Friday, December 9, 2016

Q Attack, Round 32 - Is it Really Wrong to Murder Your Relatives to Inherit the Family Fortune if They are all Especially Loathsome People?
Tiger plans to end 2016 with a figurative and literal bang with Entry 32 of Q Attack. The last discussion of the year finds her and Rabbit chatting about the hit Broadway comedy, a Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Both decide what they would do if they were heiresses to a family fortune which had eight other heirs before them.


Rabbit: Nani sore… imi wakannai.

Tiger: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too.

Rabbit: No, really. I don’t get it. What is with this Q Attack’s topic?

Tiger: I thought it would be a fun conversation to have.

Rabbit: It’s the last post of the year and you want to end it with this? There’s no hidden message here, right? You’re not trying to give me a hint about what my Christmas gift is… do I need to start locking my bedroom door at night?

Tiger: Well, you know in the wild I would technically eat you.

Rabbit: ^turns pale^

Tiger: What? It’s true.

Rabbit: Dareka tasukete!!

Tiger: Bunny arrow shoot-o!

Rabbit: ^shocked face^ You really are planning to off me so you can inherit my collection of ramune marbles!

Tiger: Why would I want those?

Rabbit: Then it’s the keychain collection you’re after!

Tiger: Useless.

Rabbit: My mint NakNaks then!

Tiger: You still have those?

Rabbit: I know what it is, you want to kill me for my Pogs.

Tiger: Okay, first off, I don’t want to kill you. Chill out, will ya. Second, you don’t even own anything I want. Technically, we share most of our stuff anyway.

Rabbit: Hey! I have a lot of valuable stuff. I’m kashikoi kawaii Rabichika after all.

Tiger: *shakes head*

Rabbit: So, if you aren’t trying to kill me for my stuff, what are we doing here?

Tiger: Don’t you remember we went to see a Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder this past summer? I thought we could chat about the show, its music, and its awesome premise. Especially with the holidays about us, I’m sure many of us wish we could just off all of our relatives. *laughs*

Rabbit: ^laughs^ Wait, no, I’m sure many of us have not wished that. I worry about you sometimes, Tiger.

Tiger: *shakes head* A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is the Tony Award’s Best Musical of 2014.

Rabbit: It’s based off of the 1907 novel, Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal which also the source for the 1949 movie, Kind Hearts and Coronets starring Alec Guinness.

Tiger: Gentleman’s story revolves around Monty Navarro, who after his mother’s death, finds out he’s descended from the noble D’Ysquith family. Monty decides to eliminate the eight heirs above him in the line of succession all while juggling an affair with a married woman and wooing his cousin.

Rabbit: Monty definitely has his work cut out for him as he meets the D’Ysquith family, all played by John Rapson of the national touring cast. Kevin Massey plays Monty, who throughout the show always seems to have poison in his pocket and concocts many ill-fated incidents for the D’Ysquiths.

Tiger: But before Monty can target his first D’Ysquith; he proposes to his love, Sibella played by Kristen Beth Williams, but she shuns him. After all, he only has a promise of a noble name and no money to back it up. She, on the other hand, has a rich suitor waiting to marry her. Even though she still loves Monty, Sibella loves money and status even more.

Rabbit: Being spurned by Sibella, Monty finds the resolve to confront Reverend Lord Ezekial D’Ysquith to try and be recognized by the family as a true member and heir.

Tiger: The Reverend refuses to advocate on Monty’s behalf and while the two are standing on top of the belfry, a gust of wind causes the D’Ysquith to lose his balance. Instead of helping him, Monty lets him fall to his death. Thus, begins Monty’s bloody quest to reach the top of the D’Ysquith family.

Rabbit: Eventually, Monty actually becomes quite successful after working for another member of the D’Ysquith family. He even begins dating Phoebe D’Ysquith, whose brother was killed by Monty.

Tiger: It’s probably a good time to point out that Gentleman is a comedy which makes these deaths all the more fun. An ice skating accident, sending someone to Africa only to have them return alive, bees, and poisonous flowers are utilized to their fullest to try and knock off every D’Ysquith Monty comes across.

Rabbit: And the lyrics are very witty and filled with memorable turns of phrase. Paired with a catchy melodic score, the music helps convey the morbid comedy throughout the show.

Tiger: I can’t stress how good this score is. Not only does the music poke fun at other theatrical musical styles but the lyrics really are quite clever. The original cast recording is amazing and the national tour lived up to the expectations I had when we went to see the show live.

Rabbit: The stage effects were also spot on. Simple yet added to the humor of all the deaths that occurred. It’s hard to compare it to some of the other musicals we’ve seen but I definitely say production wise, it had the best theatre vibe. No wonder it looked so great since it won the Tony Award for Best Costume Design, it was really stunning.
Tiger: So, are you ready to answer the question; is it really wrong to murder your relatives to inherit the family fortune if they are all especially loathsome people?

Rabbit: I feel like I’m getting set up here. Yes, I think it is wrong to murder people no matter the circumstance. Yeah, Monty was mad that his mother was forced to live in poverty and denied by her family just because she eloped. Does that give him the right to murder eight people, however terrible they all were, just so he could become the Ninth Earl of Highhurst? No, it doesn’t. Granted, it would have been a terrible show if he didn’t kill anyone but still, it definitely doesn’t make it right. It seems to me that no one was really sad that the D’Ysquiths were getting knocked off one by one though so maybe he was doing the world a service.

Tiger: That’s a good point. Of course I’m going to say no to this question. C’mon, everyone has to have fantasized about killing an annoying relative that you just can’t get rid of. Especially around the holidays, man they can get on your nerves. If one of those relatives had a huge fortune that you were going to inherit, well that it would make it all the sweeter. Now, I’m not encouraging people to really start offing their relatives, but we can dream, can’t we? As for Monty, I quite respect the lengths he went to on his journey to become Earl. He really had to get creative with some of the family members and his problem solving skills were very impressive.

Rabbit: Sometimes, I don’t know when you’re joking.

Tiger: It was impressive. Just take a look at the lyrics from the Reprise of Poison in my Pocket.
I am sitting here with poison in my pocket
Look whose head is finally on the block
It seems that now at last the moment I've been waiting for is here

All that's really left to be decided is the dish to put the poison in provided
I can do what must be done discreetly when the coast is clear
I confess it pains me some to ruin someone's cooking - Oh, for god's sake, now another servant's looking
I have had a run of luck but this one does require skill

Fish or fowl, it must be well-selected so that no one else at all will be affected
What an awful waste to do in someone I don't want to kill
Rabbit: I’m not letting you make Christmas dinner.

Tiger: Oh, c’mon, you can’t be serious.

Rabbit: You aren’t getting close to the gravy ever.

Is it Really Wrong to Murder Your Relatives to Inherit the Family Fortune if They are all Especially Loathsome People?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 42 O'Clock - Poison in my Pocket!
Rabbit and Tiger discuss a specific song from a Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in this edition of Random Happy Time. The fuzzy pair also share their memories from the past year, give their holiday wishes to their readers, and say goodbye to 2016.


Tiger: 《《o(≧◇≦)o》》 We have to discuss the amazing score of Steven Lutvak and the witty of lyrics of Robert L. Freedman a little more.

Rabbit: You’re talking about Poison in my Pocket, aren’t you?

Tiger: Yes, it’s one of Monty’s first planned murders. He follows a D’Ysquith to a winter retreat and spies him skating on a frozen lake.

Rabbit: Are you going to go over the entire song?

Tiger: No, but at least Monty’s first sequence. ♪ヾ(^Д^*)ノ
I am standing here with poison in my pocket
Standing on this frozen little dock-
It seems that I’ve just let them skate my opportunity away
If I had the poise to put the poison
In a pot of tea or else a shot of gin
I would be back amid the noise of London by the end of day. But,
I am standing here with poison in my pocket
One eye on the target, one eye on the clock-
It better happen soon before I lose my nerve and run.
If I had a knife, I could have grabbed him
And discreetly knocked him on the head and stabbed him
Not to mention what I would have done
If I had had a gun
Rabbit: You really love that song, don’t you?

