My Observations: Future Bethesda games being exclusive on the Xbox ecosystem lock out competitors

For so long have many people criticized Team Xbox of Microsoft for being too weak with their 1st party games and for having not enough exclusive games. Such criticism does not matter anymore because Microsoft made the heavy investments in expanding their Xbox Game Studios member developers through acquisitions and such developments further escalated with Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media and have game publisher Bethesda integrated with Team Xbox.

Think about it. Bethesda game developers moved Xbox Game Studios teams from 15 to a whopping 23! This also means that Microsoft effectively owns the established Bethesda intellectual properties and game franchises of Dishonored, Doom, Prey, Wolfenstein and the best-selling franchises Fallout and The Elder Scrolls! Very clearly Microsoft spent $7.5 billion very strategically and as a result, the Xbox 1st party lineup of developers and franchises easily overwhelmed those of PlayStation.

Future games of these established video game franchises – plus the upcoming game Starfield – will be available only through the Xbox ecosystem. What Microsoft owns, Sony and Nintendo cannout touch.

This bring me to my next point – the Xbox ecosystem exclusivity of Bethesda’s future games and franchises! This is the one topic that made PlayStation fanboys disappointed and very uneasy, and I spotted a lot of them on Twitter. Why? For starters, the Xbox ecosystem is composed of the Xbox consoles (Xbox One and its variants, plus the upcoming next-generation Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X), Windows 10 PC plus the many millions of smartphones that will be able to play games via streaming (with Project xCloud).

More on the exclusivity of Bethesda’s future games for Xbox, here is an excerpt from Yahoo! Finance’s interview with Xbox division head Phil Spencer.

Spencer confirmed that ZeniMax games will appear on Microsoft’s xCloud the same day they are released in retail, making the service even more worthwhile for dedicated gamers.

But it also leaves the question as to whether Microsoft will bring ZeniMax games to competing consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. Making games exclusive to a single console can be incredibly lucrative, as it forces gamers to buy certain systems to access their favorite games.

Microsoft, however, has also shown that it’s willing to share such properties with rivals as evidenced by its decision to put “Minecraft” on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, as well as Android and iOS.

“In terms of where games will show up, our commitment is that our games will show up in Game Pass, PC, and on console and be available on xCloud,” Spencer said. “In terms of other platforms, I think we’ll take it on a case-by-case basis.”

As seen at the end of the above excerpt, Phil Spencer’s “our games” quote refers clearly to what games Microsoft owns and that already includes Bethesda’s games. He went on to confirm his company’s games will be released for the Xbox console users and Windows 10 users through the fast-growing Xbox Game Pass subscription service and Project xCloud. There definitely is no PlayStation console included. Even though Spencer did not mention the word “exclusive”, he confirmed the exclusivity when he referred to their games and the Xbox ecosystem. If PlayStation gamers really want future games of Wolfenstein, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls on PlayStation 5 (PS5), they can shout all they want but Sony cannot make it happen for them because it is Microsoft who has the final word to make that happen. Hence the “case-by-case basis” words of Spencer.

Of course, Microsoft did not spend $7.5 billion only to make Bethesda games and franchises available on non-Xbox platforms. They already invested so much on Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud, now is the time for them to fill it with exclusive content and gamers who want the Bethesda games will need a Windows 10 PC and/or an Xbox console (note: the next-generation Xbox Series consoles are recommended since Xbox One is on its way out). For Microsoft making Bethesda games available on PS5, Nintendo’s Switch (and its successor) is a self-defeating move.

As for Yahoo! Finance’s mentioning of Minecraft being a multiplatform release, they did not mention the fact that the said game was already available on other platforms BEFORE Microsoft acquired Mojang in 2014. Clearly this is not the same with the Xbox-Bethesda deal, and Microsoft will use Bethesda properties as leverage against Sony and Nintendo when it comes to exclusive content for the Xbox ecosystem.

The next-generation console competition is only heating up and Team Xbox has the advantages! Nintendo and Sony cannot do anything to compel Microsoft to have Bethesda release The Elder Scrolls VI, Starfield and Fallout 5 on their respective consoles. Those two do not own Bethesda and Sony’s exclusive games deals with Bethesda is only temporary at best. After that deal ends with no renewal, there will be no more new Bethesda games for PlayStation gamers and they will only have to settle with old ones like The Elder Scrolls Online, Skyrim, Fallout 4.

In the near future, this upcoming fantasy RPG will be available only on Xbox Series consoles and Windows 10 PC through Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud.

For the role-playing game (RPG) genre, Team Xbox already has the very talented inXile Entertainment (Wasteland 3) and Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds) making even new exclusive RPGs for the Xbox ecosystem. Add Bethesda’s Starfield, The Elder Scroll VI and the unannounced Fallout sequel, then it is very clear that the Xbox ecosystem will be the best destination for gamers who love compelling, fun and enduring RPGs. Meanwhile, Sony itself does not have the talents nor the resources to make their own high-quality RPGs which is why they desperately signed a timed-exclusive deal with Square Enix to have Final Fantasy XVI first on PS5.

Again, all of these details and developments show that the $7.5 billion Xbox-Bethesda deal is for the long-term and Microsoft now has the means to build up the Xbox ecosystem in terms of content, features and the global userbase. It should be noted that the franchises of Doom, Fallout, Dishonored, Wolfenstein and Elder Scrolls have many millions of dedicated fans and to continue enjoying future games they will definitely be flocking into the Xbox ecosystem (goodbye Sony and Nintendo gamer communities). It truly is a megaton, video game industry shaking business deal that really caught Sony and Nintendo off-guard. I should state that the promise of future Bethesda releases alone will convince gamers (the Bethesda franchise fans, the casual gamers and hardcore gamers) to buy Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X even though the forming lineup of launch games does not look too hot. It will be in the 2nd year of the next-generation Xbox Series consoles that the real blockbuster exclusive games will come out and attract gamers who want the best gaming experiences that can only be found in the Xbox ecosystem. Lastly, the Xbox-Bethesda deal ensures that Team Xbox will not suffer from any lack of exclusive games in the years to come. We will see if Nintendo and Sony can keep up with Team Xbox’s pace, only this time without new games of Doom, Fallout, Elder Scrolls.  

In ending this, watch these Xbox-Bethesda videos from Colteastwood and Rand al Thor 19. Watch and listen very closely. 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Lola Nena’s in BF Homes, Parañaque…and their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts

Inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City, Aguirre Avenue is famous mainly for being the kilometers-long stretch of commercial joints, especially restaurants, cafes and bars. Some people referred to it as the Food Strip given the many places of food joints there are plus the wide variety of meals, drinks and other food items they offer collectively. More established brands like Shakey’s and Starbucks are present.

Due to the pandemic and community quarantine, a major economic downturn hit the entire Philippines which severely affected many businesses along Aguirre Avenue, reaching the point of having no choice but to shut down and layoff their employees. One of the food joints I featured before closed down sadly and left their Aguirre Avenue commercial space.

Subsequently a new food joint opened up in that very same commercial space which turned out to be the local branch of an existing business called Lola Nena’s. A few days ago, their BF Homes branch had its soft opening and quickly attracted several customers. Just yesterday, out of curiosity, I took the opportunity to visit them and take home something.

The counter at the Lola Nena’s BF Homes branch.

