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Showing posts from 2017

Bottom of the Pile: May 31st, 2017

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Three...technically four weeks behind.  I'll knock them all out before the week is over.  Anyways...

If you didn't know, this is Bottom of the Pile, a weekly column where I take anywhere from five to ten (sometimes more) of my favorite comics of the week and discuss them.  Sometimes that can be a mini-review, sometimes its just short commentary--both are my way of highlighting comics that I think you should be reading.   When a comic is consistently well-written in terms of action, character work, or comedy--it finds its way to the bottom of the pile, because don't we all save the best for last?

The Unbelievable Gwenpool It might be a tad unfortunate that Gwen didn't get an issue that lended depth to her character until we were sixteen issues in, but its no less welcome, as Gwen is suddenly dragged back to the "normal" world by her brother.  We finally get to see exactly what Gwen's life was like when she lived in the real worldUnsurprisingly, she wasn&…

7 Thoughts About Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger Episode 18: "Emergency Dispatch! Space Heroes!"

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And just like that, we're caught up!  My apologies for getting behind, particularly since this episode is actually pretty awesome if you're a long-time Sentai nerd like me.

7 Thoughts About Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger Episode 17: "Light Up The Dark Dome!"

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I'm technically three weeks behind, but since this week we didn't get an episode that leaves me only two episodes behind, so let's knock those out before 19 comes out next weekend. 



E3 Games of the Show

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Well, with Nintendo's E3 Direct done and dusted, all the major games of this year's E3 have been revealed.   And I slapped together a list of the ten games I was most excited about from this year's conference because I was bored and also because lists are how I process excitement.    This year wasn't especially crazy, but I still easily managed to find ten games I was impressed by...and a few I honestly cannot wait to get my hands on. 

E3 Wish List

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We're finally at the finish line.  The pre-show press conferences start tomorrow with Electronic Arts' showcase, and from there we get at least a show a day all the way into Tuesday, with more in-depth looks at revealed titles carrying us all the way into Thursday.   If you missed it, I've already done looks at EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Sony, and Nintendo.  The only thing left is my insane wish list.   Ready to gaze into the depths of a hopeless gamer's dreams?

The Road to E3 2017: Nintendo

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Finally we come to the last of the major E3 "presenters".   Presenters in quotes because technically, Nintendo won't be taking the stage.  They haven't in years and 2017 will be no exception, as the Big "N" foregoes the big stage in favor of doing a Direct-like presentation at e3.nintendo.com on June 13th at 9PM Pacific, 12PM Eastern.

Nintendo's been in the spotlight in a major way lately, with the Nintendo Switch consistently putting up monster numbers every month that are even managing to topple the Sony's PS4 sale.  Combine that with what so far has been a very small, but stellar line-up of games in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and it's easy to see why so many eyes are eagerly watching Nintendo to see what they have next.  And that's what we're here for, so let's get into it!

If you missed it, here's my thoughts on EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, and Sony

Bottom of the Pile: May 3rd, 2017

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I didn't want to leave this week undone when last week's (and this week's too, probably) are going to be light on entries.  It's a tad unfair, but I'm writing these with the knowledge I have of the whole month so some references are probably going to be a bit different.

Bottom of the Pile: May 24th, 2017

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Action Comics I'm abstaining to see how this story plays out first, but this is quite the selection of top-tier Superman villains for the latest formation of the Superman Revenge Squad.  They're missing some of his more powerful/dangerous foes like Luthor, Doomsday, and Brainiac, but this is still enough to take the Man of Steel down.   And I'm all for raising the stakes--the Sinister Six have been a crucial part in some neat Spidey stories--but at a certain point I do end up wondering how the hero can survive such an onslaught back to back?

There's a point where Clark heads up to the Justice League satellite and meets Bruce while hunting down the Eradicator, but it just made me wonder why you wouldn't call the whole Justice League if you knew this big an array of villains was coming after you.  I get that Superman "never loses", but everyone has a limit.  So like I said: I'm cautiously waiting to see how Jurgens gets Superman out of this one without …

7 Thoughts About Kyuranger Episode 16: "Stinger's Reunion with his Brother"

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Whatever bad thoughts I had about last episode, I take them back.  They were setting up for this amazingness and it's all been worth it.

