Archive for category Video Games

Things I’m Geeking Out On – Top Ten Edition

There is so much going on in the geek circles this week that I’m just going to make this entirely a “Things I’m Geeking Out On” list. We’ll do it list style since we just did a list for Topless Robot this week on the new Daredevil series so my mind is in total Top Ten mode. (By the way, when you are done here, you can totally go read that over here – if you don’t mind spoilers, or have already seen it.)

Top Ten Things I’m Geeking Out On This Week

  1. The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer – I didn’t think I was THAT excited about it yesterday when everyone was losing their minds over it, but now that I’ve watched it a couple of times, it really is pretty exciting. I found myself excitedly chatting up to one of my co-workers after she mentioned her dog is named Mara Jade. Apparently none of her friends are cool because she didn’t know the new trailer had dropped, nor did she know Celebrations was happening RIGHT NOW, 20 minutes away from our office! (I live for moments like this, I really do.) Anyways, it does look like it’s going to be hella cool, so you win this round J.J.
  2. Batman V Superman – Not in the sense that I’m excited about it, because I’m expecting it to be a hot mess at this point, but more in that I’ve been nerd raging about it since that insulting excuse for a teaser trailer dropped yesterday. Then the news that you had to get tickets to see the trailer in select theaters? After the giant pile of MEH that was Man of Steel, I feel like the Warner Bros marketing team needs to earn my excitement, not act like they are doing the fans a favor. I mean, COME ON, the movie was pushed back A YEAR. That can’t possibly be a good sign. (If this movie isn’t another Suckerpunch, I’ll be amazed.)
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road – That new trailer is amazing. I cannot wait for this movie to be out. What a lovely day indeed.
  4. Fast and Furious 7 – Two of my favorite categories of movies are car movies (see above) and caper movies – F&F is pretty much the best of both worlds. The only reason we haven’t seen this already is because of Daredevil, but that will be fixed on Saturday! I need my car chase fix!
  5. Convergence: JLA – I was pretty skeptical of Convergence because I’m getting pretty tired of the seemingly endless DC comic crossover events, BUT give me the 90s versions of my favorite comic characters from my favorite era of comic collecting and I forgive surprisingly quick. In JLA, they doubled down and gave me not only some characters I’ve been really missing, like the green skinned Jade, Type A Speedster Jesse Quick, and Queen of the Sea Mara (Aquaman’s lady who is a force to be reckoned with herself), but gave us a girl power super group that I instantly fell in love with. If they turned this comic into a regular series I would lose my mind and subscribe in a heartbeat. The issue was pitch perfect – the art was beautiful, the ladies were tough, but also felt like real women, and the part where they taught some grabby dudes a lesson in manners was priceless. Also, a great reminder that DC has some pretty amazing super ladies BESIDES the way overdone Wonder Woman. In this case, we got Supergirl, Jesse Quick, Mara, Jade, and a very gothy take on Zatanna. This would be an amazing TV show – you hear me DC!?
  6. Convergence: Superboy – Speaking of characters I really miss, the Convergence version of Superboy was a total throwback to my favorite Superboy; the one with the leather jacket and the 90s haircut and the attitude. Team Cadmus is also back and excellently written (and reminded me more than a little of another certain science team on some show called Flash. Coincidence?). I felt like I was reading a lost issue from the late 90s. It made me miss it. Can we get this version back, please?
  7. Harley Quinn – Ok, I’m pretty much always geeking out on the Harley series, but this whole Team Harley storyline is pretty amazing. I love how the creators just single handedly exploded the number of female minority characters (and even added one possibly gay dude?) in the DCU. Also, those uniforms are like a gift to cosplayers everywhere. I want to see some cosplay group take this on. The humorous nods to Mad Max and 50 Shades of Grey via Harley and Ivy’s trip to the movies were also pretty delightful. Harley and Ivy’s BFF/FWB relationship has been pretty fun to watch play out.
  8. Daredevil – I liked it. I didn’t LOVE it, like some people seem to. It was very well executed and surprisingly meaty for a superhero show. My takeaway quip was that it was the Breaking Bad of superhero TV Shows. That didn’t make it into the article, but that would be my one sentence summary. If you liked Breaking Bad, you will probably like Daredevil. If you did not (I wasn’t a huge fan), you might find it’s serious approach a little much. Although, in fairness, this is the show Gotham should have been. A hard hitting crime drama with occasional super hero elements. Why didn’t I love it then? I felt like the Kingpin was not handled very well – it seemed like Wesley was in charge of everything most of the show, with the Kingpin seeming more like an idealistic figure head he was indulging, and Wesley seemed way more evil than the Kingpin would ever be capable of. Also, it was just really… dark. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but it’s mainly a circumstantial evidence thing. See, we’ve binge watched A LOT of shows at this point. When something is really good, really grabs us – Battlestar Galactica, Lost, the first 5 seasons of the modern Doctor Who – you cannot drag us away from the TV. We will reschedule everything to squeeze in just one more episode. With Daredevil we found excuses to take frequent breaks, rarely able to sit through more than two episodes without suddenly needing to make a coffee run, go to the pool, or deciding to go out to dinner with friends. That’s not a great sign to me that I’m enjoying something. Would I watch a second season? Yes. Would I watch it all in one weekend again? Nope.
  9. Witcher III: The Wild Hunt – I was not expecting to geek out on this one, but we watched the trailer last night and this video game looks AMAZING. I’ve been waiting for someone to give me a Skyrim sequel for years now, and while this isn’t exactly that, it looks pretty damn close. Close enough for me to be super excited to play it!
  10. Community – I don’t know why it took me this long to watch this show, but I finally started it three weeks ago and… I’m already caught up. You see what I mean about devouring a show if I really like it? I think I literally watched all of Season 5 in one day. (Ok, it’s only 13 episodes at 22 minutes each, but still, I have a day job!) The show is really funny, and has that absurdist, pop culture aware sense of humor that I’ve loved since The Young Ones or The State, and currently love on Archer. If you are fan of either of those shows, or have ever been back to college as an adult (which I have), or just love geeky absurdist comedy that would make Weird Al proud, you should totally catch up on Hulu or Amazon, and then check out the new season happening on Yahoo.

