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April 2020

Newsbytes archive for March 2020

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

Sonic the Hedgehog - A movie with impeccable speed and timing

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (11 votes)

Eggman_0.jpgAfter the bumper here, the review will get into spoiler territory. I will say that if you are a Sonic fan this movie will give you a sense of pride as it is far better than it should have had any right in being. Taking the franchise’s lore and resetting it to tell its own story, but retaining the strong characterization and quip heavy personalities of Sonic and Robotnik that makes their rivalry such a strong one. It also keeps the first entry simple with the hedgehog and doctor being the only two characters from the universe being in the film. This makes the story stronger since it can develop those two far more and not have to worry about any other kind of side character fan service for now.

Hey, at least now Sonic fans can brag to Mario ones that Mario may still be the king of games, but Sonic blew the plumber’s cinematic pieces out of the water. Not that that was a high bar I suppose. Then again, having better quality games than Sonic these days isn’t one either (the author quips while using a quote from Sonic Forces for his review’s headline).

In the video game Sonic the Hedgehog, timing is everything. While at the heart of the game is a fast paced platformer, its foundation has always been learning the layout of a level and timing your actions appropriately. In a twist, the timing of this film and its release had quite a bit of impact on my view of it.

Movie Review: 'Animal Crackers' (2017)

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (11 votes)

Animal Crackers (trailer) is a 94-minute computer-animated children's movie. The brainchild of Scott Sava, it caught the early attention of furry fandom at least as far back as 2015. Concept animation showed a guy haphazardly munching on animal-shaped cookies that turned him into the animals. As time went on, Sava brought in financial backers, a co-director (Tony Bancroft, who'd worked on several Disney movies), and a co-writer (Dean Lorey). The finished product premiered at the Annecy Film Festival in 2017... and then vanished.

It turns out that Sava had made the mistake of not securing a distributor ahead of time. With very little bargaining power, it eventually got shown in China in 2018, and some other countries in 2019.

Obituary: Rick May, voice of Peppy Hare from 'Star Fox 64'

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (6 votes)

rickmay.jpgRick May, best known to furries and non-furries alike as the voice of Peppy Hare in the English version of the game Star Fox 64 passed away April 13, 2020 due to COVID-19. May was born September 21, 1940 (with the full name of Richard J. May), meaning he would have turned 80 later this year. May had also recently suffered a stroke in February, making him even more vulnerable to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

May will forever be known as the man who originally uttered the memetic line "Do a barrel roll! (Z or R twice.)" in Star Fox 64, explaining to players how to perform what is technically an aileron roll in order to deflect enemy attacks. May also played the villain of Star Fox 64, Andross. Outside of furry video games, May is probably best known for voicing the Soldier of Team Fortress 2; furries might also recognize his voice behind the villainous Dr. M from the third Sly Cooper game. In addition to voice work for video games, May has had a long history of working both on and for the stage as both a director and actor, beginning with USO shows while stationed in Japan. His part in a Renton, Washington production of Cotton Patch Gospel featured a combination of his voice and stage work, as he used different voices to portray 21 characters in what was reportedly his favorite stage role.

REVIEW: Bleak Horizons, edited by Tarl Hoch

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (8 votes)

Bleak Horizons.jpgA great many people only experience science fiction by what my mother and millions of others referred to as "monster movies". From Frankenstein to Aliens and beyond, the unknown and the unexplored are often our undoing. Bleak Horizons, edited by Tarl Hoch, is a wonderful collection of 15 stories that mix SF and Horror with various levels of anthropomorphic settings and characters. And, full disclosure, one of those stories is mine. Happily, the mix includes more than just blood thirsty monsters and end of the universe scenarios.

Overall my favorite stories in this anthology are Hardwire, Pentangle, and The Ouroboros Plate. My least favorites are 4/13/2060 and Not Like Us. Below is a short review of all the pieces. I think you should snag a copy, if only to read my favorites and have a taste for this genre. However, I also really enjoyed Carmen Miranda's Ghost Is Haunting Space Station 3 so you have every right to question my taste.

