. 

So, especially for us Fannibals; the challenge is on: It is time to find the next gem!

However, I didn't believe that I could find my new show to be obsessed about, especially in such a short time but I found it! Mr. Robot! I will write an introductory post about Mr. Robot, its story and why I find it so exciting in the coming days. Until then, be sure to check out its magnificent pilot, I'm sure it will leave you wanting more so much that you will possibly end up binge watching the whole season until this slacker, yours truly, writes the damn post :P

Friday, 28 August 2015

Quick Thoughts on "So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 Top 8 Perform"

This post won't be a full recap of the episode similar to what I've written in the past especially about season 10. However, I just wanted to write my thoughts and emotions on the last episode of So You Think You Can Dance as it made me have a lot of mixed emotions that I wanted to get out of my chest.

First and foremost, RICKY UBEDA is back!!! I always wanted to see him as an Allstar because obviously he is one, and a magnificent one at that too! I've been totally obsessed with him ever since last year and it was amazing to see him again on SYTCYD stage, doing a Broadway out of all the other genres too. This gave us a broad glimpse at Ricky and how he grew and changed in a wonderful way after his Broadway experience on "On the Town" as a part of his prize for winning Season 11. I really enjoyed how he portrayed his character; his mimics and facial expressions were fantastic. That is Broadway experience for you! I can't wait to see him more, I honestly hope he will make more appearances if he finds time from Broadway that is. He performed with JaJa who happens to be my favourite dancer in Team Street but come on, if there is Ricky I just won't look at anything or anyone else so I have no idea how JaJa did. I tried rewatching the performance again to look at her but my gaze shifted towards Ricky again so it was fruitless. Sorry JaJa! Ricky is just magical... I can't help it. Here is the video of the performance:

Secondly, I wanted to say how wonderful it is to see Robert again. I developed somewhat of a crush on him (My crush on Ricky is of course unbeatable). It is just fantastic to see him do these amazing movements even after his accident and you can clearly see the joy and life in his eyes that he is able to dance. I love that we see Robert quite often on the show. He is just amazing and he keeps getting better and better. I really enjoyed Mandy Moore's Contemporary routine for Gaby and Robert as well. We haven't seen many breathtaking choreographies so far this season except only a few so I felt so happy to see Mandy Moore back! To me, the performance was a bit overshadowed by Ricky and JaJa Broadway performance because of... well Ricky but if it weren't for him, this one would easily be the very best performance of the episode for me. Here is the video of the performance:

Now there is a complaint incoming. I want judges to leave Jim alone. Jim is my favourite dancer on the show and he is by far THE BEST dancer in this season, possibly among the very best on the whole show across all seasons for sure. He is on a whole other level of greatness, surprassing the other dancers by a significant margin. However, I don't understand why street dancers are always given credit for hard work after a bad performance and judges say how proud they are for their progress, but when Jim can't do Hip hop they just unload a lot on him. There is clear double standard here and it's really pissing me off. Leave Jim alone! You don't say anything to street dancers when they can't successfully pull off Jazz or Contemporary but Jim is to blame when he can't do Hip hop? I hope you win this Jim, you really deserve it! What a magnificent solo too. Here are the two performances of Jim:

Jim Solo Performance:

Another complaint of mine is about the judging panel. Paula Abdul can at least add substantial criticsm for the dancers provided she stops stuttering from time to time; however, what exactly is Jason Derulo doing? What does he know about Paso Doble so much to act like he is the expert? What kind of concrete criticism can we really except from someone who wrote a song about "Wiggling" and all he does is wiggle his arse with a bunch of girls and call it "dance"? How can someone like that judge "professional" dancers? I know I know, he is there for the ratings as the show is struggling quite a lot in that department... That is a whole new low for the show. I really liked the past formats where there would be a different "choreographer" acting as a guest judge every week. Why can't we have that? Or can't we have the other amazing guest judges like Christina Applegate or Jesse Tyler Ferguson? Don't they have one evening free in their schedules? Just one! I really can't tolerate Jason anymore, he needs to go! I really hope he will leave the show if SYTYCD is renewed for the 13th season. He is really sucking the joy and entertainment or even the life out of the show for me.

