-The First Shot-
Hello everyone and welcome to your 56th edition of The Shoot. This week, it’s time to lay off TNA. They?ve had enough. I?m going to be doing a little WWE bashing this week as well as taking a look at Final Fantasy XIII. Until then, we have your customary Quick Shots, so let’s take a gander around the world of professional wrestling and see what’s in the news!
Apparently WWE is actually monitoring what TNA is doing. It has been said that in the production truck, at least one television monitor is tuned into Impact to see what the competition is up to. While TNA still doesn?t have a chance in hell to ever beating the WWE in the ratings, it is still smart for the WWE to actually keep an active watch on their competition. This kind of behavior is actually a good thing because then it might actually force creative to get off their asses and write something decent for a change. It is no secret that WWE creative has been very bad over the past few years? maybe seeing that there is ?competition? now will light that old spark once again. One could only hope, right?
Last week, Chris Jericho had a match with Dustin Runnels, aka Goldust. On his Twitter page, Jericho mentioned how Goldust was a pleasure to work with and now it seems old goldy is set to get a push. While I am not that big on Goldust, it is nice to see a veteran get a push for enduring everything the WWE has put him through over the years. Perhaps we can see another run with Goldust as Intercontinental Champion? He’s been there before folks, he could be there again. So why am I mentioning something like this if I?m not big on it? Because while I may not fully like the Goldust character, I have to admit? it is something different, and something different can be a good thing.
I had to save the best for last. This piece of news just made me laugh out loud for at least five minutes. In fact, I?m giggling as I?m typing this. Bubba the Love Sponge came out and claimed that TNA’s ratings were low because he hasn?t been on the program. Yes? you read that correctly. I don?t think I really need to go any further on this piece of news? this one just writes itself.
On to the main course!
-The Big Shot: The WWE and PG-
I won?t lie? this column almost never happened thanks to a little game out there called Final Fantasy XIII (which I will get to in a little bit down in the Culture Shock segment). So? after realizing that it was actually Monday night and I had already missed half of Raw and Impact due to trying to fight and acquire Alexander for Hope, it also hit me like a ton of bricks that I still had this thing called a column to write. Without a topic in mind, what was I to do? but then Stone Cold Steve Austin showed up and made my topic this week abundantly clear!
Don?t rub your eyes, folks? for once I am not bashing TNA. Lord have mercy! This is aiming right towards WWE’s PG rating. Now? I know that they are looking to give off that family friendly atmosphere, but there are some leeways that you can give and still pull that off. My gripe is the fact that they made Stone Cold Steve Austin PG.
I?m sorry? but when you have one of the biggest icons in your company from 1997 to about 2003, 2004, give or take a year or two? and when you have him running around, giving middle fingers, drinking beer, showing no respect to authority, there is a certain level of expectation among your fan base when you tell them that you?re going to be bringing back Austin to television. People were expecting middle fingers, they were expecting some beer drinking, they were expecting a little bit of sass talk, and they were expecting (or at least I was), a Stone Cold Stunner.
Well, we got some sass talk, but the WWE decided that the word ?ass? was too risqu? for their new PG format and they muted Stone Cold on live television. Judging by the reaction in the crowd, if you bought a ticket and attended the show, you got to hear him drop the ?A? bomb. Seriously? is the word ass so offensive to the point where you had to censor it? I heard a lot worse from television and games that were meant to be for a younger audience.
It’s not just Steve Austin? when Batista got busted open, the Glue Crew was out there, towel in hand to make sure that nobody gets to see any blood because, you know, blood is such a bad thing to see on a live television program, despite the fact that the WWE has been known for spilling tons of it in the ring with some of their matches. Hell, even some of their PPVs, like Hell in a Cell, TLC, Elimination Chamber, etc, all feature matches, that in WWE’s history, have been very bloody.
The question here is how much is enough? Being a long time WWE fan, it’s kind of hard to watch the product when they are trying to make this the land of rainbows and gummy bears, yet they will book guests like Cheech and Chong which have become the universal icon for marijuana, they?ll book guests like Ozzy Osbourne, who swears like a sailor and has been known for biting the heads off of bats? but yet they have to censor the word ass and run out with a towel for a little blood? Give me a freaking break! Hell, going back to Ozzy Osbourne for a moment? he played live at Blizzcon back in October of 2009 and even the DirecTV ad has stated that Blizzard-Activision is a family oriented company, and during the concert, Ozzy has dropped more F bombs that I have for the entire year of 2009.
I know we are talking about two mediums here of television and pay-per-view, but the WWE even does it on their PPV events. They mute and censor things that don?t really even need to be censored. Maybe it’s just me? maybe it’s because I was brought up with thick skin. When I lost in a game at school? I was told that I lost? I didn?t get told that ?I did my best?. I didn?t live in a comfort bubble either. If I messed up as a kid, I got my ass beat by my parents? you do that in this day and age and you get child services called on you. America has gotten weak and pathetic? we live if a god damn plastic bubble to protect us from anything that might warp our fragile little minds and it’s because of this mindset that I have to sit in front of a television screen and watch the WWE neuter the hell out of all the good shit that they once did.