So what is Lola Nena’s? According to their history, they are a food joint that started in the year 2012 as a result of their founders who were inspired to recreate the famous Pichi Pichi of their family. What was a small starter on selling Pichi Pichi quickly grew in terms of popularity eventually compelling them to cook the said food in batches so that demand can be met. Today, Lola Nena’s sell Pichi Pichi by the bilao for those who want to buy a lot of it!

As the years passed by, Lola Nena’s (which heavily uses the color red) started offering more snack items and pastries. They also went on to offer pancit (noodle meals) and food products in bottles. In 2017, they launched their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts which went on to become a commercial hit. This year, they launched their Triple Cheese Donuts which caught a lot of attention on social media.

So there I was at the BF Homes Lola Nena’s branch. There was no line of customers but a few ones standing a few feet apart from each other. I noticed the place lacked indicators (marks or signs) as to where exactly should people stand to line up heading towards the counter for ordering and picking up products.

As I waited in line, I overheard some details between the customers and the Lola Nena’s personnel in front of me. Certain meals, a customer was told, will take forty-five minutes to be prepared and released due to high demand (many orders taken already) and the effort to prepare them properly. Customers were politely asked if they were willing to wait.

And then it was my turn. Out of curiosity, I decided to order one box of their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts to bring home for my family. As it turned out, there were already boxes filled with the said donuts waiting to be released. Right after I ordered, the lady at the counter pulled one box and properly prepared it for me. Then I paid for it and got the receipt I requested which was quickly done. It was a painless and quick transaction.

Once I got in the car, I decided to open the box (note: the boxes at Lola Nena’s counter were taped closed already) to see exactly what’s inside. After viewing, I deliberately avoided touching the doughnuts, closed it, and go back home.

The box from Lola Nena’s. There are some instructions written inside on preparing the doughnuts.
The eight Classic Old Fashioned Donuts I paid for. These last for up to 48 hours in room temperature. As such, you should be mindful about when to consume these at your home.

Finally, after arriving home, I shared the doughnuts to our household members. They all enjoyed it.

Each of the Classic Old Fashioned Donuts of Lola Nena’s were coated with sugar, had some sweet substance on the surface and even had small portions of cheese inside. These doughnuts, by the way, do not resemble the round doughnuts people know. Lola Nena’s doughnut are thick, were not really round and had no openings in the middle. Regardless, I personally found it to be delicious and enjoyable.

The Lola Nena’s doughnut up close.

For a box containing of eight of their Classic Old Fashioned Donuts, you do get good value and taste in return for the current price of P120. What you need to watch out for is your blood sugar level since these doughnuts were made with lots of sugar.

You will get to see a huge Lola Nena’s sign along Aguirre Avenue.

If you are planning to visit Lola Nena’s in BF Homes, head on to 287 Aguirre Avenue. In closing this, posted below is my video of the food joint.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

My Observations: Bethesda now part of Team Xbox

As I start to write this, I still am in a state of shock over the most ambitious video game business announcement that I never anticipated would happen particularly with Xbox. People are already talking about it a lot right now. I’m referring to Microsoft’s megaton acquisition of ZeniMax Media which is the parent company of game publishing giant Bethesda Softworks. The deal is worth $7.5 billion (in cash) and it includes acquiring Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. The said studios have a combined work force of more than 2,300 employees. This megaton development alone makes me want to acquire an Xbox Series X unit even more!

To put things in perspective, below is an excerpt (with key parts in bold) from the Xbox.com blog post by Xbox head Phil Spencer:

Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.

Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games. We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.

Like us, Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways. All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you.

All of our work, and the foundation of our relationship with you, starts with a commitment to deliver a breadth of amazing games to discover and play on Xbox.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve been excited to share more detail on important elements of a plan we’ve been building towards for years. A plan that is the fulfilment of a promise, to you the Xbox player, to deliver the most performant, immersive and compatible next-generation gaming experiences, and the freedom to play blockbuster games with your friends, anytime, anywhere. Today is a landmark step in our journey together and I’m incredibly energized by what this step means for Xbox.

As confirmed by Spencer, the acquisition of Bethesda is more than just adding to Xbox Games Studios existing lineup of game makers and more than just adding games for Xbox and PC gamers to play. The acquisition also means adding even more games to the fast-growing and successful Xbox Game Pass subscription program which recently saw its subscribers reach 15,000,000+ (a jump of 50% in less than six months’ time!). The addition of Bethesda’s iconic franchises – Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein and Dishonored to name some – will surely add tremendous value to Xbox Game Pass and even more exciting is the confirmation that Bethesda’s upcoming sci-fi Starfield will also be added! These developments are already exciting gamers to order Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X as I write this.

Think about it. If you are already a paying Xbox Game Pass subscriber by the time Starfield gets released, you can simply visit Xbox LIVE and download the said game for free (because you already paid for the subscription). Those who are not XGP subscribers will have to pull out a lot of money to buy Starfield at the retail store or elsewhere online.

Already Team Xbox and its many Xbox Games Studios are already creating new and exclusive games for Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X plus PC. Microsoft no longer has a shortage of console exclusives and all the criticism thrown at them (“Xbox has no exclusives!”, “Xbox has no great games!”) are meaningless now. The addition of Bethesda studios into the many Xbox Game Studios further ensures more exclusive games in the years to come and this alone gives Microsoft a huge advantage over Sony and Nintendo!

This brings me to another sensitive topic: the Bethesda projects that are exclusive to others or are multi-platform in arrangement. Bethesda currently has two games that are exclusive to Sony’s PlayStation 5 (PS5) and Phil Spencer made clear that Microsoft will honor the exclusivity commitments of those games. In short, the Bethesda-Sony deal for those two games won’t be scrapped. Other Bethesda games coming to platforms that are not Xbox-related will happen on a case-by-case basis with Microsoft having the final decision. All of these are part of the complications that come with acquiring a huge game publisher with existing deals made with other platform makers.

But if you look into the far future, the Xbox-Bethesda megaton deal will eventually lead to sequels of Fallout, Elder Scrolls and other franchises that will be released exclusively on Xbox platforms and PC, and the Bethesda brand will remain. Bethesda’s famous role-playing game (RPG) franchises alone makes Xbox an even more attractive ecosystem for gamers who love RPGs. Think about it! Imagine playing Fallout and Elder Scrolls sequels (or remastered versions of Skyrim or Fallout 4) on Xbox Series X years from now enjoying all the massive content presented with 4K resolution, 60 FPS frame rate, great visuals and much shorter load times. With Microsoft having the more technologically superior console (Xbox Series X compared to PS5 with disc drive) and a much bigger and stronger 1st party game lineup, gamers will realize the benefits of the Xbox-Bethesda deal.

If Microsoft wants to make even more money and sell more, they can always decide to make Fallout and Elder Scrolls sequels available on PS5 and other platforms (even on Nintendo’s next-generation console). Microsoft acquired Mojang years ago and kept Minecraft available on multiple platforms (including those of Sony, Nintendo, iOS and more). When it comes to the next console generation with Bethesda’s many games being played, I expect their multi-platform games to look and play better on Xbox Series X than on PS5.

With Bethesda and Obsidian Entertainment together with Team Xbox, producing a sequel to Fallout New Vegas is no longer an impossible dream!

