What Fortnite Needs To Do To Beat PUBG!

Epic’s Fortnite has been in development a long time, and then late last year they gave people the chance to enter the beta for the game if they paid $40.  This seemed like a bad deal to me.  $40 to play a free-to-play game early?  I wasn’t the only person who thought so either.  It wasn’t doing very well, plus the fun base building game was walled behind a bunch of F2P mechanics (that your currently have to pay $40 for), so Epic smartly pivoted to something they knew they could do well, copy PUBG and give it away for free.  It worked.  40 Million downloads and 2 Million concurrent players later Fortnite is a hit, but it still is not king of the Battle Royal hill.

PUBG has less downloads, not surprising since Fortnite costs you nothing and PUBG costs $30, but PUBG frequently has over 3 Million concurrent players on Steam alone, and who knows how many Xbox players the game has at a given time, but it is a lot.  In other words, PUBG rules this game space for now, but I think Fortnite can change that, if they are smart.

First they need to ditch all the F2P garbage they have been developing, and then just let Fortnite have three game modes: Battle Royal (PvP), Survive (Base Defense, PvE), and Explore (Minecraft, PvEvP).  Then give it away for free like Battle Royal and sell tons of skins and hats, like a lot, a lot.  Ding, Ding, Ding! Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!  Epic would then have a complete game with three fun things to do, and an easy monetization scheme.  AKA sell tons of digital crap for their three very fun game modes.  No city building, or cool down nonsense.

If they do that, I bet more of those 40 Million people would play the game instead of just trying out Battle Royal once and figuring out that PUBG is a bit better.  They would keep playing because there is more to do, and those things are fun.  Meanwhile, PUBG will still only have its one, admittedly great, game mode, so if you get sick of that, you stop playing the game, and there goes selling all those loot box keys.

Poor Justice League Returns Are Not Slowing Down The DCEU!

After yet another critical failure with the Justice League, the heads of the DCEU rolled once again, and now Walter Hamada is in charge with apparent complete control, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing down the DCEU.  Casting is almost complete (it may be now) for the new Shazam film, and it is coming out April 19th 2019, but the biggest news is that The Flash movie now has its third and forth directors.

The guys that wrote the very funny Spider-Man: Homecoming, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, are now writing and directing Flashpoint.  It is interesting that they will be adding so much comedic talent to a movie that will have no-doubt far reaching implications for the DECU, but it is still the best sign that even though Warner Brothers is not slowing down their superhero output, that they are indeed changing the tone of their films.

I love the cast of the DCEU movies, they just need to start making GOOD movies with them.  Hopefully they get things turned around with Aquaman, Wonder Woman 2, Shazam! and Flashpoint because I need to have a good Justice League movie.  I NEED IT!!!!! … Anyway, we will see if these movies are what the doctor ordered, or if that is the end of the DCEU as we know it.

Shmee Checks In For The Big Sick!

Imagine you find the love of your life, but then during your first real fight, this person ends up in a coma.  Sounds pretty funny right? … right?  Well that is the basis for The Big Sick.  Which is a semi-autobiographical story about how Kumail Nanjiani met his wife.  It fits very much in the  mold of Judd Apatow’s patented dramedy.  Which is to say it is pretty good.

Apparently this all started because Apatow and Nanjiani were on the ‘You Made It Weird’ podcast together, and Apatow convinced Nanjiana that his story would make for a good movie.  Of course Apatow would produce since funny people getting kind of sad is his bread and butter, and here we are.  I have to admit it is a pretty touching movie, so Apatow knows his business.

The actors are all equally funny and sad.  I think Kumail is on the verge of becoming a big star.  He has great comedic timing, and he is very relatable.  I would watch him in another couple dozen films.  I hadn’t recognized the actor that played his would be wife, Zoe Kazan, but apparently she has been in a lot of stuff, and she is very talented.  Even if she is in a coma for a lot of The Big Sick.

Amazon has gone to work making sure that they have plenty of movies for their service, and The Big Sick shows that all that work is paying off.  I would have expected this movie to make a bigger splash this awards season, but a lot of non-comedies are filling up the comedy nominations this year, so The Big Sick and others are being left out.  Which is kind of a shame.  Anyway, if you have Amazon Prime, The Big Sick is a worthwhile film, and another hit added to Apatow’s already large collection.

Shmee Discovers The Shape Of Water!

If you know me, or have been reading this site for a while you know that I love Guillermo del Toro‘s work, so there was no chance I was not going to see his latest film, The Shape of Water.  Like almost all his movies it is visually stunning, but it also has a lot of heart to go with that visual splendor.  There is no better purveyor of adult fairy tales than Mr. del Toro.

If you have heard anything about The Shape of Water than you know it is about a mute woman (Sally Hawkins) who falls in love with a fish-man/monster (Doug Jones) in a secret government lab, and for most movies that would be enough, but there are so many little things that go along with the main plot that fill in this film’s world beautifully.  Things I will not spoil for you.

In del Toro’s movies it is never a surprise that the monster of the movie isn’t really the monster, and that is true here as well.  What is surprise is how easy it is to empathize with Doug Jones’ fish-man.  The character is beautifully brought to life and somehow feels completely normal in the strange world that is being shown on the screen.  Sally Hawkins somehow makes her love of this ‘being’ believable.  The rest of the cast is fantastic as well, but with the likes of Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Richard Jenkins that is hardly a surprise.

While the story and the acting are fantastic, half of the reason to see a del Toro movie is because he will always show you something incredible.  He has a unique visual flair, and he keeps finding new wonderful things to show us.  He also loves to use extremes.  There are no half measures, while the movie is sweet and tender, the violence is graphic and harsh.  The Shape of Water is rated ‘R’ for a reason.  All the reasons.

The Shape of Water is a delightfully strange tale, and it is a perfect film for a weirdo like me.  It will take more than a little graphic violence and some nudity to keep me from succumbing to The Shape of Water’s charms.  Apparently I am not the only one because The Shape of Water earned Guillermo del Toro his first Golden Globe for directing.  An award that was well deserved.

Shmee Falls In To The Stardew Valley!

I bought Stardew Valley on a whim.  Something cute to play between other games I thought.  I was so naïve.  The game is supper addicting.  You will start to play, thinking to yourself, “I will just play for a couple of in game days.”, and then before you know it you have lost an entire real life day.  The thing is, I am not even sure that it is fun, but there are so many little things to do that it digs its hooks in very quickly.

In Stardew Valley you play as a young city person who’s Grandfather has passed away and left you a run down farm.  He wants you to tend to it, so that you can escape the modern rat race.  Apparently this appeals to you, so you leave the city, head to Stardew Valley, and start up your farm.

It is all so simple at first.  You spend you money on seeds, then you water your seeds, and then you sell your plants, but then hey, you can go fishing.  If you want better farming equipment you will need copper and iron, so you better check out the old mine.  There are monsters in the mine, so you will need a sword.  Did you know that you can become friends with the townspeople?  You can, and it speeds it along if you buy them gifts.  They also have birthdays, so better not miss those.  It goes on and on like this.  There are also some very weird things that happen, which is great because it adds to the ‘fun’.

Nothing Stardew Valley does is complex, and obviously Nintendo has owned the lowkey farming sim for years with the Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing franchises, but this gives the rest of us a chance to relax and water a bunch of sunflowers then give them to townspeople who rarely give you anything in return.  Not that I am angry.

If you want something simple, yet engaging, and if you have more self control than me, something you can play for a few minute here and there, Stardew Valley is a great choice.  It is now out on just about every gaming platform known to man, so there is almost no excuse not to play it, except maybe not wanting to dream about your next potato crop.