It was announced recently that the sequel to Ready Player One will be released on November this year. I can’t say that I’m too excited by the news. I found the book really annoying and thought the film was kind of dull. I think it’s a problem with all novels that rely too heavily on their pop culture references. For one thing, I think it shows a lack of imagination and writing ability. For another, I think it’s a really lazy way of getting your readers onside. It’s using nostalgia to create engagement instead of a captivating story or developed characters. I’d go so far as to say that Ernest Cline’s YA novel made me quite angry. So angry that I’ve really stopped trusting any book that uses popular culture to draw people in. Which means that Slay wasn’t a natural choice for me to start reading. It’s a YA novel about an online video game and it’s really pushing the Black Panther connection. Writer Brittney Morris was inspired by the movie to write her first novel. Something she apparently accomplished in 11 days. But would it read like an 11-day long composition or would it actually make up for the wounds left by Cline? There was only one way to find out.
I’m not much of a gamer these days because I don’t have the time. I thought about jumping on the Animal Crossing bandwagon but I haven’t picked up my Switch since my birthday. It’s not worth spending the money for a few minutes use. Maybe when it’s cheaper. Back in the day, I spent most of my spare time playing video games. I’m not one of those gamers who likes MMOs but I enjoyed the classics. I recently started playing San Andreas again for the first time since I was a kid and it’s amazing. Yeah, the graphics are a bit dodgy by today’s standards but you can’t fault it as a whole. When we were kids, my sister and I used to be obsessed with the Tekken franchise. Mostly Tekken 3 on our Playstation. God, we played that game loads. My absolute favourite character was Julia Chang. She did this triple kick that was amazing. But that’s really beside the point. The point is, I’d never seen the Tekken film until this week. I just didn’t want to risk. We all know how terrible films based on video games can be.
You have to give the mind’s behind Sonic the Hedgehog their dues. When they heard the criticism for the first trailer, they literally went back to the drawing board and redesigned the main character. It’s more than the Cats people did. They waited until after they’d released the film to try and fix some of their mistakes. Yes, it will definitely have come down to money and want to ensure as many people bought tickets as possible. After all, the amount of free publicity they got out of it will have made sure that plenty of people who were never going to see it wanted to. But it’s also a positive thing because Sonic is such an important figure from many people’s childhoods. It was important to get this right. Especially as so many video game films are so badly received. For plenty of people, this film would have been important. I’ll be honest, I was never much of a Sonic fan. I was more of a Super Mario kind of gal. But I have had some fun playing as the blue blur in my time.
I was obsessed with Pokémon as a kid. Who am I kidding? I’m still obsessed with it. But it came out when I was exactly the right age. I bought the trading cards, bought as many Gameboy games as I was allowed (my parents being in control of my financials at the time), and watched the TV show. I sang the theme song and tried (and failed) to learn the Pokérap. I put a lot of thought into deciding which Pokémon I’d love to own if they were real: pretty sure I stuck on Growlithe in the end, cause I loved dogs, but it probably changed every day. One thing I did know, however, is that Pikachu wasn’t all that. Something I’ve had heated arguments over the years but that’s a different story for a different time. Pikachu is cute, granted, but he’s not the strongest out there. Still, I was embarrassingly excited about Detective Pikachu. Obviously, Ryan Reynolds meets Pokémon? What more could I want? So, yeah, I was excited but, to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to be good. How could it? It looked shit and it didn’t sound like a real film. It was more like a fake YouTube trailer than a real Hollywood trailer.