My last criticsm will not be about the format, I already hate the format but I don't find the use of talking about it as everyone else is basically saying the same thing over and over again. However, I wanna know what the use of Twitch is as team captain. I totally understand Travis as he is an Emmy nominated choreographer and he can actually help dancers grow but what is Twitch doing exactly? Besides having a smirk on his face when he hears that Team Street pulled higher votes than Team Stage of course...Again another low for the show as they are trying to get ratings but making very bad decisions in the process. We all know how beloved Twitch is (I am indifferent to him...) so the show is most likely trying to get some of his fanbase back to watching to show.

Twitch (left), Travis (right)

Nonetheless, despite all these criticism; as long as I get Ricky, Robert, Jim dance and Travis' breathtaking choreographies I'll keep watching the show anyway... You are lucky So You Think You Can Dance.... You are lucky cause I am hooked on your dancers. Not on your show!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Goodbye My Epic Slapathur Moments :'( Heroes of the Storm Replays Need Backward Compatibility!

I am writing this post in regard to being unable to watch replays of old versions in Heroes of the Storm and how I couldn't record videos of some of my most epic moments playing the game, especially as Abathur. This post will include detailed descriptions of these moments as I will want to remember them in the future and reflect on those moments with a broad smile on my face. This post will also include a response from Blizzard support about the current situation.

I hadn't known before that we are unable to watch replays of older versions after the game client is updated to the latest version when a patch or a hotfix is implemented. Yesterday Heroes of the Storm received a very minor hotfix that didn't even add anything to the gameplay, heroes, skills, or talents. However, this updated the client version which in turn rendered every single one of my replays totally useless and unwatchable. 

The hotfix was applied to Heroes of the Storm at approximately 8 am. The two Slapathur games I will be talking about in this post were played at around 3-4 am. If I had a heads up about a hotfix coming, I would have found a way to record these moments in the 4 hour time frame I had instead of sleeping but there was no news of an upcoming hotfix so I was totally caught unguard.

This doesn't count as a real Slapathur!! Even though I got the Core kill by the time my Allies reached the core :P

We all know how almost impossible these legit Slapathur moments are to come by. I have some other moments of slapping but they were on enemy Core, so the two replays I can't watch anymore had significant value and importance for me because I never thought I would actually get to have these moments that I could only witness on Youtube.

The last Abathur post I made was back when I was just starting to play him for the first time and I only played him against AI, but now I'm sticking to QM or even HL with my Abathur and I raised my skill pretty high. I'm also possibly one of the most aggressive Abathurs you can ever witness in the game. Sometimes I am being punished for it as I push into the enemy base quite often to summon my locusts and then HS back to base immediately which makes is easy to get caught if I am not careful enough with the whereabouts of my enemies (I usually am but sometimes mistakes are made :P)

I know I know, I'm way too naughty! :P

My very first legit Slapathur moment happened when I was caught like I mentioned above by the enemy player JAINA out of all heroes too and it was such a legendary moment for me. I was playing my cutey Pajamathur in Garden of Terror. That game was possibly my longest game in a QM so far with a 35.53-minute runtime. We had a lot of feeders in our group and our enemy also played a lot better and had much more control of the battleground overall. My team would just feed or lane during night phase when we needed to collect seeds. It was me who basically split push the entire time and paid the price with a whopping 4 deaths as an Abathur. (I will posts scores so you can see for yourself) 

Close to 33 minute mark I wanted to spawn a group of locusts in bottom lane. Their keeps and forts were destroyed so their core was unprotected. My group also got a Siege camp so my initial strategy was to slither my way over there and spawn the locusts to help the minion wave, siege giants and the catapults so we would force them to defend the bottom lane so we could go for seeds meanwhile. The strategy was successful as both their Nova and Jaina came to defend but their Jaina found me trying to HS in the bushes. Jaina was already at around 40% health when she found me and I had already laid 3 mines around me before I started HSing. She used Frostbolt and Cone of Cold on me which weren't enough to kill me but left me with a very very low health pool, she had her Blizzard on cooldown as she used it on the minion wave before coming for me. When Jaina stepped on my mines she lost more health and I started slapping her. When her health got even lower she panicked and used Ice Block!!! I used the renewed charges on my Toxic Nests immediately as their cooldowns were ready. The mines were armed by the time her Ice Block expired and they exploded leaving her at even a lower health than me and two more slaps finished the job. Of course I was later sniped by the silly Nova who couldn't let me have that victory I deserved so much for myself.

Anyway; this one had the potential to be one of the best Slapathur moments in the history of Heroes of the Storm and it was definitely worthy of being put on Youtube. A Jaina using Ice Block to protect herself from an Abathur and not being able to kill him? That has to be epic!