Tiger: It’s so clever! Lyrically, it really is amazing. I’m jealous, I wish I had that kind of talent with words. It really was such an amazing musical, I’m really happy we got to go. Probably my highlight of 2016.

Rabbit: I thought the Sharks playing for the Stanley Cup would have been your highlight of the year.

Tiger: That one too.

Rabbit: I think µ's Final LoveLive! ~µ'sic Forever♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪♪~ was a big event for me. .·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.

Tiger: Don’t even go there, please don’t go there. Oh, the Olympics were eventful too.

Rabbit: I thought it was kind of dull this year but I still enjoyed watching swimming and gymnastics. Also, we got to see a lot of sports we don’t normally watch a ton of like volleyball and table tennis. (。・ω・)ρ┳┷┳゚σ(・ω・*)

Tiger: We finally got to see Captain America: Civil War. (´ω`◎)ゞ Really enjoyed that movie.

Rabbit: I beat Dishonored! (•̀o•́)ง

Tiger: I beat a ton of Assassin’s Creed games! !(•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑

Rabbit: We also got a lot of great games that we haven’t played yet like Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma and the Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II.

Tiger: We also seemed to change up our musical tastes this year. Me with the Helen Forrest obsession and you with the J-Pop Idols.

Rabbit: Not all of them are Idols like Perfume and Kalafina, but yes, it’s true I’ve been on the Idol bandwagon as of late. You though, you seem to keep going earlier and earlier into music history.

Tiger: What can I say, I like the classics.

Rabbit: As for TvR, we didn’t post as much this year but I felt we covered a wider range of topics including the introduction of a new mode, Retro ReCAP. I hope everyone enjoyed it and is looking forward to more.

Tiger: We already have some topics lined up for next year too. We’ll be getting back to the video game conversation and talking about some anime as well.

Rabbit: We really need to work on playing more games too. I feel like I only bought games this year.

Tiger: It’s so hard to play games sometimes with all our other interests.

Rabbit: Do you have any New Year's resolutions?

Tiger: I'm really not into making them but I guess I can say I want to play more games from my Backloggery. I buy enough of them, I might as well start playing them. I also want to expand my musical tastes and find some new classical composers along with some new music from the 20s.

 Rabbit: Why don't you try something that's from this century? 

Tiger: That's really not my cat's meow. What about you, Rabbit?

Rabbit: I want to circumvent the planet, battling the bears of the world.

Tiger: Sure...

Rabbit: I hope all you Qgers & Qbbits have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Tiger: Please look forward to seeing us again in 2017! We’re in your care!

Tiger & Rabbit: \(^▽^*) Take care and see you next year! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

Friday, November 11, 2016

Q Attack, Round 31 - Are 0.5 Console Upgrades Desirable?
The PlayStation 4 Pro just recently launched and Xbox: Project Scorpio is still on its way. Tiger and Rabbit sit down to discuss these 0.5 console upgrades and whether they are really worth paying extra for.


Tiger: Hey Rabbit, why the glum face?

Rabbit: We’re obsolete, Tiger! What are we gonna do?

Tiger: What do you mean, it’s not like we’re the T-800. I mean, I know we’re a little older now and maybe not as hip as we used to be or as well informed with pop culture but-

Rabbit: ^throws up hands^ That’s not what I mean! And I’m still totally hip and groovin’, no what I mean is that we’re gaming on an obsolete console.

Tiger: Oh, not this. You always get sucked into buying the latest and the greatest tech. You’re lucky you haven’t been screwed over every single time.

Rabbit: Hey, you’re one to talk, you also do the same thing. After all, who was it that wanted to get the PS3 at launch with its lovely $600 price tag.

Tiger: *shakes finger* That’s different… I’m not sure how but I’ll tell you when I figure it out.

Rabbit: So what are we gonna do now? With the PS4 Pro out, our launch PS4 is like a dinosaur in comparison.

Tiger: We’re going to wait until our launch PS4 dies before we replace it with a PS4 Pro. C’mon, just look at it, there’s nothing really worth the extra $100 and we even have the 4K setup!

Rabbit: But having all our games run smoother and look better would be amazing!

Tiger: I’d rather have developers finally lock down 60fps than have games upscaled to 4K.

Rabbit: You don’t think we’ll have native 4K for games?

Tiger: I’ll believe it when I see it. But I think we should back up just a bit. We aren’t talking about the PS4 slim and Xbox One S, I have no problems with them. Of course we were going to see newer and smaller versions of the current gen consoles as they tweak the innards of these consoles and make it more efficient to produce.

Rabbit: Yup, Sony has always come out with a fitter version of every console, even its handhelds. We usually upgrade to these versions when our launch consoles start to give up the ghost.

Tiger: What we’re specifically talking about are these 0.5 console upgrades that aren’t full on new iterations but significant upgrades to the current consoles. It’s like the smartphone upgrade year after year except for gaming consoles.

Rabbit: That’s a scary thought, seeing these things upgrade every year.

Tiger: I’d be shocked if they did that. The PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One Scorpio, which isn’t out until 2017, are supposed to be the stepping stones before we leap to the next console cycle.

Rabbit: You can at least see their benefit, right? It’s not all fear and loathing with you.

Tiger: I resent that remark but yes, I totally understand the move I just don’t like it.

Rabbit: There are some great benefits to having these 0.5 upgrades. Newer tech and cheaper ways to produce it for one thing. We get better graphics with 4K being the real push. Each 0.5 console also touts better processing power which is a boon for developers.

Tiger: With VR being so important too, these new upgrades were designed to really support it. But c’mon, how much can the developers really utilize their new-found power when all games have to work on the standard PS4 and Xbox One? The benefits to me are merely cosmetic, which isn’t a bad thing, since gaming is very much a visual medium. Seriously though, how many people are going to be streaming 4K movies or can even do that? How many have 4K TVs? And with the PS4 Pro, it sounds like it’s just an upscaling console more than anything?

Rabbit: True, while Project Scorpio isn’t out yet, it definitely looks to be the more powerful console. If anything, I think Scorpio could be the one that’s really worth the investment.

Tiger: Yes, I think Sony hurt itself by doing two stupid things. One was pitting PSVR and PS4 Pro against each other this holiday season, because no normal person is going to drop $800 on new equipment. Then with the slim Xbox One $50 cheaper than the slim PS4, right there it feels like you get more for your buck with MS.

Rabbit: Wow, Tiger going all pro MS for a change.

Tiger: It’s true though, I’m not going to pick one up but for the parent or family member who is shopping for a Christmas gift, that pricing makes a big deal. Then you look at the Pro and it’s $100 on top of a standard PS4 but what’s the real benefit for your average consumer? I, personally, don’t feel it’s worth the extra money. If I need to replace my system, I’d buy a Pro but I’m not going to go out of my way for these 0.5 upgrades.
Rabbit: Well, I think we all know what Tiger’s answer to this Q Attack is.

Tiger: I don’t think 0.5 console upgrades are desirable because I feel it’s just the gaming industry trying to milk us for all we’re worth. They’re trying to get us to adopt VR which is already expensive no matter the way you look at it and now they offer these upgraded consoles with the promise of better graphics and processing power. It’s true that they give us that but when the developers still have to make sure games work on the standard consoles, how much better can they really be? I definitely think 4K is gorgeous and the way to go to play video games but for those who haven’t adopted this new tech, it’s not worth it. It bothers me too that they think we’re all made of money. It’s like the new iPhone, we know a couple of people who fork out $500 or more for the newest iPhone every time it freaking comes out. I don’t want to be put in the position that a similar business practice reaches gaming.

Rabbit: I understand your concern but think about how long these consoles life-cycles are. You’re looking at nearly 10 years that game developers have to use the exact same technology to produce games yet are still expected to make advancements in graphics and gameplay. That’s like asking a chef to use the same ingredients over and over again to make newer and better dishes. Giving the developers flexibility with more powerful consoles with these so-called 0.5 upgrades allows them to continue to push the medium forward. And the great thing is that you aren’t forced to upgrade if you don’t feel the need or don’t have the latest gadget to fully maximize these consoles. Unlike a new console generation, you won’t have to worry about not having new games developed for your platform. We were very excited for the PS4 but we also knew many who felt forced to pick it up because its launched signaled the death of the PS3. This isn’t true with the Pro, it’s a more powerful system for a specific consumer base. If it doesn’t fit your needs, you can stay with your standard PS4 and it won’t affect you. But if you happen to be hip on tech, you have the opportunity now to really utilize it with these upgraded systems. I think it’s a win/win for everyone.

