In gaming, we love to see ourselves and our culture properly represented. In the past, we had to fight to get even one properly represented character, without them having the same “90’s flat-top fade” hairstyle, or being a caricature. Now, with games like Cyberpunk 2099 and the new Hogwarts, where you can design your avatar to how you want them to look. What’s more, when black culture and gaming combine into something great, it’s a real treat to witness. Especially in the world of gaming, where our voices are being heard, loud and clear. To that end, here are some video games that blended hip-hop, music, fashion, and more with the culture we created and is still celebrated today.
Def Jam: Fight For New York
One of the BEST fighting games of all time, Def Jam: Fight For New York, had it all. You could buy the latest fashion styles from the 2000s, customize your player with multiple hairstyles, listen to classic and modern hip-hop, and have numerous cameos by many rappers. Sean Jean, Lil Kim, Shawnna, Ludacris, Method Man, Redman, Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, and even Flavor Flav were playable. Guest appearances also were in the game, from Danny Trejo, Henry Rollins, Carmen Electra, and Kimora Lee. Players could choose their own fighting style from five subclasses, as they battle their way to underground victory.
While games like Madden and 2K will basically own the football and basketball genres in gaming, EA Sports BIG gave us some of the best games that didn’t take themselves seriously. The Street series took it to…well, the street. No refs, no rules. Just some stylish moves to win. Think NBA Jam mixed with Blitz.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
While I prefer GTA 4, San Andreas was a banger! From bumping West Coast hip-hop, having iconic missions (All you had to do, was catch the damn train, CJ!), being able to dress in different styles, go to the gym and buff up your character, San Andreas was still the sandbox game we all love. It just hit different.
A spin-off of the Guitar Hero series, DJ Hero followed in similar footsteps. Instead of a guitar, however, players would use a turntable with buttons you would see on a controller, and mix their favorite songs together. With music from Jay-Z, Eminem, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and more! Games like this really need to make a comeback. Gaming doesn’t always need to be regulated to FPS, RPGs, or Dark Souls-esque titles. Plus, with today’s music, a DJ Hero 3 would be epic!
Marc Echo’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure.
Imagine being in a dystopian city, and artistic expression is outlawed. That’s the setting for Getting Up. Tagging buildings with graffiti, music by DJ R2DJ, and fighting gentrification, this really was a game before its time. There’re even rumors of a movie in development. Graffiti has always been the artwork of the unheard. To see it being shown in video games is very interesting.
Any games I missed? Feel free to let me know in the comments, and be sure to share and stay tuned for more content! Till next time, fellow blerds!
Episode 2 of She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is out, and while it felt quick, there was quite a bit to discuss! As always, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
We start with the aftermath of the “fight in court with Jen and “the super-powered influencer”, Titanna. After the media gets ahold of it and proclaims Jen officially as “She-Hulk”. While she hates the name, it sticks as Jen and her friends go to a bar to celebrate her new-found status. Unfortunately, Jen’s actions have gotten her fired as a Deputy DA, due to making the jury biased in favor of super-powered beings. After a quick montage of being rejected by employers, Jen goes to her family’s home, where she’s bombarded with superhero-related questions. Only her dad seems to care about Jen’s actual state. Reassuring that everything will work out, Jen continues her quest for employment.
Back at the bar, Jen is approached by the CEO of GLK and H (the opposing law firm, against Jen’s case, last episode.) They specialize in “Super-powered related cases” and want to hire Jen as the face of their “Superhero Law Division”. Accepting the offer, Jen’s expected to be She-Hulk full-time, and she breaks the fourth wall, letting us know her disappointment. Adding to her dismay, Jen’s first case is for Emil Blonsky aka The Abomination! (From The Incredible Hulk, way, way back in 2008). After arguing the fact that he tried to kill Jen’s cousin, if she doesn’t take the case, she won’t have a job at the law firm. Reluctantly, Jen goes to The Raft to meet Blonsky. While Blonsky is in human form, he claims to have been a changed person. He’s arguing to be released on parole. Emil argues that the U.S. Government is responsible for him being Abomination and destroying half of Harlem. He asks Jen to be his lawyer, and after a sob story, Jen ponders on the offer. At her apartment, Jen calls Bruce to give him the details and wonders if she should take the job. Bruce tells her that he’s ok with Jen representing Blonsky, and we also find out that Bruce is in space!!! Possible Planet Hulk storyline?! Jen calls Mr. Holloway to accept the case, to which he tells her to turn on the news. A news report shows Abomination in an underground fight club, breaking out of prison! (From the movie, Shang-Chi!).