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Fangs and Feathers

This past weekend was wall to wall DGS activity. We had a very successful Halloween party, thanks to much help from my team of volunteers. We went with a spider and skulls theme, with many spider webs any place we could put one up. For food and drink, the host team provided a build your own sandwich bar, sodas, and chips, while attendees brought additional sides and desserts, with one of our DGS members going above and beyond and brewing us a special DGS run of his home brew beer. Our master brewer also won our costume contest having dressed up, appropriately enough, as a steampunk mad scientist/brewer.

Several attendees also brought board games, which became the primary activity of the party. We got to try out Lords of Waterdeep, a D&D themed strategy game that played like a far more complex version of Revolution or Monopoly. As the name suggests, you play Lords living in Waterdeep, and as you play the game you hire adventurers and acquire resources for completing various “quests” in exchange for victory points. Everyone got the gist of the game pretty quick and had a good time. I won. This game is likely to go on our Christmas list.

On Sunday I ran the second to last session of Mirrors. We started the game right where we left off last month, with our protagonists running for lives from a group of vampire guards while their escape was covered by a Changeling dragon. It is one of the few times I’ve actually busted out the dry erase maps and miniatures for a World of Darkness game. There was much running and sword fighting and crashing of elevators. World of Darkness isn’t exactly known for its fighting rules, but they are adequate for running a more action based scene. However, because players rarely have to actually engage the rules, I find they tend to go kind of slow. I ended up cutting the scenario down a bit to accommodate our time limits. That was okay though, because my surprise twist went over with the same dramatic oomph I had hoped for, and we ended the session with one of our PCs making a very serious moral decision. Now my players have some important choices to make that will determine not only their characters’ fates, but the fate of the NPCs they’ve been representing this whole story arc. Which is really how every good World of Darkness game should end, don’t you think?

We started Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and having a blast. It’s an interesting twist to be working for Handsome Jack instead of against him, although he is still an egotistical jerk, so the characterization is at least consistent. Also, the story is actually told as a giant flashback, so you still get to enjoy commentary from all your favorite Borderlands characters while exploring a whole new area. My only real issues are that so far, the oxygen mechanics have been just another resource to manage, and it is taking what feels like FOREVER to get our additional gun slots and to use the new Grinder system. But as an expansion on the Borderlands universe, it’s overall been good fun.

On the TV front:

This week’s Supernatural was one of my favorite episodes in recent memory. This was the Demon Dean I’d been expecting. The Shining-esque scenario was very well played out, with some great acting moments by both Jared and Jensen. It actually made me think if Constantine or Gotham do well, DC should give Jensen a shot at playing Etrigan/Jason Blood. Supernatural is on Season 10 – it can’t last forever. Or can it? This season is pretty awesome so far. Knock on wood.

Gotham continues to be brilliant. If you are not watching it, do yourself a favor and go stream the season so far. There is just something really fun about a crime procedural set in a fictional 60s universe with super villains and a young Bruce Wayne who is getting an early start on being the smartest guy in the room. The magical realism tone is very similar to Hannibal, but so far the show is way more PG-13. It is BATMAN after all.

We have also watched the pilot for Arrow and it was amazing. Between all the video game releases and RPGs and wedding attendance plans, and everything else, I’m not sure when we are going to get a chance to binge watch the rest of the season, but hopefully we can make that happen soon.

Thing I’m geeking out on this week:

The Crow. Specifically the 20th anniversary screening we will be attending next month that is being hosted by Nerds Like Us, as part of their monthly nerdy midnight film viewing series. (If you like geek flavored cinema and/or attended high school in the 90s, you should totally check them out.) I am so going to rock the Eric Draven face paint.

More specifically, getting tickets to that made me want to look up the soundtrack. I forgot how much I used to love this album. There are some favorites of mine on here: Stone Temple Pilots, NIN covering Joy Division, Violent Femmes, Rage Against the Machine, Rollins Band, Pantera, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and The Cure. This album is like early 90s non-grunge rock in a time capsule.

Extremely specifically, however, I’ve been obsessing on the track “Burn” by The Cure.

Rediscovering this song was like finding an old flannel in the back of my closet and finding out it not only still fits, but it somehow still smells of strawberry cloves (don’t judge me – it was the 90s). For me, this song is pure nostalgia in aural form. I can crank this song up on my headphones, close my eyes, and instantly I am sitting in the back of my pickup, parked on the roof of the parking garage at Fullerton College after a night class reading the latest Mercedes Lackey novel. I can smell the rain in the air, feel the brisk fall chill, and remember a time when I actually had to call people on the phone to find out who was hanging out at the Winged Heart before heading over for a late night cup of coffee and maybe a round of pool. Good times.

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