Tiger: So are you going to get one?

Rabbit: Heck no, I don’t have the cash for that.

Tiger: I rest my case.

Rabbit: Hey, that’s not fair! You can’t just leave it like that! Come back here, Tiger!

Are 0.5 Console Upgrades Desirable?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 41 O'Clock - Upgraded Accessories!
The slim PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro aren’t the only new fandangle offerings from Sony this year. Rabbit and Tiger talk about the newly tweaked Dualshock 4, the new PS camera, and a shiny new headset in this entry of Random Happy Time!


Rabbit: Okay, you were all frosty about the PS4 Pro but you have to admit the new accessories Sony’s been showing off look gorgeous. ( ^∇^)

Tiger: You’re right there, I really like the new peripherals, especially the camera.

Rabbit: (•̀o•́)ง The rounded design makes it look sleek and I also think it will be easier to mount on our TV versus the first gen version.

Tiger: That thing was just clunky.

Rabbit: What do you think about the Platinum Wireless Headset?

Tiger: I really loved my Gold Headset and it’s seen better days so I plan on picking up the Platinum when I have the funds cause $160 is a little steep for me.

Rabbit: Should be great to use with VR but I’ll probably end up using it to just listen to music.

Tiger: Yeah, we aren’t really headset wearers, I prefer earbuds for most things but when you want something that sounds great, I definitely pull out my Gold set.

Rabbit: There’s also a new vertical stand for the slim and the Pro.

Tiger: Eh, I don’t like having my consoles standing up. ( ̄ω ̄)

Rabbit: I’m always afraid they’re going to fall over!

Tiger: The last sort of new accessory is the redesigned Dualshock 4 that really doesn’t do anything new.

Rabbit: (-ω-)ゝ Except you can see the lightbar from the front now!

Tiger: Whatever good that does.

Rabbit: I wish they would’ve at least extended the battery life. It dies so quickly!

Tiger: Or better analog sticks, those wear out too quickly too.

Rabbit: I’m really not sure what benefit we get from seeing the lightbar though… it makes no sense to me.

Tiger: I feel like every single move that Sony has made this year makes no sense.

Rabbit: So are we picking up any of these new peripherals?

Tiger: Eh, no unless you want to fork out more money for stuff we already own.

Rabbit: (⌗‵ꋪ′)⌕ Like Move controllers.

Tiger: Who would’ve thought that we’d actually have to buy new ones for VR.

Rabbit: I’m actually glad we decided to hold off on VR. At first I was all gung-ho about it but now I’d rather wait for a second gen unit to come out.

Tiger: Especially since we really do want to get the PS4 Pro first, it’s just a lot of money to fork out this holiday.

Rabbit: We’ve surprisingly acted quite maturely on this subject. Usually we just throw money at Sony and figure out how we’ll pay for everything later.

Tiger: Now, we can throw our money at something else-

Rabbit: Like Rabu Raibu! merch!

Tiger: *tilts head* Huh? Where’d that come from? 「(°ヘ°)

Rabbit: Muahahahaha! (ᗒᗜᗕ)՛̵ You can never have enough Kotori figures!

Tiger: Unless you run out of shelves in the bookcase.

Rabbit: I'll just buy another bookcase. σ(≧ε≦o)

Tiger: *shakes head* \|  ̄ヘ ̄|/ Whatever you say, Rabbit. 

Rabbit: Before we go, I just want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a Happy Holiday Season!

Tiger: Eat lots of food!

Friday, October 14, 2016

TvR Tag Tournament, Round 3 - Is the PlayStation Vita Still Worth Purchasing?
Tiger and Rabbit invite longtime friend of the blog, Eagle, back for round three of TvR Tag Tournament. Now that all three mammals own a PlayStation Vita, they chat about what they think of Sony's portable gaming platform and what they are currently playing on it. The three friends also tackle whether the Vita is still worth purchasing after all this time.


Rabbit: Can you believe the PlayStation Vita turned four this past February?

Tiger: Wow, time sure flew by.

Rabbit: So did Eagle.

Tiger: Excuse me?

Rabbit: You're excused.

Tiger: No, I meant I didn't catch that.

Rabbit: I'd reckon eagles would be hard to catch.

Tiger: No, explain to me what you meant about Eagle flying by.

Rabbit: Ooh. Well, he hasn't flown by yet but he should be here any minute.

Tiger: What for?

Rabbit: He finally picked up a Vita so I invited him over to chat about it.

Tiger: We're doing a TvR Tag Tournament right now? I don't even have notes!

Rabbit: Just channel your inner bird and-

Tiger: I know, just wing it.

Rabbit: There he is outside the window! Hurry and open it so he can come inside!

Tiger: *hurriedly makes notes*

Rabbit: ^pries window open^ Great timing!

Tiger: Welcome back to our third installment of TvR Tag Tournament!

Rabbit: ^waves hands^ Howdy Eagle, great to see you again!

Eagle: Hello Rabbit. Hello Tiger. It has been a while.

Rabbit: Way too long! What have you been up to? Playing anything interesting lately?

Eagle: What have I been up to? Some top secret business. As far as gaming goes, I finally got a Life <holds up a PlayStation Vita>, and I started playing Silent Hill: Book of Memories. It is quite a different take on the Silent Hill series.

Tiger: And it has the OLED screen. Nice.

Rabbit: Oooh, that sounds scary. ^covers eyes^

Tiger: Now we can get some Toukiden action in.

Rabbit: ^grins^ We all finally have lives now, that's great!

Eagle: <laughs> Haha. That is one way to put it.

Rabbit: Since you're the newest member to get a life, what are your thoughts so far?

Eagle: A little advice for those at home, do not hold it above your face. You may be injured. All joking aside, it is nice. You can play some high quality titles on the go.

Tiger: Only Rabbit here would drop a Vita on her head.

Rabbit: Hey! I haven't done that... in a really long time.

Tiger: The first time I turned on my Vita, I was impressed by the gorgeous OLED screen. That baby is slick.

Eagle: The all black exterior gives it a nice look.

Rabbit: Having two analog sticks is also great and they seem to be more responsive than the PSP's version.

Tiger: All around, I think it's a high-quality handheld that really feels great to play. That being said, there aren't a lot of games to play on it.

Rabbit: There are too. You just have to know where to look.
Eagle: Indeed. There is quite a lot of content. However, most of that content falls into only a handful of genre's like the JRPG or the Visual Novel.

Tiger: Or indie, no offense to those who enjoy indie titles but I want something with meat on the bone. Last AAA type title I played was Killzone: Mercenary and I'm not sure you could even call that a AAA title.

Rabbit: You're so shallow, Tiger. It's not all about big explosions and shooting everyone you see. Indie games can be great too. Severed is a recent release that is just amazing. I enjoyed other titles like Don't Starve which really felt at home on the Vita.

Tiger: But Don't Starve is also on PS4 so you don't need a Vita to play it.

Rabbit: TxK was Vita only and so was SunFlowers.

Tiger: *rolls eyes* SunFlowers is barely a step up from a mobile game. It was fun for five minutes but I didn't drop a couple hundred on a Vita to play SunFlowers.

Eagle: I cannot think of many indie games for the Life of me right now. <pauses> Get it... <sighs> Terrible puns. All joking aside, Rainbow Moon seems like a great title. I played a bit of it on the PS3, and it seems like it would be a great on the go title.

Rabbit: That's the thing about the Vita. Many of the games you can play on its big brothers but the Vita can really make the experience special. Child of Light was much more enjoyable to me on Vita than playing it on the PS4.

Tiger: I get both of your points but the Vita seems to be only for those who like a certain genre of games.

Rabbit: I, for one, am happy that it has turned out this way. Now games like NVLs and JRPGs have a home. Before, they barely saw the light of day on the home consoles. Plus, didn't you say Eagle that Silent Hill: Book of Memories was a different take on the series. Could that have been done as well on the PS3 or PS4?