Here are the stats of that particular game: I would like to note that I've never taken a single Terror and all those XP and Siege contributions are solely done by me and me alone. I'm sure you can understand from Siege Damage on Nova that it was her who used the Garden Terror but we got like 2 Garden Terror only in the entire game anyway...

My second Slapathur moment wasn't as legendary as the one I explained above but it was just as epic. We were in Dragon Shire and Dragon Shire is among my favourite maps (not my very favourite one though) to play as Abathur as I can be an annoying little bastard by taking their Shrines when they have a 5 player rotation on the other shrine, or by burrowing to the Dragon Knight almost immediately to steal it away when we have control on both shrines. 

Around the 21 minute mark I noticed the enemy Abathur hiding in the bottom lane near the Bruiser Camp or in the bushes around the Shrine by keeping tabs on his incoming locusts. Well, you know me; as an aggressive Abathur I was not gonna let him go! So I started laying out mines around that area to do some scouting to find his exact hiding spot. I had extra charges and more damage on my Toxic Nests as I picked those talents so I could easily scout and find him hiding in the bushes to the left side of the Bruiser Camp. I immediately burrowed there but he made the mistake of staying there a little longer, possibly not expecting someone to come as all my team mates were in the top lane trying to capture the shrine in a 4v4 teamfight. Once he saw me suddenly emerging in front of him he started running. He already took damage from at least 2 mines with the extra 75% damage for 3 seconds thanks to my level 1 talent, so he was already down to about 20% health if I am not mistaken. I just started slapping him. He stopped running and started slapping me too but I obviously had the upper hand as he was already low on health thanks to my Toxic Nests. He tried to escape again but one last slap was enough to take him down; during which our Valla and Kharazim, played by my close friends, even stopped fighting in the top lane to watch what happened and then subsequently died. Some pretty funny exchanges happened on Skype as well as our Allied chat as a result :) 

Here are the stats for that match, the only death of their Abathur was at the hands of me and me alone and that feels bloody brilliant!!! I am also angry at their Azmodan for surpassing me! :@

The fact that we can't watch the replays of games with older versions upset me so much that I decided to make a ticket to Blizzard to ask about the possibility of a backward compatilibilty for these replays in the future. This is the response I received:

"Hi there Merve! 

Thank you for contacting us about the replays for older versions of heroes of the storm.

We're looking into ways to make this possible but at the moment all we can do is keep a hold of those for now. And have faith. We're working on it. :) 

Thank you for your time Merve, have an epic time in Azeroth!"

I am still pessimistic and of the opinion that those replays are forever gone. Even if such a feature is implemented, it will most likely affect the replays that are saved after that feature is released. I just don't think such a feature would also cover the replays of much earlier versions.

Well, while this response from Blizzard support gave me a very small flicker of hope, I already said goodbye to these fantastic moments forever. I really hope I will be proven wrong in the coming months, though. No  matter what, I described these fantastic moments on my blog and thus documented them! I sadly don't have anything to show for it but I will always read this entry and remember those moments with a loud chuckle!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Heroes of the Storm August 18, 2015 Weekly Sale Will Make Me Broke!

Damn it Blizzard. Here I was thinking to myself that I wouldn't be spending any money on Heroes of the Storm this month until I saw what they had in store for me in the upcoming weekly sale and every single item is something that I really want to have :/ So all my money saving plans are down the drain :(


Azmodan, Azgul'dan Azmodan skin and Demonic Tyrael skin.... This is just too much. All 3 items I've wanted to own for quite a while have been put together on sale for one week only. Yes, I can potentially buy Azmodan with in-game gold but saving 10.000 gold can be a tedious process, not to mention there are tons of other heroes to consider. So with this sale, I'll finally get to own my already-level-9 Azmodan :p

Azgul'dan Azmodan Skin

Azgul'dan and Demonic Tyrael are also fantastic looking skins. Of course we don't know how the new Demonic Tyrael skin looks like as it was pulled from the shop to get some rework done a couple of months ago. But I'm pretty positive that it will look even better than its current form!

Demonic Tyrael Skin

Damn it Blizzard!! Let me save up some money for that World of Warcraft: Legion Collector's Edition! Why do they have to do this to me? Why did it have to be 3 of my most coveted items all together in one week? Goodbye my weekly paycheck!! :P I better hope the next weekly sale after this one won't include aything I am interested in :/ Ouch!