I should also state that Microsoft having Bethesda under its extensive corporate umbrella and ownership of the many intellectual properties (IP) of the company means that the dream of producing sequel to Fallout New Vegas is no longer impossible! Microsoft also owns Obsidian Entertainment, the very same team that worked with Bethesda for Fallout New Vegas, and they can decide to assign them to produce a sequel complete with a lot of human, technological and financial resources to back them! While I love the idea of Obsidian making Fallout New Vegas 2, I personally prefer they keep focusing on making their major fantasy RPG Avowed (ironically an ambitious game described as something to rival Bethesda’s Skyrim) and making a next-generation sequel to The Outer Worlds (which I love playing). A new Fallout New Vegas can be released on Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X AFTER the respective releases of Avowed, Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI many years from now.

Apart from the very promising benefits gamers will soon have from the Xbox-Bethesda deal, Microsoft also deserves praise for their transparency with gamers about their next-generation consoles, their expanding 1st party game studios lineup, Xbox All Access, Xbox Game Pass and the like. Transparency aside, Team Xbox also proved to stay honest and well organized with gamers unlike Sony’s PlayStation division. Watch the videos below regarding Sony…

The Xbox-Bethesda deal alone motivates me even more to acquire an Xbox Series X console and also sign up at last on Xbox Game Pass. I am certain that I am not the only geek experiencing the excitement about the very bright future of fun, engaging and high-value gaming with Xbox. With Bethesda’s RPG franchises alone, Xbox is already the best and definitive ecosystem for people who love playing role-playing games (note: Microsoft has Avowed coming and hopefully a The Outer Worlds sequel from Obsidian, plus established support from Square Enix with a Dragon Quest game coming out this December). This is something that Sony (even with Final Fantasy XVI a timed exclusive on their PS5) and Nintendo cannot match! Going back to Bethesda, they really had gone a long way and their decades-old history of doing business with Microsoft is undeniable. The very first time I played a Bethesda game on Microsoft hardware was none other than Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on Xbox 360 and that was way back in 2006. In the past decade, I played Skyrim on Xbox 360 and Fallout 4 on Xbox One. Personally, I am happy that Microsoft acquired Bethesda with not only the Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X in mind but for the long term…the far future!

In ending this, watch these videos from Dealer Gaming, Colteastwood, Rand al Thor 19 and Zalker 87 for additional insight about the Xbox-Bethesda deal!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Watching Wonder Woman 1984 on VOD streaming will NEVER match the theatrical experience

By now you should be aware that Warner Bros. postponed yet again the release of the much-awaited Wonder Woman 1984 and selected December 25, 2020 (Christmas Day) as the new opening day. This is because of the ongoing pandemic which depressed economies around the world and dragged down the movie theaters. Of course, as I personally observed on social networks, a lot of fans are upset with the daily and there are some of them who expressed that a theatrical release of Wonder Woman 1984 is no longer needed and it should instead be released via video-on-demand streaming services. And then there were a few who did not hide their Leftist, socialist beliefs and even condemned Warner Bros. for corporate greed only because it still insists on showing Wonder Woman 1984 in the cinemas first.

Wow! It’s as if doing business is an evil thing and being a socialist and a hater of business are good things. Talk about being delusional and impulsive as a result of being brainwashed with socialism and anti-capitalism views. The truth of the matter is that socialism sucks and will continue to suck. To understand the business side of things before talking more about Wonder Woman 1984, let’s examine the state of movie theaters.

As of this writing, the movie theater operators are slowly reopening their locations and already they have spent time and money on implementing a variety of measures such as sanitation, constant cleaning, practicing social distancing, requiring moviegoers to wear facemasks and the like. At the same time, seating capacity per screen has been reduced to minimize the risk of viral infection. The reopening of cinemas not only means the resumption of their business but also the retention of the employees they still have.

Even with less than 100% of movie theaters in operation, Warner Bros. took the big risk of releasing their $200 million production Tenet which went on to gross more than $20 million in its first four days in the United States and Canada. Elsewhere, the movie raked in more than $100,000,000 in ticket sales and it has surpassed the $150,000,000 mark globally. The more movie theaters open – including the drive-in locations –  the better it will be for Wonder Woman 1984 and this obviously requires time.

To have the theatrical opening of Wonder Woman 1984 moved all the way to Christmas Day is, in my honest opinion, a sensible move. Like other forms of businesses negatively affected by the pandemic, movie theaters are struggling to reshape themselves (and retain their employees somehow in order to avoid adding them to the unemployed) and get back to business. Movie studios on the other hand are struggling with what to do with their finished productions, especially the ones that cost $200,000,000+ to make (complete with the hard work of the technical crew, the creative team and the talents who worked).

Like anyone else, I love Wonder Woman (she is my favorite of all superheroes) and I also love 2017 Wonder Woman movie which I still replay on Blu-ray. Unlike other fans who lost patience, I myself am willing to wait for the new Wonder Woman movie to open in the local cinemas, especially in the IMAX cinema. I certainly do not agree with the idea that Warner Bros. should just skip all the movie theaters in favor of releasing Wonder Woman 1984 on VOD streaming services, and I have reasons.

Warner Bros. is right to delay Wonder Woman 1984 and keep it scheduled to open in movie theaters first!

Firstly, Wonder Woman 1984 was made with the movie theater viewing experience first and foremost. The creative team led by director Patty Jenkins even used IMAX cameras for some scenes. While the filming of scenes for IMAX is limited in total, it is clear that Wonder Woman 1984 will look and play its very best on the gigantic screen in the IMAX theater! It is also likely that the most spectacular (or the most important) scenes filmed with IMAX captured Gal Gadot as the cinematic Wonder Woman. That being said, the visual splendor and the magnificence of big screen viewing will NEVER be matched on VOD streaming nor on the HDTV at home. I should add that the enhanced visuals that come with scenes being filmed with IMAX cameras can only be seen on the large IMAX screen, and this cannot be achieved on HDTV or on the best smartphones via streaming.

Secondly, releasing Wonder Woman 1984 directly to VOD streaming services is harmful not just to the struggling theater operators and their employees but also the economy itself. I do understand that going outside the home during the pandemic has its risks but the fact remains is that businesses around you have suffered a lot and there is a need for commerce and industry to be revived, and you can help the local and the national economy move forward again. Be mindful that many people who lost their jobs and their income are also suffering, and there is a need for businesses to be supported so that new job opportunities can be made…jobs that the unemployed badly need! Let’s face it, you can enjoy watching movies on the VOD streaming service you subscribed to and binge watch at the comfort of your home all you want but still the best place to watch is in the cinema. I can never forget the very day in 2017 I went to the local IMAX cinema to watch Wonder Woman by buying a premium movie ticket, buying popcorn and a drink, sat comfortably and watched the movie in its full greatness. I paid a lot and got tremendous value in return for the premium cinematic experience with Wonder Woman. Right now, movie theaters are struggling to recover and they badly need you to buy their tickets, snacks and drinks and enjoy the movie. It is also clear that both Warner Bros. and the movie theaters need each other, and Wonder Woman 1984 is too expensive a production to be released only on VOD streaming services.

Thirdly, still on the business side, video-on-demand streaming services are not exactly effective in helping movie producers recover the massive amounts of money spent on producing and marketing their major projects. Wonder Woman 1984 is a more expensive production than its predecessor and it is still the movie theater business model that will help it recover all the negative cost and break even (if not profit). The following are my questions to the loudmouths who ranted that Wonder Woman 1984 should be released directly to VOD streaming services only because of their impatience and other reasons: Do you seriously believe that video-on-demand will help Wonder Woman 1984’s producers and investors recover their money? If you are willing to pay a premium rate for digitally availaing Wonder Woman 1984 at all, how much are you really willing to pay? Do you seriously believe that movie theater operators and their employees should suffer only because you are so self-centered with wanting the new Wonder Woman film only on video-on-demand streaming?