Eagle: Well, the new Gauntlet released on the PS4. Book of Memories basically takes Silent Hill and plays like a dungeon crawler like Gauntlet. I think it works great for the handheld.

Rabbit: There were also a few games that made use of the Vita's touchscreen and touchpad too. While it may feel gimmicky with some of the games, others I thought did a great job like-

Tiger: Like Monster Monpiece?

Rabbit: ^blushes^ I thought we discussed not bringing that game up!

Tiger: And you say I have a sick mind.

Rabbit: ^sticks out tongue^

Tiger: Anyway, it makes sense that there are a ton of JRPG titles still coming out for the Vita. It is, after all, still very popular in Japan. Not sure why it didn't take off Stateside though.

Eagle: That is a good question. Maybe American's just like a bigger screen for the FPS explosions?

Rabbit: Sounds like Tiger, right there. I'm just glad it's still getting games localized. Look at all the titles announced for it by Aksys Games at Anime Expo which we mentioned a few entries back. For those who think the Vita is dead, just look at the slate for the next year, it is far from dead.

Tiger: Poor Saitō, you already found his replacement. It's true that for those gamers who the Vita caters too, that it's still getting a good amount of new games. I just wish that it was a more diverse helping of titles than a bunch of anime chicks with big boobs or hot guys throwing themselves at a single woman.

Rabbit: I am perfectly fine with hot guys throwing themselves at my OLED screen.

Tiger: *shakes head* So Eagle, what do you think of the Vita now that you've had a chance to really play it?

Eagle: It seems like a great system. Rabbit got me with her Vocaloids there and I wound up picking up the rhythm game Hatsune Miku Project DIVA F 2nd. Seems like the responsiveness of the touchscreen would be great for such a game.

Rabbit: Project DIVA is the best on Vita!

Tiger: I do think the rhythm games play better on Vita because it eliminates most of the lag you get when using a wireless controller. It does have a great screen and games run well on it, the Vita just doesn’t have the variety that the home consoles do.

Rabbit: For me, I absolutely love my Vita. It's beautiful, not too heavy, the screen is bright, the battery life is pretty good once you tweak some of the settings, it has a great lineup of games, and I can play it in bed!

Tiger: And drop it on your face.

Rabbit: ^crosses arms^ Like I said, it has only happened once.
Tiger: So do you think the PlayStation Vita is still worth purchasing after all this time. It is four years old and already looks to be dead.

Rabbit: ^makes a fist^ Saisho wa guu!

Tiger: *bops Rabbit on the head* We aren't going to play for it. Eagle, why don't you go first. Do you think it's well worth picking up a Vita this late in its life-cycle?

Eagle: I am glad I got one. It has a great library, including some decent games with, <clears throat> ahem... "anime chicks with big boobs", as you put it. There are even a few decent AAA titles like Uncharted.

Tiger: And Sony has already said that they won't be producing anymore AAA titles either. For me, it's just not worth it. The Vita is a great handheld with not enough games. When I do play it, I end up playing old PSP games that I have via digital download, so it's not like I'm even playing the Vita for Vita games. I just wish it had more variety, yes shooters didn't always work out so well, but it doesn't even have many solid racing or fighting games. The few that exist play better on the home consoles so it's not worth it to pick them up. Now, being able to play PS4 games via streaming is awesome but again, I'd rather just play my PS4 with my nice HDTV. For me, portable gaming doesn't make too much sense. If I'm really dying to play a game, I'll just whip out my phone and kill a few minutes that way.

Rabbit: Tiger is so wrong on this one. The PlayStation Vita is awesome. Awesome I tell you! So what it doesn't have shooters or racing games, you can find those anywhere. The Vita offers games you can't get anywhere else! Great otome games like Norn9, ADVs such as the Danganronpa series, and unique RPGs like Ys. Then there's a plethora of awesome rhythm games, unique experiences like Tearaway, and a huge backlog of digital PSP games too. And if you want action, there are games like Soul Sacrifice, Dragon's Crown, Freedom Wars, and Lost Dimension. Sure, you're not going to find a game like... ^shouts^ CALL OF DUTY, which we all know Tiger loves so much, but there are many gems in the Vita's lineup that you won't be able to play anywhere else. Because you can literally play all these games anywhere you want to! That's the amazing thing about portable gaming. Let's see you try to bring that gigantic TV and PS4 with you on our next road trip, Tiger.

Tiger: Okay, okay, I get it but I'm still going to say no to the Vita. The only reason why I have one is that you got it for me Rabbit. I appreciate it but don't think I'm going to put down my DS4 to play it.

Eagle: Sorry, Tiger. I have to side with Rabbit on this one. The Vita is a great system for me, who enjoys a good JRPG every now and again.

Tiger: No worries Eagle. I guess I'm the odd critter out this time. At least you two can now gush over your anime guys and girls together.

Rabbit: Thanks for coming back to TvR for this discussion, Eagle! It's been fun!

Tiger: I hope you come back soon!

Eagle: After lame jokes like those, I may need to give your fans a break. But, it is always a pleasure to catch up with you two and your hijinks.<laughs>

Is the PlayStation Vita Still Worth Purchasing?

Tiger      vs      Eagle      vs      Rabbit

Random Happy Time, 40 O'Clock - Hello, Worker!
In the last segment, Eagle mentioned the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita game, Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f 2nd. Rabbit quizzes Eagle about the Vocaloid rhythm game and finds out which song is his all-time favorite.


Rabbit: Since Tiger was such a downer in that last segment, I want to talk with Eagle about something we all love! Vocaloids!

Tiger: I wouldn't go so far to say I love them, but sure, I'm game.

Rabbit: Who is your favorite Vocaloid, Eagle?

Eagle: My favorite is a little uncharacteristic of me, but I would have to say Megurine Luka.

Rabbit: ^squeals^ Mine too! I love most of Crypton Future's Vocaloids. She, along with Hatsune Miku, Kagamine Rin, and Kagamine Len are the most recognizable.

Tiger: I'm more a fan of 1st Place Co's IA. To me, she has the most realistic voice out of all of them.

Rabbit: Since Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f 2nd has a bunch of new songs, do you have a favorite yet?

Eagle: | •́ ◇ •̀ | I have played a lot of... <coughs> "Hello, Worker"...

Rabbit: Ooh, interesting choice. I myself love Rolling Girl by wowaka.

Tiger: Wow, I didn't expect that. Rolling Girl is a pretty depressing song.

Rabbit: But it's so catchy too.

Tiger: I play a lot of Romeo and Cinderella. (=^・ェ・^=)

Rabbit: ^giggles^

Tiger: What?

Rabbit: Have you seen the music video for that from NicoNico?

Tiger: No... I have not.

Rabbit: ^snickers^ /(^ x ^=)\

Tiger: Which song do you have the most trouble with or hate the most, Eagle?

Eagle: Blackjack gave me a bit of trouble on the harder difficulties.

Tiger: That one is tough. I didn't have a specific song I sucked at but those flying stars were freaking hard to keep track of. I really hated Clover♣Club and Miracle Paint though.

Rabbit:  ̄ (⁎˃ᆺ˂) ̄ I had a really hard time with Akatsuki Arrival for some strange reason. It's the first song you can play but the new layout really messed with my head. Some songs I just dealt with since I played them so much.

Tiger: Kokoro was like that for me. So was Break It, Break It. I ended up falling in love with that song after playing it so much.

Rabbit: Oh, and Roshin Yukai! Love that one.

Tiger: I wish they had Kokoro Kiseki. Maybe the next game.

Rabbit: Shota much?

Tiger: Oh shut it. You're the one with the depressing song obsession.

Rabbit: Did you ever beat the game, Eagle?

Eagle: I played through all of the songs a couple of times. I never did get all of the trophies for the game. One day I shall rise to the challenge and earn that platinum trophy.

Tiger: There were so many challenges for all the songs to unlock everything too. I'm not sure anyone can really beat that game.

Rabbit: Yeah, I'm never going to beat it. I still play it all the time, it's so fun and the music is catchy!

Tiger: Excited for Project DIVA X, I take it?