7 Thoughts About Kyuranger Episode 15: "The Savior of the Ocean Planet, Vela"

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Well, not every episode can be a winner...

Road to E3: Sony

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Welcome back everyone, we're nearing the end!  As ridiculous as it is to claim a "winner" to a conference that's ostensibly about business products, Sony's been proclaimed to be the just that since this generation began.  Between fighting anti-corporation practices in 2013, revealing three of the most anticipated titles in gaming in 2015, or presenting one of the most focused, tight presentations of all time in 2016, it's been a pretty consistent clean sweep in favor of Sony thus far.  Can they live up to it again?  Let's find out!

Sony's presentation this year is on June 12th, 6PM Pacific, 9PM Eastern. If you missed any of the columns leading up to now, check them out here:

EA
Microsoft
Bethesda
Ubisoft

The Road to E3 2017: Ubisoft

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Back again with this week's installment.  We're nearing home and even though I've had this article written for about two weeks now, I bet I had to come in and revise some stuff.  Anyhow, this is Part One of this week's Road to E3, where I talk about the most ambitious AAA publisher in gaming, Ubisoft.  If you're not a Ubi fan, make sure to join me at 12:30PM for a look at Sony's show.   And if you missed last week's discussions on Microsoft and Bethesda, you can do that here for Microsoft and here for Bethesda.  And if you missed the one before that on EA, check that out here

5 Thoughts About Flash: "Finish Line"

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The season finale is upon us!  Iris has been killed, probably.  So where does that leave Barry and Team Flash, and more importantly: how are they going to stop Savitar?

5 Thoughts About Supergirl: "Nevertheless, She Persisted"

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Half a year later and we're finally here at the season finale.  So, how do you repel an alien invasion when literally all of your friends aren't able to help you and your cousin with the exact same powers as you is now brainwashed and fighting on the side of the bad guys?

Bottom of the Pile: May 17th, 2017

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Astro City

I've got an idea for Kurt's first comic book when he's done with the main Astro City series: Kittyhawk!  Starring a super-powered kitty with heightened intelligence, phasing powers and flight, along with her well-meaning but often oblivious super-powered masters!  I'd read it, but then again I'm also a Hero Cats fan.  

If you couldn't guess, this was a cute, whimsical little one-shot about a cat who got adopted by a pair of heroes after an adventure where it got covered in this strange, radioactive goop that gave it powers, and since then it's been (presumably) helping the duo on cases.  I appreciate Kurt for mixing it up too--if Astro City has any one flaw its that all the bittersweet stories that end up being heartbreaking for one way or another can kinda pile up on themselves.  This was a nice change of pace to shake things up for a short while.

The Road to E3 2017: Bethesda

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Ah, my second E3 post this week.  It's almost like I have some vague idea of what I'm doing for once.  If you missed it, earlier today I also did a post on Windows' Microsoft's Xbox conference.  You can find that here, and you can find last week's EA post here if you missed it.



Our newest company to the E3 party, Bethesda made an unexpected announcement that they would be joining the big show a few years ago, and they've been a welcome addition ever since.  Last year the company showed off titles like Quake Champions which is meant to launch later this year, Dishonored 2, and Prey.   So what's the Skyrim/Fallout developer have for us this time around?

The Bethesda show starts on Sunday June 11th, at 7PM Pacific, 10PM Eastern, so we won't know for sure until then, but these are my guesses:

The Road to E3 2017: Microsoft

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Here we are with the first major conference of E3. Microsoft is in a tough position here, as I'd say they're probably the company with the least amount of excitement surrounding them.  Sony has drowned their fans in first-party titles and gone on to have monster sales for their PlayStation 4 console, and the Nintendo Switch is currently lighting up the sales charts as fans enjoy Zelda and re-discover Mario Kart 8 while looking forward to titles like ARMS and Splatoon 2 for the summer.   By comparison, Microsoft's currently enduring a drought of first-party titles and enjoying a distant second in the console race.   Is all hope lost for the company? 

Probably not, as they do have the Xbox Scorpio to show off here, which all but guarantees they'll have the vast majority of the best-looking titles of E3.  Plus they've got an array of major first- and third-party titles launching this fall, so let's get into them. Microsoft's conference airs Sunday, June 11th

5 Thoughts About Flash: "Infantino Street"

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The day has finally come.  Does Iris West survive?