Finally, this one is aimed at those who got indoctrinated with socialism and Leftist beliefs …who do you think you are to condemn Warner Bros. for corporate greed only because the studio is focused on releasing Wonder Woman 1984 first in cinemas? We are Wonder Woman fans here, right? It is the movie studio, its investors and other capitalists who pooled the financial resources together to hire Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig, Hans Zimmer and a whole lot of other people to make Wonder Woman 1984! They did that, not your socialist partners nor your socialist idols! The least we fans can do is be thankful to the filmmakers and their capitalism partners for making the movie. As for Warner Bros., we should keep in mind that the pandemic has made it very hard for them to decide when to release the movie we have been waiting for, and for sure their top executives and strategists have struggled in ways that you cannot imagine. You seriously believe that Warner Bros. and the other movie studios did not lose any money from the months-long shutdown of the cinemas during the pandemic? What is your basis for condemning Warner Bros. for corporate greed over Wonder Woman 1984?

Oh, one more thing, do you still go to a coffee shop, availed of their coffee and WiFi and used your branded smartphone to condemn capitalism and promote socialism? Capitalists made the things that you socialists enjoyed, not to mention all the other Wonder Woman-related products like comic books, toys, action figures, clothes, souvenirs, accessories and much more!

That being said, what we Wonder Woman fans can all do right now is wait for Wonder Woman 1984 to open in cinemas this Christmas Day. I believe that the delayed movie itself will turn out great and prove to be worth the long wait…and then prove that the movie theater is still the best place to watch it.

Who knows? Wonder Woman 1984 could spark a strong revival of the movie theater business around the world and we fans can be part of that!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: You should visit Matty’s along Tropical Avenue, BF International

Hey everyone! Are you looking for something new to visit within South Metro Manila, and find something so delightful you will get good value in return for your hard-earned money? Specifically there is a place along Tropical Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas that my friend and I visited and we enjoyed very good drinks and tasty food plus a nice ambience. That place is a new café called Matty’s.

Matty’s cafe is just steps away from Mang Pandesal.
This is the exterior of Matty’s along Tropical Avenue very near the corner with El Grande Avenue.

Located very close to the corner of Tropical Avenue and El Grande Avenue, Matty’s is a café that happens to be a related business to the great bread seller Mang Pandesal which is just a few steps away at the said corner.

As soon as my friend and I entered Matty’s, there was this peaceful and relaxing atmosphere inside that welcomed us. The interiors really looked nice and there was a large wooden table (good enough to accommodate some customers who sit by) plus a few smaller tables with chairs. There is also a hanging monitor where you can see some cable TV movies or news feed shown. Wifi is also available. Further inside is the counter as well as a selection of beverages and prices displayed on the nearby wall. There you can make your choices and order over the counter. Oh yes, like Mang Pandesal, 1 Corinthians 10: 31 is displayed clearly. For your reference, the scripture reads:

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 (TPT)

Tables and chairs await customers. Matty’s also has TV and wifi as well. (note: this photo is a property of Matty’s and permission was granted to use it for this article.)
A very nice looking counter and menu-on-the-wall inside Matty’s. Displayed on the counter is 1 Corinthians 10: 31.
Pandesal from Mang Pandesal and chilled coffee from Matty’s make a GREAT combination!

My friend and I had a nice time talking while enjoying the really tasty drinks we ordered: a Matty’s milk tea and an iced coffee with jelly. There was also smooth music played which added more to the relaxing atmosphere. I also noticed while inside, we had a view of the road outside as well as the nearby corner of Tropical Avenue and El Grande Avenue where vehicles pass by all the time.

For those of you who love drinks, Matty’s has nice selections of milk tea (multiple variants), fruity drinks, hot coffee and iced coffee. Good food? They have it too such as their specialty Sylvanas and the Rich Leche Flan in jars to name a few. I brought home Sylvannas and the leche flan and they both really tasted good! In fact, I highly recommend them to you all! Through their website, you can even make orders in advance before visiting Matty’s to pick up. By the way, I must state that Matty’s in-store personnel are very helpful and attentive.

Two great tasting products of Matty’s that you should try: Rich Leche Flan in jar and Matty’s Sylvanas.
Matty’s Sylvanas for your viewing…
and a closer look at one of the Sylvanas. Each one tasted really good!
Matty’s Rich Leche Flan in jar is indeed rich and delicious!

Right now, I can say that Matty’s opening and commercial presence is indeed a blessing not only to the residents of BF Homes and BF International, but also to food and beverage enthusiasts from outside of the said communities who have the means to enter the subdivision and visit their café along Tropical Avenue (note: there are a few parking slots across the café). Considering how good the place is, how helpful the in-store personnel are and how good their food and drinks are, I can say that Matty’s is highly recommended. Oh yes, after leaving Matty’s, you should not forget to buy and take home great tasting bread from Mang Pandesal just a few steps away. You can’t miss it!

For more information about Matty’s, visit their website at https://www.mattys.ph/ or call them at landline 7217-6263 or mobile 09176858188. Visit and like their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mattysph

Read 1 Corinthians 10: 31 in the Holy Bible.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Movies and video games at DC FanDome

Today, DC Comics fans had a day-long blast of excitement as a result of the DC FanDome event that was global in scope. To be clear, DC FanDome is multi-media in terms of the presentations of DC Comics franchises, projects and talents. As such, comic book publishing giants like Jim Lee plus Hollywood talents like Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins and Zack Snyder were present online to showcase DC’s projects (ranging from comic books to animation, video games and motion pictures).

For this article, I have decided to narrow the scope down to movies and video games. The following movies and video games caught my attention and for each, I’ll share my honest opinion. Let’s start with the movies…

The movies

Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman 1984, as I made clear before, is my most wanted superhero movie as I loved the 2017 movie (and has the iconic scene that will be remembered for a long time) and I deeply enjoyed Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the Queen of all Superheroes. While it is disappointing that the current pandemic delayed the Wonder Woman 1984 and made its future theatrical release uncertain, the newest trailer eased the pain of waiting for me and I should say that I love what was shown. The great stuff shown seem to reflect the deepening creative synergy between star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins. What surprised me the most was that Warner Bros.’ marketing team went on to show Dr. Minerva in her anticipated physical form as Cheetah in battle with Wonder Woman. I was hoping that the filmmakers and the marketing team would keep the Cheetah appearance secret until the film’s opening. Regardless, I am very excited for Wonder Woman 1984 and if you want to prepare yourselves for it, I highly recommend reading Wonder Woman #9 (1987) which was George Perez’s modernizing of Cheetah.

The Batman

The DC FanDome trailer showed that this newest cinematic Batman directed by Matt Reeves starring Robert Pattinson looks really impressive. In terms of aesthetics, The Batman appears to share the visual style and gritty touch of Batman Begins. Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne/Batman has a very rough look, so much so he made me forget that he played a vampire before. When it comes to presenting the characters, Reeve’s Batman (along with his equipment) looks radically different from Zack Snyder’s Batman, and Catwoman in this new movie has a more grounded-in-reality look. In what appears to be a sign of rough action coming, the short clip showing Pattinson’s Batman quickly and painfully beating a thug in front of others looks very Intriguing. With regards to the setting, director Reeves stated before that the film’s story is set within the DC Universe but it will be done without cameo appearances and without fan service elements that would suggest a shared universe. It will be its own story and, more importantly, it will redefine Batman once again. This movie is currently scheduled for a 2021 release.