Rabbit: It came out in August! /(=⌒x⌒=)\ So excited. ryo has a song called Name of the Sin, Whiteflame is back with A Single Red Leaf, and who doesn't love 40mP?

Tiger: I'm actually excited for Neru's The Lost One's Weeping. I really prefer Len's version but the original is awesome too.

Eagle: After getting addicted with this game and the last, I will probably buy it for my Vita and the PS4. That way I can run the music through my sound system when playing in my dark cave I call a home.

Rabbit: That's a great idea! I'm definitely getting it on Vita.

Tiger: PS4 version for me.

Rabbit: Does that mean you'll be blasting Holy Lance Explosion Boy from your dark cave?

Tiger: Seriously, I'll bop you again if you keep bringing this up!(^._.^)ノ

Rabbit: Shota-oshi Tiger is scary! Hurry Eagle, let's run away before she gets really mad!

Eagle: o(`◇´)○ Please, do not drag me into this!

Rabbit: Too late! ^grabs Eagle and runs^ ε、., ⌒ 、., ⌒ 、., ⌒ 、., ⌒ /( =゚ェ゚=)ヽ

Tiger: Get back here you two!

Eagle: <yells from the distance> I am sorry! ε=ε=ε=ε=ε=ε=┌(; ̄◇ ̄)┘

Friday, September 9, 2016

Retro ReCAP, Round 2 - 2015-2016 San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks just completed a historic season of hockey, making it farther in the playoffs than they ever had before. Tiger watched every minute of the 82 regular season games and every second of the 24 playoff games. Taking time to reminisce about the amazing journey, Tiger and Rabbit highlight their favorite moments and reCAP the 2015-2016 season of the San Jose Sharks.


Tiger: You better buckle up, Rabbit, this is going to be a long one.

Rabbit: ^opens a grocery bag^ I already brought snacks and drinks. Plus, I ordered a pizza, pepperoni and black olives, baby!

Tiger: I thought rabbits were supposed to be herbivores?

Rabbit: But it’s pizza, you have to have pepperoni on pizza.

Tiger: You know what, it doesn’t matter. We have a lot of things to talk about and we shouldn’t waste time on your eating habits again.

Rabbit: Alright, alright. Well, what a run the San Jose Sharks had last season.

Tiger: It was amazing.

Rabbit: I saw you cry, I saw you cry three times.

Tiger: It was a very emotional experience.

Rabbit: The 2015-2016 season was the Sharks 25th anniversary and it turned out to be the most memorable season in the history of the team.

Tiger: Before we discuss all the amazing and some not so amazing events that took place this season, we have to frame the story by mentioning the seasons before.

Rabbit: It was a tough couple of seasons, wasn’t it?

Tiger: Tough is an understatement.

Rabbit: First, it was LA in 2013-2014.

Tiger: Effing LA.

Rabbit: Not still sore over that, I see. Anyway, in the first round of the playoffs against the Kings, the Sharks led the best of seven series with three wins and zero losses. LA stormed back and ended up winning four games in a row to eliminate the Sharks from the playoffs.

Tiger: The loss brought changes to the team and soon the 2014-2015 playoffs rolled around. This time, the Sharks didn’t even qualify and watched the entire thing from their couches. This was the first time they missed the playoffs, reaching the postseason the previous nine years straight.

Rabbit: The Sharks would be up for one of the biggest shakeups they had ever seen after two devastating seasons. Longtime coach Tod McLellan, who had worn teal since 2008, was let go.

Tiger: Peter DeBoer was hired as the eighth head coach in franchise history and a new era in Sharks Territory was about to begin.

Rabbit: Previously, DeBoer had coached the New Jersey Devils and the Florida Panthers. Interestingly enough, he was also a finalist for the Sharks head coaching position back in 2008 but lost it to McLellan.

Tiger: At the time, DeBoer had little experience as a coach in the NHL, but in 2015 he proved that he had what it took to manage and guide a big league team.

Rabbit: So PDB was kind of an unknown to us when he was first hired.

Tiger: Being a coach in the Eastern Conference, we didn’t see his teams very often. To be honest, his Panthers team wasn’t that skilled and though he did make the Stanley Cup Final with NJ, he never had the firepower the Sharks possessed. We really weren’t sure what he would do with the team.

Rabbit: We’d soon learn just how impressive his coaching skills were but before we could do that, there were a couple of holes to fill in the Sharks roster.

Tiger: We’ve already talked about the free agent signings of Joel Ward and Paul Martin in a previous round. These two players would be key in the successful playoff run the Sharks would eventually construct. We’ll be discussing Wardo in a bit but I want to bring up the amazingly steady play of Paul Martin.

Rabbit: Yes, often paired with the affable Brent Burns, Martin had his hands full.

Tiger: Burns is a gifted defenseman but tends to be unpredictable in a both good and bad ways.

Rabbit: Suddenly charging into the offensive zone with the puck and powering his way to the net is something that you don’t see a lot of defensemen do but with Burnzie, he’s a highlight reel maker.

Tiger: He can also be so focused on the offensive aspect of the game that he leaves his partner high and dry during odd-man rushes. Luckily, Martin is a very skilled and often unnoticeable player.

Rabbit: Which is a great compliment because usually when you notice defensemen, it’s because they made a bad play.

Tiger: Martin is truly the yin to Burns’ yang. The tandem is amazing, Martin allows Burns to play his chaotic style of game and also seems to calm him down in the D-zone. Slotting Martin with Burns also allowed the other defensemen to really play to their strengths as well.

Rabbit: Those weren’t the only moves General Manager Doug Wilson made in the 2015 offseason.

Tiger: You could say one of the biggest trades in San Jose history happened on June 30th when the Sharks sent their 2016 1st round pick and prospect Sean Kuraly to Boston for goaltender Martin Jones. Jones had only been traded to Boston from LA a few days prior and now found himself back in California, abet on the right side this time.

Rabbit: Oh, I remember you screaming at your phone when this news broke.

Tiger: Freaking LA. But he’s not one of them now, suckers! He’s wearing a real color now, Team Teal!

Rabbit: Jones was a phenom in his brief stint as relief for LA’s Jonathan Quick and also had an exemplary record at the 2015 World Championships for Canada. Other than that, his resume was short and he had never held a starting goalie position in the NHL before.

Tiger: Like DeBoer, Jones was a variable that we just didn’t know how he’d play out. Now, I actually expected him to play well in the beginning of the year but as the grind went deeper into the season, I was unsure how he’d handle the workload.

Rabbit: Luckily, Jones did a stellar job since the Sharks backup goalie, Alex Stalock, had an atrocious season that resulted in him being traded.

Tiger: Jones would soon prove himself as the dominate goalie the Sharks have always yearned for since Evgeni Nabokov left the team. Jones set a new franchise shutout record in October 2015, going an amazing 234:33 without allowing a single goal.

Rabbit: Jones would also hold an impressive shutout streak of 156 minutes in the playoffs against the St. Louis Blues.

Tiger: An absolutely phenomenal season by Martin Jones. We weren’t exactly sure what we were getting with him but he’s proven himself again and again. Everyone in San Jose absolutely loves him. I mean, I haven’t heard a goalie chant since the old days of “Nabby! Nabby! Nabby!” Now, you can hear the crowd at SAP Center cheer, “Jonesy! Jonesy! Jonesy!” when he makes a great save, and he makes those quite often.

Rabbit: There was one final change that occurred before the 2015-2016 got underway and that was the issue of who wore the ‘C’ for Team Teal.

Tiger: The previous season, the Sharks did not have a captain and instead had four alternates.

Rabbit: Once Peter DeBoer took the reins, he declared that SJS would have a captain again. On October 5th, 2015 that captain was named and his name was Captain America.

Tiger: Joe Pavelski was named the 9th captain of the Sharks. Logan Couture and Joe Thornton were named the alternates for the team.

Rabbit: Pavelski was drafted by the Sharks in the 7th round of the 2003 NHL Draft. That’s 205th overall! He is the second most prolific scorer in the last four seasons, only behind Alex Ovechkin who was drafted 1st in 2004! Weighing in at an underwhelming five-foot-eleven and 190-pounds, Pavelski is definitely not the biggest out there which just showcases how much skill he has as a pure goal scorer.