5 Thoughts About Supergirl: "Resist"

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This episode is....woof.   I'm not gonna lie, it's just a long-ass list of complaints this time around...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Review

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From the first trailer I saw King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, I hoped it would be a resounding success.  I'm a fan of Guy Ritchie's films for one, but then also it looked to be unafraid of taking chances with Arthurian lore unlike so many of the adaptations before it, all of which from the modern era appear to be obsessed with making things as "realistic" as possible.   But there's nothing realistic about a man pulling a magic sword from a stone and the man becoming king because of guidance from an ancient wizard.   When I hear the words "King Arthur", I picture dragons and knights in magically protected armor achieving the impossible--basically being high fantasy versions of superheroes.  What I don't ever really care to see is "the true story" or the "truth behind the magic" or any boring sort of variation that reduces the characters to mere mortal men--there are other characters to explore those stories with.

So all it took …

7 Thoughts About Kyuuranger Episode 14: "Dancing in the Space Ryugu Palace!"

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This one isn't really plot focused at all, so I'll keep this post short.

Bottom of the Pile: May 10th, 2017

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The week before last's is still coming, hopefully tomorrow.  But Road to E3 is also a thing so that might slow me up a bit.

Amazing Spider Man
It's funny because Pete literally brought toys to fight against an unjust occupation of Silver Sable's nation.  Seriously, why on Earth are so many of these vehicles color-coded? 
You can hear Peter coming from a mile away with all the puns and bad jokes, but now you have to see him from a mile off too?
Still, as much as I'm overall annoyed that Peter's about to go from multibillionaire good guy to working for a digital version of the Daily Bugle or whatever, this is actually a great way to close out Pete's billionaire phase, going head to head with Norman Osborn's army with one of his own.  He's basically serving as the Big Good here, arming a resistance force with the means to fight back against their oppressors literally single-handed.  There's even a bit of subterfuge at the start of the issue where he m…

5 Thoughts About Supergirl: "City of Lost Children"

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Ugh.  Two for two on frustrating DC shows. I desperately wish the writers for the CW-verse had the freedom of Marvel's Netflix series.

The Road to E3: EA 2017

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As we get closer to the biggest show in gaming, with all the major players confirming their press conferences and games that will (and sometimes won't) be appearing at their shows, I thought it'd be cool to take a look at each company's press conference and talk about the games most likely to appear there, and perhaps even discuss a few rumors and the likelihood of them actually being true.

I'll be releasing these every Friday in the run-up to the actual show, with a release schedule matching up to what days the individual press conferences come out.  So this week is EA since they moved and got a day of their own, next week will be Microsoft & Bethesda, the week after will be Ubisoft and Sony, and the final week will be Nintendo.   And if I manage not to screw all that up, the final week before E3 will be my own personal picks for what I hope to see/am most excited for.  With that all out of the way, let's get started with EA's press conference!

5 Thoughts About Flash: "Cause and Effect"

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Only two more episodes left, and we took time off to do a story about Barry losing his memory?  Oh.  Okay.

7 Thoughts About Kyuuranger: "Stinger, a Challenge to the Brother!"

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Stinger finally comes face to face with his brother in this week's Kyuuranger!

5 Thoughts About Supergirl: "Alex"

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Bit of work on last week's episode just in time for this week's, which should go up tomorrow!

Making the Case for tri-ace: The Last Hope of Integrity and Faithlessness

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(Full disclosure: I have not gotten the chance to sit down and play Star Ocean 5 yet, merely watched a ton of LPs about it.  I have played Star Oceans 2 through 4, however.)

The other day, tri-ace came up as a topic of discussion on a forum I visit, and I was forced to face some unfortunate realities about what once might have been my favorite developer.  Creator of the Star Ocean and Valkyrie Profile franchises, tri-ace played a large role in my gaming as a child--Star Ocean 2: The Second Story and Star Ocean 3: Till the End of Time stick out far more in my memories than any non-Tactics Final Fantasy, so to a preteen/teenaged version of me, tri-ace was more important than Squaresoft.

So when The Last Hope offered some of the most annoying J-RPG stereotyped characters I'd ever wasted my time playing, to say that I was frustrated was putting it mildly.   For Star Ocean 5, I had my hopes high--I couldn't believe the franchise was coming back at all, but I felt confident they wou…

7 Thoughts About Uchuu Sentai Kyuuranger: "The Eleven Ultimate All-Stars"

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5 Thoughts About Flash: "I Know Who You Are"

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Savitar stands revealed....