You know? I talked about life there for a moment, but think about this? what is the difference if some person’s son or daughter hears the word ass on television or going to school and hearing their classmates say something much worse? I?ll tell you why? so when they come home, the parents have something to blame it on. The fact that we have such retarded parents in this country is the reason why the WWE has to subject themselves to censoring pointless crap. Because we don?t take the responsibility with our children, it’s up to corporate America to do it for them? and that is complete bull, ladies and gentlemen.
I know that I am going off topic here, but it’s the truth? it really is the honest to goodness truth. I?m not saying that the WWE should start dropping F bombs and the wrestlers should start blading left or right, but the reason why the WWE was so successful back in the Attitude era was because PG wasn?t working!
Whoa? hold on a second.. back the truck up here?
Are you telling me that the WWE changed to a more edgier product because PG wasn?t working? Are you telling me that when they made the switch their ratings jumped up to the 6.0s and even the 7.0s each and every Monday night? So why go back? I?ll tell you why? because the WWE had something special.. they were hitting all the right notes? striking all the right chords? creating a harmonic product that worked?. And then?. The writing went to hell, storylines degenerated, and people began to lose interest. The whole acquisition of WCW was botched and that crashed and burned, the nWo reincarnation was another failure. WWE lost its spark? it lost its edge and people starting walking away from the product.
The Rock went off to Hollywood and people turned against him. Stone Cold Steve Austin got tired of working for Vince and not having enough creative control and he ?took his ball and went home?. WWE didn?t have the main draws anymore so now they lost their edge? so in order to regain their popularity and fit themselves into the plastic world we created, they went back to being PG? and it sucks.
Honestly? maybe it’s just me? maybe it’s just nostalgia.. but give me back my attitude era? give me back my edginess? give me back the beer drinking, finger flipping, sass talking, hell raising Steve Austin. Give me back a blade job here or there. Give me back the divas in the scantily clad outfits. Give me back my World Wrestling Federation.
So yeah? this week, I?m going to take a small look into Final Fantasy XIII. I know this game is still new so I will not say anything that will spoil anyone’s game, but I will give a run down of how this game a little different than previous Final Fantasy incarnations.
First off, the battle system. Instead of controlling each character on screen, you only control one character while the other two will automatically attack or heal depending on what role you assign to them. Each character gets three jobs at first, and then later in the game, they can do all six jobs which will allow you to make a LOT of possible combinations.
But the question now is? can you select the jobs piror to the battle only? The answer is no? how about switching jobs DURING battle? This is the Paradigm System. Say you have a Commando (Melee Damage), Ravager (melee/caster), and Ravager in your group and you?re taking damage. Well, you have no healer so now you can press L1 and switch your Paradigm at any time during the battle and switch a party member’s role to Medic (granted if that character has Medic learned) and then you?ll have a healer. In fact, paradigm switching is essential to winning battles.
Now, how do you attack? Well, you have your active time bar just like you used to in previous FF games, but the difference here is that normally when the ATB gauge fills up, you?re given a menu with Attack, Item, Magic, etc. Not in this game, you go to the ability menu and you can customize your attacks. Like picking Attack -> Attack -> Ruin and create a chain. When the ATB bar is full, whatever you selected and chained together will automatically execute. If you don?t like doing it manually you can choose AutoBattle and it will select stuff at random for you.
Advancing characters is more in-depth as well. The sphere grid from Final Fantasy 10 is back again, but it’s much more simplified. It’s called the Crystarium. When you beat an enemy, you get Crystalgen Points (CP). All you need to have here is enough CP to move from node to node. When you reach a node, it automatically activates? it’s that simple. You can also level up your gear too. You get 1 weapon slot and 1 accessory slot. You gain more accessory slots as you advance through the Crystallis system. But the items creatures drop can be used to upgrade your weapons and gear. The items give experience to the weapons and after enough experience they will level up with higher stats? just another way to gain more power.
I know there is a lot more, but that’s the gist of the systems.. there’s also systems for techniques like casting Libra, and calling summons, but that gets into the spoiler-ish content and like I said, I will refrain from it? all I will say is that there are summons.. 1 per character? and they fight alongside you ala FF10. That’s all I will say on it.
The graphics are unbelievably amazing? at least on the Playstation 3 they are? there are times where I had to check if it was a CGI cutscene or in-game. This game needs to be played in hi-def with HDMI? there is no way around it. Your jaw will hit the floor? many times, guaranteed.
Im near the end of the game right now? currently I?m on Chapter 11 out of 13 and I love this game? this ranks in my top five of Final Fantasys easily. So if you own a Playstation 3 or an Xbox 360? I HIGHLY urge you get this if you are a Final Fantasy fan.. .it is well worth it.
Cue the outro!
-The Final Shot-
That’s going to do it for me this week. If you would like to submit anything as far as column feedback, wrestling discussion, culture shock topics, anything? you can do so by using any of the methods below.
Until next week?