Tiger: He has to be one of the premier puck deflectors in the National Hockey League too. Always giving his all and playing a complete two-way game, Joe Pavelski has truly earned his title as Captain America.

Rabbit: If that doesn’t sell you on this extremely underrated player, Pavelski had 38 regular season goals and 14 tallies in the playoffs. He also has an Olympic silver medal to his name too. Truly one of the greatest players to don teal.
Tiger: With a new coach, a new goalie, and a new captain; the San Jose Sharks were set to commence the 2015-2016 season against their bitter, bitter, most hated rivals.

Rabbit: There were so many curse words flying at our house on October 7th, 2015 as the Sharks opened their season in LA against the Kings. It was Martin Jones’ first game as the starting goalie and his first against his old team. Team Teal started off shaky, allowing a goal in the first two minutes of the game but once they settled the nerves, it was all Sharks.

Tiger: Jumbo started off with a one-on-one goal in the first followed by a powerplay goal from Pavelski.

Rabbit: In the second period, it was Burns lighting the lamp then Hertl following suit on the powerplay. Captain America himself capped off the night with his second goal in the third period, leading to a final score of 5-1 for SJS.

Tiger: The Sharks were out to a 3-0-0 start and looked like a team reborn but adversity would soon strike. On October 16th, 2015 during practice, Couture fractured his right fibula and would require surgery, forcing him to miss most of the 2015 schedule. Couture eventually returned late in the year but would only play two games. During his second game against the Edmonton Oilers, he suffered a more severe injury.

Rabbit: Couture left the game against Edmonton with what he assumed was a severe Charley horse but once on the team plane, he knew something was very wrong. Couture suffered from bleeding in his thigh and required another surgery to repair the tear. Couture would not return to the ice until January 2nd, 2016.

Tiger: If you haven’t seen the Sharks play, Couture is just as vital to the team as Pavelski. A determined player both in the offensive and defensive zones, Cooch is also called Clutchure for his ability to produce a goal when the team needs it the most. His loss meant that other players had to fill the hole in the roster, causing the team to look unbalanced at times.

Rabbit: The end of 2015 was shaky for the Sharks as they alternated wins and losses, never really recapturing the momentum from the beginning of the season. There were bright spots for the team as players like Joel Ward stepped up big time to fill the void left by Couture. One of those times was on October 24th against the Carolina Hurricanes. Wardo scored two goals in the first period, allowing the Sharks to control the game. With 57 seconds left in the 3rd period, Ward scored the empty netter to complete the second hat trick of his career and first in the only jersey he should ever wear.

Tiger: One of the biggest tests the Sharks faced was in November when they went on a six game road trip. Now, the Sharks notoriously have a terrible road schedule with grueling travel demands. The previous road trip saw the Sharks split 2-2-0, not a stellar result at all. They were falling in the standings and knew they needed to string some wins together. It would be no easy task.

Rabbit: The six games across ten-days road trip began against Detroit. The Sharks eked out a 3-2 win before flying to Buffalo to play the next day. The Sharks had not won a game in Buffalo since Joe Thornton’s first game as a Shark way back in 2005. It was looking as if Team Teal wasn’t going to win this time as they reached the end of regulation with a 1-1 tie. Mister Shark himself, Patrick Marleau, scored the overtime winning goal, making the Sharks 2-0-0 on the trip so far.

Tiger: Next was Boston and the Sharks found themselves on the right side of a high scoring affair, winning 5-4. They tightened up their play in Philadelphia and squeaked by with a 1-0 overtime win, earning Martin Jones another shutout.

Rabbit: November 21st, 2015 would turn out to be a special night as the Sharks faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brent Burns’ scored the first goal of the game and Patrick Marleau made an assist. This would be Patty’s 1000th point in the NHL, all with the San Jose Sharks. It was also special because Pittsburgh was the city which hosted the 1997 NHL Draft where the Sharks took Marleau 2nd overall. If you look at the record book for the San Jose Sharks, you’ll likely see Marleau’s name show up a lot. He’s played a total of 1,411 all in teal. He’s currently the all-time leader in goals with 481, all-time leader in even strength goals with 311, and all-time leader in power play goals with 153. He also has the record for points with 1,036, shots with 3,608, games played with 1,411, and most 30+ goal seasons with 7.

Tiger: There’s speculation that we may have seen the last of Marleau in teal whether he retires or asks for a trade but no matter what happens, Marleau will always be seen as one of the most influential members of SJS.

Rabbit: Getting back on track with the road trip, the Sharks were 5-0-0 with their last game in Columbus. It was a wild west type of game with the Blue Jackets leading 3-1 in the third but the Sharks charged back with three goals in a little over seven minutes. Joe Pavelski sealed the deal with an empty net goal in the dying seconds of the game to win it 5-3. This completed the perfect 6-0 road trip, the first ever done by the Sharks. Pavelski had seven points over the course of the road trip and Patrick Marleau would also tally three more points to add to his impressive milestone. Martin Jones cannot be overlooked with his spectacular 5-0-0 record and a 1.56 goals against average coupled with a .950 save percentage. Those numbers are so amazing that he practically shined like the sun when he played.

Tiger: It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, as the Sharks were just 18-18-2 when 2016 rolled around. January 9th would prove to be a turning point for the team when the Toronto Maple Leafs arrived in town. It was a rare afternoon match and the game was broadcasted on Hockey Night in Canada, making it a game that many in the hockey world would see.

Rabbit: The first period saw both goalies tested but neither allowed a goal. It wasn’t until the second period when hulking Brent Burns was able to find the back of the net with a highlight reel goal. Seriously, check out the video which is linked above.

Tiger: This would spark an offensive onslaught as Matt Nieto from Long Beach, California tallied a shorthanded goal which was followed by goals from Joe Pavelski and Tomas Hertl. The Sharks didn’t let up in the third period and received goals from Melker Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi, and another from Hertl. The Sharks emphatically put down the Leafs 7-0 and ignited their game, going 8-0-2 in the next ten games. This game also started Joe Thornton’s point streak which would see him score the most points in the entire NHL from this point until the end of the season.

Rabbit: Jumbo Joe racked up so many points during this time that on January 26th against the Colorado Avalanche, he achieved his 1,300th point. Only 33 players in the history of the league have reached that total. Jumbo got his 1,300th in stereotypical fashion with a beautiful cross-crease feed to Joe Pavelski, who buried it.

Tiger: So I may have mentioned a name you might not be familiar with, Joonas Donskoi. Originally drafted by the Panthers in 2010, Donskoi played in the Finnish Elite League before signing with the Sharks. He tallied his first NHL goal in his first NHL game against the LA Kings during the Sharks opener. At 24 years of age, Donskoi was older and more experienced than other NHL rookies but he still surprised many when he took to the ice. The injury to Logan Couture allowed Donskoi to take on a more demanding role and he did not disappoint. He’s not an overly large or fast player but his skill with the puck has garnered him an impressive highlight reel.

Rabbit: Seriously, if you only click on one link, clink on this one, the goals are ridiculous.

Tiger: In his first season in the NHL, Donskoi scored 11 goals and 25 points with 6 goals in the playoffs including the Game 3 overtime winner of the SCF. The future of the San Jose Sharks is a bright one with Donskoi in the lineup.

Rabbit: We’ve already discussed Logan Couture’s series of injuries. When he finally came back in January, Cooch wasn’t the same player as he was before. It took him a long time to not only get back to speed but also find his scoring touch. He definitely had the touch on March 29th in Vancouver though. Couture had played a total of 426 games up to this point but had never scored a hattie. With the game tied 1-1, Couture would score three uninterrupted goals, giving him his first hat trick. Couture was on fire from here on out and was clutch in the playoffs with 30 points, which lead the league. Couture also scored three points in every series clinching game the Sharks had in the playoffs and contributed three more points to stave off elimination in Game 5 of the SCF. Couture would be one of the best players in the playoffs not only for the Sharks but NHL wide which was an amazing feat considering the injuries and adversity he suffered through in the early portion of the season.

Tiger: OMG, we’ve covered so much and we haven’t even talked about the playoffs yet.

Rabbit: Well, the pizza is here so maybe we should take a break, give our Qgers and Qbbits a breather too.