Ranking every furry skin in Fortnite from worst to best

Your rating: None Average: 2.8 (12 votes)

idroppedfortnitewithfurryskins100timesandthisiswhathappened.jpg

Fortnite Battle Royale (or just Fortnite) is a “battle royale” shooter that has been around since 2017, and while its getting a bit long in the tooth, it’s still hanging around and still free to play. Last year, the game finally implemented skill-based matchmaking, which means for casual and new players, it’s never been easier to get into. In many ways, it is comparable to Nintendo properties such as Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart, taking a more traditionally “hardcore” video game genre and making it more accessible with gimmicky gameplay, goofy items, cartoony visuals and massive amounts of RNG.

Of course, the game isn’t exactly furry in and of itself, but the game makes its money selling cosmetic upgrades to player’s in game characters, and quite a few of them feature either characters in animal costumes, or, more recently, straight up anthropomorphic animals. In the time-honored tradition of clickbait listicals, here is my ranking of those skins.

Review: The Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (7 votes)

cinrak-covercopymed.jpgThe Voyages of Cinrak the Dapper is a collection of seven short stories written by A. J. Fitzwater centred around Cinrak, a lesbian, capybara pirate. It has a couple of strong elements as well as several weak points. I struggled with my thoughts as I read it and, in the end, I would say that, overall, I found it frustrating.

I will start this review briefly talking about politics. It might seem like an unusual starting point but the introduction makes clear that the book is political and it touches on several hot button issues.

Come for handsome, huggable Cinrak in a dapper three-piece, stay for her becoming a house-ship Mother to an enormous found family, the ethical polyamory, trans boy chinchilla, genderqueer rat mentor, fairy, and whale, drag queen mer, democratic monarchy, socialist pirates, and strong unionization.

What I do like about the way politics is handled in this book, is that it is not set up as a conflict between opposing ideologies; the book presents its favoured way of seeing the world and just leaves it as that. Even the religious character (and there is a fascinating take on religion inside) is played off sympathetically. However, by taking the stances it does, the book is also going to be, though it has no regrets about it, alienating for certain readers. If you can not tolerate a heavy emphasis on, and I quote, LGBTQIA characters, then this book is definitely not for you and you may as well stop here. On the other hand, if that’s what you crave, it may be exactly what you want and you should read further.

Which is the best Fortnite Pet?

A Comprehensive List of Internet Based Furry Convention-like Gatherings

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While the pandemic has been chipping away at the furry convention scene, other furs have stepped forward to try and give those in the community events to look forward to over the now dormant weekends. This had started with a group of Furnal Equinox members creating a digital replacement for their late March convention called Keep Calm and Carry Con - Furnal Isolation. More have started to spring up this spring.

They can have internet dealers dens, streaming dance competitions, and other staples that conventions are known for. Accessible from the safety of your own home.

Below is a comprehensive list of conventions. Last updated May 2nd, 2020 12:18 ET.

Please feel free to place any not listed here in the comments below and we will look into adding it if it appears legitimate.

Digging up Positivity - Furry charity and good news - April 2020

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Video from Thabo Meerkat, transcribed

Hey there, and welcome to the April 2020 edition of Digging Up Positivity from a rapidly changing world. But even in these weird times, there are still a lot of positive things to be found!

Why 2 Gryphon is not a comedian; according to 2 Gryphon

Your rating: None Average: 3 (34 votes)

If you were to Google the definition of a comedian you would see it defined by Dictionary.com as an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh. Likewise the New York Times has a comedy critic, Jason Zinoman, who defines comedy in a moment of reflecting on his own career of analyzing them.

This often dictates the form of my column, since while the goal of comedy is to make you laugh, what’s fascinating about the art form — especially these days, when it’s so fragmented and aesthetically diverse — is that there are many ways artists accomplish that goal.

However, if you were to ask one furry who considers himself one, 2 Gryphon, you’d find an entirely different etymology of the word, and what the job of a comic is.

It is this quote that we are going to be over-analysing today. I have broken this down into three main points as to why this definition of the job of a comedian is not only a fundamental misunderstanding of the role, but also a resignation of the foundational principles of comedy.