The Suicide Squad

After a long wait for concrete details, the official unveiling of The Suicide Squad under the direction of James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy films) is well worth it and even though there are no plot details, the new movie looks pretty promising to be fun (at least in terms of spectacle). How James Gunn will be able to make an enjoyable movie, I can only imagine him mixing up the characters, have their personalities clash or slide well with each other, and deliver the action. Again, there are no details about what the story is but safe to say this one is no cheap movie and chances are good it will make moviegoers forget about the cynical presentation of the 2016 Suicide Squad movie (which I admit I enjoyed to a certain extent). Apart from the return of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, the cast has notable additions like martial artist/fitness model Mayling Ng as Mongal, Michael Rooker sa Savant, and Idres Elba as Bloodsport!

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (AKA The Snyder Cut)

Believe it or not, I personally am not too excited for this so-called more definitive version of the 2017 Justice League movie under Zack Snyder. To a certain extent, I had my enjoyment of the 2017 Justice League but ended up disappointed it never had an epic presentation to match its epic concept. As much as I love seeing DC Comics’ premier superheroes get together to save the world from tremendous danger, I am not convinced to avail of HBO Max (note: this director’s cut is not going to cinemas) streaming to watch the anticipated Snyder cut. In my honest view, Justice League of 2017 has been done and it seems like a backward move to revisit the film even in the form of a more specific vision of Zack Snyder. Regardless, Snyder’s vision of the JL will be realized in 2021. How it will impact the status of the current DC Comics cinematic universe remains to be seen.

The video games

Gotham Knights

Gotham Knights, developed by WB Games Montréal and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is an action-adventure game set in the city of Gotham which, once again, has been struck by criminals. As seen in the above gameplay showcase, Mr. Freeze struck Gotham and Batgirl and Robin join forces to take him on. In terms of game design, Gotham City is an open-world environment and players will be able to select and play as Nightwing or Red Hood or Robin or Batgirl. Batman is out of the spotlight this time which explains why the other four characters are needed. How this new video game will perform critically and commercially remains to be seen. Can it sell without letting players play as the iconic Batman? Gotham Knights is being made for Windows 10 PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.  

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

This other game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is very notable not because of its concept of the Suicide Squad going against the Justice League, but simply because it is the first new game in many years made by the acclaimed Rocksteady Studios which is best known for the main Batman Arkham video games. As of now, we only have a cinematic (non-gameplay) trailer emphasizing its concept. While details about the gameplay are unavailable, the city environment in the trailer suggests the game may come with an open-world design similar to what Rockstead did in Batman Arkham City and Batman Arkham Knight. Whatever Rocksteady is doing, they should be able to deliver the fun stuff. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is being made for Windows 10 PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X.

In closing this, I recommend you watch the latest video of YouTuber Dealer Gaming which has insights about Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League and Gotham Knights. You’ll also learn the latest regarding Xbox Series X.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

Never be obsessed with anti-materialism

There is no denying the truth that God rewards His faithful children abundantly. That being said, it is understood that faithful Christians who enjoy prosperity under Him have disciplined themselves and avoided committing sin, specifically covetousness which itself leads to greed, the corruption of the soul and wickedness.

Covetousness is specifically mentioned in the Holy Bible. Refer to the scripture below. These are words of Lord Jesus.

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Luke 12: 15 (NKJV)

What Luke 12: 15 makes clear is that we Christians must always prioritize the Lord for He is the source. The economy is not our source, God is our source! The money you received did not provide itself, God provided it and He is still our source! The nice property and supply of essential goods you have now came from the Lord who worked His way through the existing economic systems to bless you. Prosperity in Christianity is real! Learn from the scripture below.

The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and all the blessings of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.

Genesis 39: 2-6 (NKJV)

As emphasized in the above scripture about Joseph (who was sold to slavery by his brothers), it is clear that prosperity in Christianity is real. As long as we remain faithful to the Lord while keeping ourselves free from covetousness, greed and wickedness, we can always enjoy riches, comfort, favor and luxuries that He blesses us with. It is okay to be rich for as long as you are faithful to Him eternally. With God’s blessings, you are not only rich but also protected, favored and taken cared of. This is one specific truth of Christianity that a lot of people out there cannot understand. 

In this ravaged and divided world we live in, there are countless lost and unsaved souls everywhere. Among them are some people who are obsessed with anti-materialism. To make things clear, the anti-materialism mindset is the extremism some people have with economic materialism, specifically their extreme opposition towards the attitude of getting too attached with the importance of money as well as the uncontrolled desire of possessing a lot of material things. As it is already written in the Holy Bible that Lord Jesus told us to beware of covetousness and that it is truly impossible to worship both the Lord and mammon. The Lord made clear that it is He, NOT material wealth and certainly NOT sin, that we should always put first. As such, the anti-materialism mindset itself is unnecessary and defeated, even though its purpose was to fight materialism. For any faithful, careful and bible-following Christian, being materialistic definitely does NOT go together with being blessed by the Lord.

To make my point, here are my observations about the anti-materialism believers: they believe money itself is always evil; they believe that people are not supposed to prosper; and they believe that the only people to support (by means of donation) in the entire world are the impoverished (the poor).

Clearly things need to be explained here. Firstly, money itself is NOT evil at all. Money is actually neutral and it is a tool that we can use to pay our bills, to acquire things, make investments, to tithe to the church, pay for the education of children and help others via donation to name some. What is evil is the love of money which leads to covetousness, greed and wickedness. The truth below…

Loving money is the first step toward all kinds of trouble. Some people run after it so much that they have given up their faith. Craving more money pushes them away from the faith into error, compounding misery in their lives!

1 Timothy 6: 10 (TPT)

As such, when we prosper under the Lord, we should never prioritize money over the Lord. We certainly do not want to step into all kinds of trouble! Being receivers of His provision, we definitely should never abuse the blessings He gave us. The anti-materialism believers simply failed to understand the truth.

Secondly, it is wrong to believe that people are not supposed to prosper. As already mentioned above, prosperity under the Lord is real and those who continue to be blessed a lot by Him are those who proved to be faithful and have avoided covetousness and wickedness. It seems to me that the anti-materialism believers are obsessed with the endless debates about income inequality highlighted by their political idols and they seem to want to literally merge the impoverished class, the middle class and the upper class into one social class of forced equality. I also noticed that the anti-materialism believers are leaning towards socialism, Communism and Marxism, and they don’t seem to realize it. Unsurprisingly, those believers showed signs of opposition towards capitalism.

More importantly, the anti-materialism believers’ views that people are not supposed to prosper is very wrong, and it shows they don’t realize that God is the source, God is the provider and He blesses the faithful abundantly. It should also be noted that the Lord’s reward for the faithful is much greater than any other reward from others! The following holy scriptures below explain why…

Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.

2 Corinthians 9: 8 (TPT)

The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.

Proverbs 10: 22 (NKJV)

What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor it is the gift of God. I know that whatever God does, it shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it. And nothing can be taking from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him. That which is has already been, and what is to be has already been; And God required an account of what is past.

Ecclesiastes 3: 9-15 (NKJV)

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6: 10-12 (NKJV)

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 (TPT)

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others. For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!

Colossians 3: 23-24 (TPT)

Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, You should be happy, and it shall be well with you.