Tiger: You’ve got to be kidding me. Really?

Rabbit: I’m serious, I’m super hungry too.

Tiger: *sighs* Fine, we can take a short break

[an hour later]

Tiger: Now can we talk playoffs?

Rabbit: ^yawns^ That was so yummy! I’m sleepy now.

Tiger: Nope, nope, you don’t get to do this to me. We’re finishing this.

Rabbit: Hai, hai.
Tiger: The 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs began with a familiar foe in the first round, the fu-

Rabbit: Fuzzy! Those very fuzzy LA Kings. Yes, it was a rematch in the first round as the Sharks had a lot to prove while everyone was questioning whether they would repeat 2014’s results.

Tiger: The Sharks took a commanding 2-0 before dropping the third game in overtime to LA. Again, the media and fans were buzzing with the nightmares of 2014. The Sharks, however, were a different team and came back to win Game 4. Game 5 started with the Sharks taking a 3-0 lead but the Kings came back to tie it. Going into the third, SJ responded with another three goals, winning the game and eliminating the LA Kings from the playoffs. Yeah, baby! That’s how you do it!

Rabbit: It was a battle with Music City as the Sharks faced the Nashville Predators in the second round. The Sharks won their first two games at home but Nashville matched them by taking the two games in Tennessee.

Tiger: Again, it was home ice advantage as the Sharks won Game 5 but lost Game 6 on the road. Would the Sharks be able to hold serve at home? That was resoundly answered when the Sharks shut down the Predators, winning Game 7 by a 5-0 margin. It was also Martin Jones first playoff shutout. The Sharks were going to the Western Conference Final.

Rabbit: For the fourth time in franchise history, the Sharks made it to the third round of the Stanly Cup Playoffs, this time facing off against the St. Louis Blues. It was a tight series with St. Louis winning the first game and the Sharks shutting out the Blues in the second.

Tiger: The next two games were also split, leaving the series tied at two games apiece. The Sharks were losing the game late in the second period of Game 5 until Captain America tied it up and then gave the Sharks the early lead. SJ would not yield another goal and were now one win away from the Stanley Cup Final.

Rabbit: Game 6 was back in San Jose and the Tank was rocking. The Sharks blazed out of the starting gate with a 4-0 and would win the game with a final score of 5-2. The Sharks had eliminated the St. Louis Blues and reached the first-ever SCF!

Tiger: The Sharks would face the Pittsburgh Penguins to see who would raise Lord Stanley’s Cup. The first two games in Pittsburgh were losses for the Sharks. The first SCF game in San Jose was nuts and it felt like the city was going to be set ablaze by the sheer passion. The Sharks would win Game 3 at home but lost the following. It was a scrappy affair on the road as the Sharks battled to earn the ‘W’ and bring one more Stanley Cup Final game back to San Jose. The Sharks would end up losing this game and thus lost the series 4-2 to the Penguins. While it wasn’t the result we wanted, it was an experience that no one was expecting.

Rabbit: I remember hoping that they’d just make it to the playoffs, I never thought about them playing for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Looking back at this whirlwind of a season, what are some of your thoughts?

Tiger: For me, the number one thing is how the team really pulled together and played as a unit. The previous season, there were so many times that you saw individuals put in individual efforts and it often didn’t feel like there was a team on the ice. It reminded me of seeing some of the Olympic teams play because those teams don’t have a lot of practice and rely pretty much on star power. This Sharks team; everyone knew their role, accepted it, and played it to the best of their abilities. Got to give DeBoer a lot of credit for righting the ship so quickly.

Rabbit: I also think infusing the new blood was really key. Players like Jones, Ward, Martin, Donskoi, and some of the young players that played in relief like DeMelo were great. We didn’t mention Karlsson or Tierney but they were young guns the previous season and came back with renewed confidence and really contributed to the team down the stretch. A healthy Hertl and better D-pairings were really important too. I know it wasn’t the end result that we had hoped for but you cannot take away anything from this team and the season they played.

Tiger: I’m actually really happy how things turned out. Yeah, they didn’t win the Cup but no one expected them to make it that far. Heck, when January rolled around, I thought we were out of the playoffs entirely. It reminded me of the horrible February in 2015 that killed the Sharks chances to advance to the post-season.

Rabbit: We didn’t mention Joe Thornton too much, there were a lot of players who had amazing years and we just couldn’t mention them all, but Jumbo’s season was a special sort of special.

Tiger: We witnessed probably the greatest season of a future hall of fame player. I can literally say Thornton played some of the best hockey I have ever seen from anyone in the 17 or so years I’ve been watching the sport. I mean, there were some Ray Bourque vibes going on with a lot of fans calling to “win it for Joe.” Now, Joe Thornton is not retiring next season but he is up there in age and I’d love to see him win it all, definitely well deserved. But he is one of the greatest players to ever play the sport. The records he holds and how he keeps smashing his way up those point total ladders; it’s just insane to watch.

Rabbit: Yes, the people he is passing on those lists are already legendary which makes him even more so since he’s still playing. I hope the Sharks can get it done for him before he retires, I really do.

Tiger: Seeing Jeremy Roenick have to eat his words was awesome too. But we’re getting a little off track, I think we should go ahead and wrap this up before we end up talking for another hour.

Rabbit: All in all, this was the best season we’ve ever seen the Sharks play.

Tiger: I totally agree with you there; my only regret is we couldn’t be there in person to witness it. But it makes me excited for the future, not just the upcoming season but the seasons to come. Is it October yet?

2015-2016 San Jose Sharks ReCAP

 photo DownTiger25_zps42nel8ye.png Couture’s injuries
 photo DownTiger25_zps42nel8ye.png Not being able to see the Sharks play live
 photo DownTiger25_zps42nel8ye.png Losing a game to the freaking LA Kings

 photo DownRabbit25_zps7npsaebb.png Early injury troubles
 photo DownRabbit25_zps7npsaebb.png November/December losing streaks 2015
 photo DownRabbit25_zps7npsaebb.png Losing Hertl in the SCF

 photo UpTiger25_zps6afvcd0b.png Martin Jones phenomenal play all season long
 photo UpTiger25_zps6afvcd0b.png Beating LA in the first round
 photo UpTiger25_zps6afvcd0b.png Couture’s return and his clutch scoring in the playoffs

 photo UpRabbit25_zpsjb4ofq1q.png Joe Thornton’s 1300th point
 photo UpRabbit25_zpsjb4ofq1q.png Donskoi’s highlight reel goals
 photo UpRabbit25_zpsjb4ofq1q.png San Jose hosting its first SCF game

Random Happy Time, 39 O'Clock - The Black Cat of San Jose!
There were too many memorable events that happened during the 2015-2016 San Jose Sharks season to fit into one round. Rabbit uses RHT! to chat with Tiger about some of her other favorite moments including a black cat, a special homecoming, and how the Sharks are finally number one of something.


Rabbit: There were so many other stories surrounding the Sharks last season that we didn’t get to talk about, like Jo PAW-velski! She’s a black cat that took the internet by storm when she appeared on the ice during warm-ups for the first playoff game of the second round against Nashville. └(=^‥^=)┐ She became sort of a good luck charm for the team and soon, you could find black cat plushies and t-shirts all over the Tank. They even had a full mascot show up for Game 5! (。♥‿♥。) Sharkie is still the best mascot, but Jo is a close second. While she was at Humane Society Silicon Valley, they put in a camera so you could check in on her to see how she was doing. Her pen had so much Sharks gear! Tiger, you and her could be twins!

Tiger: I think the coolest thing about the story is that Patrick Marleau and his family adopted her.

Rabbit: The Sharks also did some special things for two families as well. The first was during Military Appreciation Weekend when Sr. Airman Brandon Pettit surprised his wife and kids with his return from deployment in Qatar.

Tiger: The Sharks also hosted the Foley family, who had to flee their home when the massive wildfire near For McMurray broke out. The fire would trigger the largest evacuation in Alberta history and it would burn for almost two months.