Bottom of the Pile: April 26th, 2017

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This one's for the continuity freaks.
Action Comics
And just like that, in twenty pages, the New 52 "reboot" is eliminated.  Bleeding Cool talked about it earlier this week and it seems to be true: Dan Jurgens has folded both the pre-Flashpoint timeline as well as N52 together into one giant timeline.   Sort of.  The reality is that things are more pre-Flashpoint now than they are N52.   Lois wouldn't have revealed his identity in this timeline.  It's doubtful Superman "became Doomsday".   And the whole "two Supermen" stories are pretty much done now; there's only ever been one Clark.

But all isn't exactly restored.  As Clark has the Fortress recall his history for him, they flashback to his "death" and the replacements that took over for him: Steel, Cyborg Superman, and Eradicator.  Only...there's one missing: Kon-El/The Kid himself, Superboy.  He's nowhere in Superman's memories, and with a recap this purposeful…

5 Thoughts About The Flash: "The Once and Future Flash"

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Our first week back with The Flash from the third series break, Barry visits the future in an attempt to save Iris.

5 Thoughts About Supergirl: "Ace Reporter"

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Back from her mid-mid-season break, it's Supergirl!

Data from a Scrub: Day 4 (Shadowcraft)

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We're back to Shadowcraft.  Honestly, since I've been making myself play this game more I believe all the hype now.  Shadowcraft is...just fucking busted.   This is going up on Day 5 because my internet went down for most of the day, but not to worry I'll be doing Day 5 today as well.  Enjoy!

7 Thoughts About Kyuranger Episode 11: Three Kyu Globes to Save the Universe!

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This is actually another really good episode of this series.  I have to give the show props, its never been less than decent and a lot of the time it's actually great.

Anime Observations: Re: Creators

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I said this show was going to be either excellent or complete trash with little in between, and so far I'm not too far off on my prediction.  Re:Creators is a dark horse favorite for me this season.


Data from a Scrub: Day Three (Swordcraft)

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Took a break for the weekend, but I'm back to finish the rest of things off.  Fair warning, I fucking face planted today.  There aren't any cool miracle stories, just a series of Ls.

Bottom of the Pile: April 19th, 2017

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Astro City It's amazing how Kurt's characters can draw from so many sources that they eventually take on a life of their own.  Like, this girl is clearly something like Deadpool--she's not only aware that she's a comic book, but she can hear what are seemingly cosmic beings when they refer to her or her father, the superhero known as The Gentleman.  At the same time, her wholesomeness and ability to "summon" a super-powered adult when trouble is near makes her a lot like Billy Batson/Captain Marvel.

You wouldn't think that combination would work well, and yet it leads to this heart-warming (and heart-breaking) tale of this immortal girl, who despite being stuck as a child forever, has irrepressible levels of optimism.  A girl who lost her father but wished so hard to have him back that he re-appeared....with superpowers, no less!  Of course it's later revealed that he's a figment of her psychic abilities, but to generate someone that powerful rais…

Anime Observations: Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Thoughts

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Here's how I know I'm a sucker for massive universes: I was never a big fan of Naruto, but three episodes in and I'm almost completely sold on Boruto.  The fact that you know the background characters--their loves, their successes, their failures--made me far more invested than I would've been if this had been a completely new series.

Boruto continues the story of the Naruto universe, but it's been over a decade since the Last Great Ninja War, and all of our favorite kids have grown up and had children who've grown up to be old enough to enter the Konoha Ninja Academy themselves.  Only, in the decade-plus since they were young, the world has changed: technology has flooded the world.  Railcars and video games mean industry has become a much larger driving factor for the world economy over the ninja.  So the Ninja Academy has changed too, teaching it's students much more than merely ninjustsu.

What I love about Boruto is all of the call backs, getting to se…

Data from a Scrub: Day Two

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I'm back again, this time playing the meta deck du jour, Midrange Shadowcraft.  Looking at the stats, this deck is so far ahead of the rest that it's only a matter of time before something in it gets nerfed.  But in the meantime, I can use it to climb really easy, riiiight?   Well.  Let's see.