Psalm 128: 1-2 (NKJV)

For when we were with you we instructed you with these words: “Anyone who does not want to work for a living should go hungry.” Now, we hear rumors that some of you are being lazy and neglecting to work—that these people are not busy but busybodies! So with the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we order them to go back to work in an orderly fashion and exhort them to earn their own living.

2 Thessalonians 3: 10-12 (TPT)

Jesus said: And behold, I am coming quickly and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.

Revelations 22: 12 (NKJV)

See? The Lord’s promise of prosperity is real and His reward for the faithful who labored, we avoided sin, who practiced discipline, who proved to be responsible and performed under His command has always been real! Truly nobody has authority to dictate life and prevent people from prospering!

When it comes to material wealth and capital gains accumulated here on Earth, the Lord rewards the faithful through the existing financial and economic systems because He is a just God. If God wants to bless you with profit and provision, He will do it the legal way and through the financial systems we have. More notably, there is also Kingdom Wealth…wealth in the Kingdom of God so much greater and unlimited compared to the wealth in this divided world we live in.

On the aspect of laboring and serving the Lord, faithful Christians are meant to be rewarded abundantly and accordingly by Him. This means that if your work for Him is great as you run your business, He will reward you in due time with a large amount of profit that you can use to grow your business, pay your obligations, pay your employees’ salaries, etc. Very clearly, the anti-materialism believers cannot justify imposing limits on the amount of blessings from the Lord.

Thirdly, it is wrong for the anti-materialism believers to declare that only those living in poverty deserve donations or handouts. For one thing, God’s provision is NOT limited only to those living in poverty. Poverty, by the way, is never part of God’s plan for His children. Poverty is wrong and it is something Satan wants to trap people with so they will remain lost and unsaved as souls. Poverty itself became essential for those who got trapped by religion and unbelief, and this makes them live life with a distorted view about who should receive financial or material assistance or blessings.

In order to receive provision from the Lord, one must have faith (not religion, not idolatry, not tradition and not rituals) in Him. Also it is part of Christianity to be a blessing to others (giving to others cheerfully) regardless of their background, their social class, their occupation, etc. Any faithful and blessed Christian has freedom to decide to share his or her blessing to others in some way or another, and the giving should be done not by obligation but from the heart and with decision. Remember the God is always seeing us on what we do with the blessings He gave us. You want to contribute money to charity, or help a friend dealing with a financial problem, or give money to a Christian ministry so it can continue to preach God’s Word to others? You are free to choose and decide what to give, how much to give, when to give and who to give. The Lord Himself will never forget to bless you in return for blessing others. The Lord loves cheerful givers! Learn from the following scriptures below…

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13: 16 (NKJV)

Those who live to bless others will have blessings heaped upon them, and the one who pours out his life to pour out blessings will be saturated with favor. People will curse the businessman with no ethics, but the one with a social conscience receives praise from all.

Proverbs 11: 25-26 (TPT)

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 (NKJV)

God loves a cheerful giver! God loves it when His blessed faithful children give to others cheerfully. Just a day after I turned forty-three, I cheerfully gave extra funds (sourced from the earnings of a successful freelance project I completed for a client which was God’s blessing) to our church not on a Sunday but on a Friday. In recent times, I gave to help a brand-new Christian ministry grow as well as to a local motorcycle federation that continually gives back to the less fortunate. I also gave to help church friends who have been trying to raise money for a long trip home. Being a blessing to others is essential, and sharing should definitely not be limited to just one specific group or social class. In fact, being a blessing to others is a practice of generosity and this helps us Christians prevent ourselves from falling into covetousness, greed and wickedness. By being good and obedient to Him, Christians who get blessed can continue to receive His prosperity without ever becoming materialistic! Why the anti-materialism believers and the self-declared pro-poor believers don’t realize this is mind-boggling.

So why is it that there are believers of the anti-materialism extremism around us? Quite obviously, there are sinister forces that continue to poison people’s minds such as Communism, Marxism, socialism, unbelief, secularism and religion (with its idols, traditions and rituals). There are also those who think they are Christian but they do not study the Holy Bible and don’t apply its countless lessons into their lives, instead they end up following man-made rules (written by people who did not write the Holy Bible) which they perceive to be holy sacraments or holy doctrines (that contain derivative and/or distorted interpretations of the Holy Bible’s lessons). There are also those who have been indoctrinated into believing that money is the root of all evil (it is not!) and that capitalism destroys humanity. They don’t seem to realize that God is always watching us and there simply is no hiding from Him.

So what can we the faithful Christians do? We can start by praying for the anti-materialism believers and ask our Lord to enlighten them so they will realize what they believed or have done is wrong, and that they will have opportunities to change themselves for the better – by making the decision to stop moving and turn to the Lord, repent to Him and submit themselves to Him and accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. The anti-materialism believers still have time to decide to save themselves spiritually and we can help them in peaceful ways.

At this point, I would like to reach out to the lost and the unsaved people reading this. You can save yourselves by submitting to the Lord willingly. No force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide. For those who have decided to get born again now, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from our pastor.

Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:

Dear God,

I believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of my sins. I believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead and that He is alive! Right now, I call on the name of Jesus. Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my personal Lord and Savior. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me by the power of Your blood. Thank You for saving me and giving me eternal life! Help me now to follow Your plan for my life. Amen.

Congratulations! You are now a child of God. You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).

With your new life realized, make an effort to acquire a copy of the Holy Bible (New King James Version is recommended), study it and apply its lessons into your life no matter what situation you are in right now. I also recommend you to join a church of born-again Christians near you and find your place in the spiritual family (God’s family).  Worship the Lord together with them and always remember that faith, not religion, is essential in your personal relationship with God.

The Holy Bible – the Word of God – is the ultimately authority to follow. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. You need an encounter with God!

In ending this, here are some Christian worship YouTube videos for you to enjoy and praise the Lord with. Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! 

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.

If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Time for Rare and Microsoft to emphasize Everwild’s gameplay and features

Time for Rare and Microsoft to emphasize Everwild’s gameplay and features

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Everwild developed by Rare and published by Microsoft.

I have to admit that it’s been quite a long time since Xbox game studio Rare released a game that captivated me. I’m talking about their two games that launched with the Xbox 360 – Perfect Dark Zero and Kameo: Elements of Power.

They went on to make Viva Piñata, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (a major disappointment), Kinect Sports, Kinect Sports II, Kinect Sports Rivals (the commercial failure), Killer Instinct, Rare Replay (the compilation of their legacy), and Sea of Thieves (which never interested me). Lastly, I should mention that Rare’s next project Battletoads is coming out on August 20!

When I least expected it, Rare caught my attention at last during the XO19 this past November when their newest game was unveiled…Everwild. The game is being developed specifically for the next-generation Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PC (also coming to Xbox Game Pass) and below is the announcement trailer.

The first time I saw that trailer, I was captivated with the great looking visuals which had stunning digital art work and smooth animation. When I noticed the characters move in the game and they faced a scenic view with birds flying in the air, I had the impression that Everwild is an adventure-type game that may have open-world exploration elements. It should be said that the animation and artistic design of the wild animals are astounding to see! By the time the trailer ended, I hoped to see more of it as I am fond of open-world games (and games with wide-open areas that still satisfy gamers’ open-world interests) with adventuring and exploration.