Rabbit: With only 30 minutes to evacuate, Billy Foley chose to save his SJ jersey collection. A picture of the saved collection was tweeted to Sharkie via Twitter and the Sharks mascot sent Billy his jersey. The story could have ended there but General Manager Doug Wilson invited the Foley family to San Jose for Game 4 of the WCF to get the VIP treatment, San Jose style. Great to see that while hockey is just a sport, it can impact people in a positive way. (´;ω;`)

Tiger: Just like with the All Star Weekend in Nashville. Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns were the representatives for Team Teal but there was also an honorary member, John Scott, who used to play for SJ. There’s a really messy story about John Scott, who captained the Pacific Division All Star team, and how he got to the All Star Weekend. There was a fan vote conducted that any eligible NHL player could be selected to represent one of the divisions during the festivities. Now John Scott is not a skilled player, no offense to him, but he’s no Ovechkin or Stamkos. John Scott is known as an enforcer, a big guy that will drop the gloves any time. He has a great personality and he was well liked in the San Jose locker but he’s not someone who’d normally get an invitation to the All Star Tournament. The internet had other plans and decided to vote him ahead of everyone else. This is where things get strange, Scott was originally with the Coyotes which is in the Pacific Division but was traded to Montreal which is not in the Pacific Division. The NHL deemed that Scott was ineligible to participate which again, sent the internet into a craze. Eventually it was decided that he could attend but would wear a generic jersey.

Rabbit: Being an ex-Shark, Scott ended up playing the 3-on-3 All Star Game with Pavelski and Burns. In a very public and often ugly ordeal with the NHL, Scott was gracious and kept his sense of humor. He received standing ovations by the fans in Nashville and even scored two goals. He was also selected as the MVP of the All Star Tournament. ( ^∇^) It’s a great ending for a great guy and I’m proud that the San Jose Sharks players and fans supported him.

Tiger: The Sharks got some well-deserved recognition when Hockey News, the magazine, announced their 100 best jerseys of all time. Their number one pick? The original San Jose Sharks jersey that would ever mark them as Team Teal! (*•̀ᴗ•́*)و ̑̑

Rabbit: There’s an interesting story when the jersey was being designed that the jersey manufacturer and the NHL asked the Sharks more than once to reconsider their choice of color. They wanted the team to pick a more traditional blue like what the other teams wore. George Gund III and his team stuck by their choice and the rest is history. In a sea of red and blue jerseys, the San Jose Sharks truly stand out as being unique with their classic teal sweaters.

Tiger: 2016-2017 is definitely going to be a season to look forward to. We already have some new additions to the team in Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko. The rookies Timo Meier, Dylan DeMelo, and others look to make a splash with the team. We’ve got the traditional massive November road trip, 16 grueling back-to-back games, 82 games in 178 days, and the Sharks will travel 48,872 miles. We even have new logos for the next season, they’ll be secondary marks for merchandise and not a new jersey design.

Rabbit: It’s definitely a great time to be a fan of the San Jose Sharks and of hockey in general. But before we can start the next season, we gotta finish this pizza! (○´∇`)0━┳━0(´∇`●)

Friday, August 12, 2016

Q Attack, Round 30 - Should Video Games be Turned into Board Games?
Recently, Tiger has been addicted to the XCOM: The Board Game by Fantasy Flight Games. She and Rabbit discuss other video game based board games and why someone would want to play them over their digital counterparts. Read on to find out which furry mammal thinks video games should be turned into board games.


Tiger: Hey Rabbit, want to play a game?

Rabbit: Sure.

Tiger: It will just take me a few minutes to set up the board.

Rabbit: Wait, what?

Tiger: Yeah, I need to get the cards sorted and set up the figures then we'll be ready to play.

Rabbit: No, I don't want to play a board game. I thought you meant we were going to play a video game.

Tiger: It's kind of a video game, it's XCOM: The Board Game from FFG.

Rabbit: This isn't the game you've been ranting and raving about, is it?

Tiger: *raises hands* It is! It's so awesome. You actually play it just like the video game. You and up to three other players work together to take on the aliens which is controlled by the companion app. UFOs will appear in orbit and descend on the various continents. Your base can get attacked while you have your squad out on missions. It's a crazy game and it changes every time you play because of the app. I love it.

Rabbit: I can tell. I just don't get why you'd want to turn a really great video game into a board game. Board games are well, boring.

Tiger: Take that back, they are so not boring! I love board games, there's just something intimate about having actual cards, figures, and dice in front of you. It can be just as exciting as a video game when the action unfolds. You just have to use your imagination a little.

Rabbit: ^rolls eyes^ It sounds like you have to use it a lot. I just don't get why you'd want to even do that.

Tiger: It's not unheard of to turn a video game into a board or tabletop game. There was the Dragon Age RPG, I never got it but I heard good things about that.

Rabbit: Okay, that game kind of makes sense since the lore of Dragon Age is so rich. I can see that being a cool RPG similar to what FFG did with Game of Thrones but XCOM?

Tiger: It's really fun playing with your friends and it's a co-op game too.

Rabbit: You just like board games.

Tiger: I do, I find that they are a fun way to pass the time with friends. While I enjoy video games, you don't really interact as much as you do when you play a tabletop game. Plus, you actually have to use your brain a little bit more like counting up die and other math problems.

Rabbit: Like X-Wing Miniatures, that game took a lot of effort to play.

Tiger: I admit that one can be a bit tedious at times. There are video game themed board games you enjoyed like Mass Effect Risk.

Rabbit: That one looked cool but essentially it was just a reskinned version of Risk.

Tiger: I kind of want to get the Fallout Monopoly game but I know I won't want to use that one at all.

Rabbit: I get that you love tabletop games but it's hard enough to find people online to play video games with, how do you find real-life people to play with?!

Tiger: Yeah, it's tough, especially since I can't count on you to play with me. I have a few friends that like tabletop games so we try to get together to play once in a while. There's also a store nearby that host events though I've never actually participated myself. They tend to focus on the card games.

Rabbit: Speaking of card games...

Tiger: I don't know what you're talking about.

Rabbit: You bad, bad kitty, you.

Tiger: It's all your fault.

Rabbit: ^throws hands in air^ How is this my fault?

Tiger: You were the one that had us talk about all our old collections from back in the day.

Rabbit: I think we're getting off topic; we should table this until RHT.

Tiger: That's a first, you wanting us to get back on track.
Rabbit: So you like it when companies turn video games into board games?

Tiger: I do, as long as they do it well and respectfully. Like with Fantasy Flight Games, the XCOM board game holds true to what XCOM the video game is. It is a turn-based strategy game that keeps a lot of the same elements such as alien research, every enemy is dangerous, and even the money woes from the video game. It's a great iteration and a fun take on an already great game. Some video games just lend themselves well to the tabletop world. Like Dragon Age, I could see a TES or Fallout RPG. Even shooters like Gears of War had great board game iterations. But I think the strategy video games translate the best. Just look at Civilization: The Board Game, another game from FFG. That is a great and fun experience that anyone can pick up and play. There was even a Street Fighter card game that was pretty cool. I loved the idea of customizing your character with different move cards. I never got the chance to play it but I've heard that it was a fun experience that stayed true to the essence that is Street Fighter. Speaking of card games, the Uncharted card game was a blast to play and I still dust that game off when friends come over. I just think board games are another way to express your love for a franchise. You spend so much time in the video game world; why not translate that into the real world via a tabletop game. And while video game themed games like Mass Effect Monopoly are cool, I prefer when they make a new tabletop game like with XCOM. It's just a fun way to experience a franchise you love in a different light.

Rabbit: I don't know about you. It's kind of like video game movies, why not keep them video games? I like playing board games too but I would rather see the gorgeous set pieces of Uncharted or Bioshock Infinite on my TV screen rather than trying to recreate it with little tiny plastic figures or cards. I just think it's another way for them to cash in on these IPs and milk them for all they're worth. Like with Monopoly, we've seen every iteration under the sun of that game from Zelda to Mass Effect to who knows what. It was cool at first to see video game characters sort of in the main stream, if you can call board games main stream, but now they slap 'em on the box and expect the money to pour down. I'd rather see these video game characters where they belong, in a video game.

Tiger: Does this mean you aren't going to play Fallout Monopoly with me?

Should Video Games be Turned into Board Games?

Tiger     vs     Rabbit