Like I said, a surprisingly quick episode, but this one deals with setting some nice conflicts that Jen will have to solve. There are some nice references to the iconic 90’s art, with She-Hulk working out on the beach, callbacks to Eternals and Wolverine easter egg! While no action was present, this isn’t the type of show to expect that kind of stuff. Episode 2 of She-Hulk: Attorney At Law gets a 7 out of 10. Post your thoughts in the comments below, and till next time fellow Blerds!!!
It’s finally here! The premiere of Marvel’s She-Hulk has arrived on Disney Plus, and I must say, this is super-hero comedy done right! While many were complaining about the tone of the show, and how the CGI looked, I’m happy to say that this show has promise! Before I continue, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
The show starts us off with Jennifer Walters prepping for a case in court. But surprisingly (or not, if you read any of her comic books) Jen breaks the 4th wall to formally introduce herself and how the show isn’t like any of the other Marvel shows. More importantly, she explains how she became a Hulk in the first place. Flashback to a few weeks’ time, where she and cousin Bruce Banner are driving on the road. While jokes about Captain America’s virginity, a Sakkar spaceship comes out of nowhere, causing them to crash. Jen can get out first, but she’s cut. Bruce is pulled out, but his inhibitor device (that allows him to stay as Banner) is broken. As some blood is mixed, Bruce warns Jen to get away as he’s about to “Hulk Out”. As their blood mixes, Jen begins to transform. Blacking out, she stumbles into some bar, and to her surprise, a group of women helps with Jen’s clothes. While waiting for a ride, some guys hassle her outside. This triggers another transformation, but Bruce (now, as Hulk) tackles her before things get out of hand.
Some time has passed, and Jen is in Bruce’s lab. Bruce tells Jen that he and Tony built the place before he died (we can still see that Stark’s death still hits Bruce hard). As Bruce explains how Jen’s DNA is so rare to absorb Gamma radiation, he also tells her that they need to figure out how to control it. At first, Jen is hesitant, as all she wants to do is to be a lawyer. Bruce insists on her training to become a superhero, however. And so, we’re set on a funny training montage, with Bruce teaching the ins and out’s of being a Hulk. While reluctant, Jen actually picks up on things faster than Bruce expected. Even being able to change at will (something Bruce struggles with, due to his struggles with being calm.) They even get into a little scuffle; with Jen learning some moves like the Thunderclap and the Ground Pound. Eventually, Bruce accepts that Jen is different and that her life is hers to live. As Bruce drops Jen off, we catch up to where Jen is about to give her opening statement. Just then, a super-powered woman busts through the courtroom. Reluctantly, Jen changes into She-Hulk and knocks her out with one punch before turning back into Jen.
I’ll be honest; I wasn’t checking for this show. With the rumors that it was going to be more comedy-based, and with Marvel needing to add a laughing track every five minutes into their recent films. Not saying that humor is bad, but they have a habit of overdoing it. Also, with special guests coming (Ahem, Daredevil!!), one wonders how Marvel is going to portray certain characters. Also, fans have been critical of how Hulk has been portrayed. From a savage brute who ragdolled Loki, to a being who mixed the monster and the man together to get “Smart Hulk”. While some may say that after the beating from Thanos, Hulk may have lost his appeal, I say this is EXACTLY like in the comics. Banner’s Hulk persona has multiple personalities, so it's no surprise that we're getting Smart Hulk. Imagine if we got Mr. Fixit or WorldBreaker Hulk. But that’s all for now! I’ll give She-Hulk an 8 out of 10. Till next time, fellow blerds