And this past July, Microsoft released the 2nd trailer for Everwild during the Xbox Games Showcase which you can see below…

That Xbox Games Showcase Everwild trailer looks more amazing and having replayed it more, it is clear to me now that it is an adventure game (confirmed at the game’s Xbox.com page) with a world to explore. It also shows that the characters do interact with animals, even to the point of making changes to the natural environment. There are also mystical acts performed. Even with such details visualized, Rare and Microsoft have yet to emphasize clearly (and in detail) how exactly Everwild will play and what it will feature. In reality, beautiful visuals can only go so far on selling the game and ultimately it is the fun factor and engagement that need to be strong to really connect with gamers.

My questions for Rare and Microsoft are as follows:

Is Everwild a single-play game with co-op as options or is it an online multiplier game?

Does Everwild have a living, breathing open-world or will it have separate wide-open areas meant to be explored and discovered?

Apart from interacting with animals and the environment, will the game have a good amount of action scenes to keep gamers engaged?

Does Everwild have creature/monster hunting? Village building?

Will the game have some role-playing game (RPG) elements in terms of leveling up the characters?

Will Everwild launch along with Xbox Series X?

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A shot the July 2020 trailer of Everwild.

Being very interested with Everwild, I really hope that the publisher and developer will get their acts together to emphasize more of their game’s gameplay and features. It would be very nice if they could not only show more gameplay footage but also demonstrate how the game plays in live fashion in an upcoming Xbox-focused event. I personally enjoy open-world games that have lots of exploration, action and a solid story to follow, and I hope that Everwild will have such values. If Everwild will indeed by an open-world game, it could literally break the mold with its out-of-this-world concept and possibly feature action scenes that don’t involve guns. Rare’s game just might provide the open-world experience radically different (from the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Saints Row, etc.) and still deliver a ton of fun. Really, it’s high time for the game makers to emphasize the game! Oh yeah, I’d like to see Phil Spencer or Colteastwood or Dealer Gaming organize an interview with the creative team at Rare to talk about the Everwild!

For official and general information about Everwild, visit https://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/everwild

Speaking of upcoming Xbox events, check out the following YouTube videos about a possible August event by Microsoft done by Colteastwood and Dealer Gaming.

By the way, have you heard about the leak relating to the long speculated Xbox Series S? Watch these videos by Dealer Gaming and Rand al Thor 19.

In closing this, here is a video by Gaming Bolt. If you are an Xbox One owner, it should convince you to look forward to Xbox Series X.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Mang Pandesal with SPAM

Let me start by making clear to you all that I love eating the pandesal (a roll of bread common in the Philippines) sold by Mang Pandesal located at El Grande Avenue corner Tropical Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas City. Every day they sell freshly baked pandesal that is both affordable (at P2 each as of this writing) and very delicious. Mang Pandesal is so good, many times lines of customers are formed just outside of their store, as well as vehicles suddenly parking nearby with a driver or a passenger coming out to line up and buy pandesal. If you are not familiar with Mang Pandesal, check out my opinion piece.

This past weekend, I passed by Mang Pandesal to take home freshly baked bread. Look at the pic below…

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Freshly baked pandesal at Mang Pandesal! Highly recommended!

Normally, I ate Mang Pandesal’s bread standalone because each and every pandesal tastes great. There never was a time I had any bad bread from the BF International baker. This time around, I decided it was high time to experiment something that could be very enjoyable. As such, upon arriving home, I placed the Mang Pandesal bread on the table and pulled out a can of the worldwide favorite meat SPAM.

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The world-famous SPAM canned meat, just with less sodium.

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Some of the Mang Pandesal bread arranged on the small plate for SPAM.

So step by the step, I pulled out some pandesal and carefully cut out slices of SPAM and divided each slice of the meat into three. Each pandesal from Mang Pandesal were cut into half to resemble clamshells. Then carefully I placed each SPAM portion into each pandesal.

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Mang Pandesal’s bread with SPAM meat inserted.

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A shot from above.

With the best tasting pandesal and the best tasting canned meat combined, the result was, unsurprisingly, a very delicious experience and totally enjoyable eat! This is an experience that food enthusiasts should have whenever they have Mang Pandesal bread and SPAM available!

And then out of curiosity, I decided to try another experiment…I decided to try pandesal with SPAM with a thin layer of white cheese added.

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Thin layers of cheese added.

The result? A very creamy taste that’s also very nice for consumption!

Depending how you like your Mang Pandesal bread and SPAM together, you will definitely get a great taste of the two. If you want the cheesy or creamy taste, that is what you will get with pandesal and SPAM with white cheese added.

As such, having Mang Pandesal’s pandesal and SPAM’s meat together is highly recommended! That being said, whether you like meat with your pandesal or you simply want the best pandesal around, I recommend you to go to Mang Pandesal in BF International now and buy.

Let me end this piece with a scripture from the Holy Bible, the Passion Translation to be precise.

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 (TPT)


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: Xbox Games Showcase

It has finally happened. Microsoft organized this past Thursday the much-awaited digital event Xbox Games Showcase. Let me cut to the chase that, for the most part, I actually enjoyed watching. It’s not a perfect showcase of games for Xbox fans and other gamers, but it sure is a major improvement over the disappointing 3rd party games showcase of last May.

For one thing, Xbox head Phil Spencer himself confirmed that less than ten of the fifteen Xbox game studios had prepared for the showcase. This is not surprising because it takes a lot of time and work to make video games nowadays and it is a fact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had forced game developers (as well as countless other surviving businesses) to adapt the work-at-home model which tremendously slowed down production. Regardless, the showcase included unveilings of five new first-party games.

“What you’ll see today is how Xbox game studios are harnessing their passions to bring their dreams to life,” Phil Spencer said in his welcome message to viewers.

With those words declared, here is what I think about the games that I personally find the most interesting or the most notable (note: not all games discussed below are exclusive to Xbox Series X), and what it all means for the upcoming launch of the next-generation Xbox Series X console and the remaining life of the Xbox One.

The showcased games

Halo Infinite

Two long years since I first saw the original unveiling of Halo Infinite, the gameplay demonstration of the game (note: it actually ran on a PC, NOT the Xbox Series X itself) was actually worth the long wait even though there were some imperfections. What made it compelling to watch was the presentation of the ring world’s environment which recaptured the wonder and beauty of the original landscape first seen in 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved (note: I’m talking about the landscape where Master Chief first crash-landed). Apart from the in-game environment, the gameplay rocked with the classic Halo formula of shooting (fast-paced and intense) which got shook up with the implementation of the grapple plus a few new animation sequences and moves seen on the Covenant. It’s classic Halo but also modernized in terms of look and gameplay.

What caught my attention was the freedom for gamers to explore an entire Halo ring confirmed by 343 Industries’ Studio Head of Halo Chris Lee. Even though the term open-world was not stated, this confirms that Halo Infinite will have a much bigger in-game environment and locations for gamers to discover. Hopefully, this also means that there will be a wide variety of activities to do on the locations very much like other open-world games. The game demonstration is only a taste of what is to come. Not only that, Lee also confirmed that the game will run at 60 frames-per-second (60FPS) which for me is the sweet spot for playing in the modern age.

When it comes to imperfections, I saw some pop-in during some sequences of the demo and there also seemed to be some slight dips in the frame rate during the most intense sequences. Right now, 343 Industries still has months left to optimize the game not only for Xbox Series X but also the aging Xbox One. Now I wonder how the developers will be able to get good enough performance from the basic Xbox One (which I own) and the slightly upgraded Xbox One S to play Halo Infinite. One last thing…I should express my disappointment over the revelation that the demo did NOT run on the Xbox Series X hardware itself.

To Microsoft and 343 Industries, please, please make the best you can with Halo Infinite using real Xbox Series X hardware! Also, please at least try to include ray tracing at launch, not after launch. Disappointments aside, I know you guys can do better and I still am looking forward to this game. The ball of time is on your side of the court, Microsoft and 343 Industries. You still have time!

Everwild

Everwild is a brand, new game developed by Rare (Sea of Thieves, Perfect Dark games) mainly for Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PCs. First unveiled months ago, the new video of the game at the Xbox Games Showcase showed a lot more of the game with what looks like a wide-open world to explore with lots of wildlife and creatures that are out of this world. The animation also looks great. My only problem here is that the new trailer had scenes done in a cinematic fashion and left no clear sign as to HOW THE GAME WILL PLAY. Will it be a single-player game or an online-multiplayer game? Will it have a good combat system? What is the story if any? Please, Microsoft and Rare, do explain if Everwild will be fun to play. Enough with the beauty and take time to really define the game. Thanks.

As Dusk Falls

This new game by Int./Night and Microsoft is easily the most intriguing of the Xbox Games Showcase. It’s described as an interactive drama that will follow and explore the lives of two families across thirty years starting with a robbery in Arizona. Players will determine the fate of the characters by making choices (kinda like the Choose Your Own Adventure pocket books in concept). At least in this game’s trailer, there is a clever mix of 3D polygons with 2D art. If I were you gamers, don’t just ignore this game. If you are already an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, As Dusk Falls will launch on Day One on the said service.

Avowed

The rumors turned out to be true and I’m very happy to say that the RPG specialists Obsidian Entertainment is working on a brand new, fantasy role-playing game (RPG) titled Avowed. Set in the fantasy world of Eora, Avowed is a first-person view RPG. Having played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim on Xbox 360 long ago plus last year’s The Outer Worlds (by Obsidian) on Xbox One, I really am looking forward to this new game and I have full trust in Obsidian’s, dedication, legacy and specialty on making RPGs that are fun and compelling.

To say the least, Avowed will mark the beginning of a new fantasy RPG property (soon to be a franchise…) for the Xbox ecosystem as a whole adding variety for Xbox fans who love fantasy RPGs alongside the already established Fable.

Speaking of Fable…

Fable

The long-time rumor is also true! Fable is being revived and the new game is being produced by Playground Games, the very same studio behind the best-selling and highly acclaimed Forza Horizon series! While the above trailer is purely cinematic and carried nothing to suggest gameplay, at the very least the Fable franchise is on its way back after years of being dormant. What I hope to see next time is real-time gameplay complete with how the Playground employees can present the fantasy world in this new generation of console gaming. I personally enjoyed playing the original Fable and still managed to get some fun from the disappointing Fable III. For the future of Fable, things are looking promising.

Forza Motorsport

While this one is too short and lacked gameplay sequences, the Forza Motorsport official video composed of real-time graphics (note the Footage Captured In-Engine posted on the lower-left corner of the video) is very impressive and the future of next-generation simulation racing looks very bright. I know the experts of Turn 10 are working hard with the new Xbox Series X technology as I write this and in terms of presentation of the Xbox Games Showcase, this extremely short look of things to come from the Forza Motorsport franchise is ironically one of the best (and most transparent) presentations from Microsoft. Too bad Halo Infinite was used with a PC and lacked transparency on its presentation which Microsoft knew. More on the game, I wonder if Forza Motorsport will be the definitive title of the next-generation sim race from Turn 10 following 2017’s Forza Motorsport 7. Gamers expected Forza Motorsport 8 as the title. The video presentation’s shortness is a missed opportunity for Microsoft and the developers to show a lot more of what simulation would look and feel like on Xbox Series X. An additional sixty seconds of in-game footage with some gameplay sequences (like driver’s seat view with steering wheel) would have made the Forza Motorsport video even greater and more engaging. Now that the Xbox Games Showcase is over, we can only wait as to what MS and Turn 10 can update us with. Right now, I am passionate with simulation racing thanks to the Forza Motorsport franchise and I am confident that the next entry coming out on Xbox Series X will be worth the wait.

Tell Me Why

Here’s another new Microsoft-published game that surprised me. Tell Me Why is developed by DONTNOD, the same team behind Capcom’s Remember Me and Square Enix’s Life is Strange. Given the French game developer’s dedication on making original, narrative-driven games, Tell Me Why follows twins Alyson and Tyler and players will get to use their unique bond to unravel mysteries in their lives. Visually, it does not have the next-generation look as the game itself was made specifically for Xbox One and Windows 10. How it will look on Xbox Series X remains to be seen. This should attract the attention of gamers who enjoyed Life is Strange games.

Psychonauts 2

This multi-platform game made by Double Fine will be released sometime next year and I should say that what was shown during the Xbox Games Showcase made me confident about it. For the newcomers reading this, Psychonauts 2 is the sequel to the award-winning 2005 game Psychonauts (then published by Majesco Entertainment) and as a platforming game this one could stand out in the modern age for its artistry, creativity and promised fun gameplay. Microsoft promised that the game will be optimized for Xbox Series X.

Honorable mentions

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

I love Obsidian Entertainment’s work in The Outer World which is easily one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played in this current console generation. As such, the revelation of the previously announced story downloadable content (DLC) is something I find very delighting and it sure gives me another reason to replay The Outer Worlds on my Xbox One. The Peril on Gorgon DLC’s description is as follows: A severed arm and a mysterious message lead the crew of the Unreliable to the Gorgon Asteroid, formerly the site of one of Halcyon’s most ambitious and disastrous scientific undertakings – now a lawless den of monsters and marauders. Wealthy recluse Minnie Ambrose tasks the crew with finding answers about Dr. Olivia Ambrose, her mother and the doomed project’s disgraced director, but they are soon ensnared in an intrigue that will change the colony forever.

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon will be released on September 9, 2020.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light

It’s kinda weird to see Destiny 2: Beyond Light part of Xbox Games Showcase, the same event highlighted by Halo Infinite. This is because Bungie created Halo on its own before they got involved with Microsoft and played a major role in the respective success of the original Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles with several acclaimed Halo games that sold a lot. Now that it is no longer involved with Activision, Bungie is now a standalone developer and publisher, and the Destiny games franchise is what they are carrying now. The above video presentation looks good and energetic.

Conclusion

Overall, the Xbox Games Showcase was good, not great. The efforts to showcase the 1st party games and the potential of next-generation gaming Xbox Series X were made but felt uneven here and there. Halo Infinite had a good presentation but there were shortcomings that prevented it from being great which is too bad because the game was supposed to highlight Xbox Series X and prove that there is a promising future of fun and engagement with the Halo franchise. Ironically, the very solid but short video presentations of Forza Motorsport and Avowed proved to be better efforts on selling Xbox Series X than Halo Infinite. When it comes to disappointments, I should point to the complete lack of new stuff regarding Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II.

While imperfect, the Xbox Games Showcase still had nice surprises that kept me interested enough to finish it. At the very least, Xbox Games Showcase was a big improvement over the disappointing showcase of 3rd party games last May.

Now that the Xbox Games Showcase is over, Microsoft and its Xbox teams still have time left to improve their efforts to sell their games and prove that Xbox Series X will be worth buying for the next several years of home entertainment. They also still have time to emphasize how the optimization of games on Xbox Series X and how the Smart Delivery can be beneficial to gamers.

In ending this, watch Colteastwood’s interview with Xbox’s Major Nelson.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com