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Magic Mondays: Amonkhet’s Gorgeous Full Art Lands

Amonkhet

Wizards of the Coast just spoiled five gorgeous full art lands. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come, even if we know what those horn structures off in the distance mean something quite the opposite.

AKH Forest

AKH Forest

AKH Island

AKH Island

AKH Mountain

AKH Mountain

AKH Plains

AKH Plains

AKH Swamp

AKH Swamp

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Powerless: Parks and Wreck

Powerless

For every super fight, there is a city. For every awesome altercation, there is destruction, and largely comic book films have only just begun addressing the fact that heroes like to break stuff. The good guys win and the bad guys get sent away to Arkham or some frightening super-max designed specifically for villain shenanigans. But the aftermath is always, almost the same. Powerless deals with the aftermath and the prevention of each violent event. Luckily, Wayne Securities is tasked with the burden of helping regular people deal with their weird, violent world.

Epi-Pens and plagiarism

This series takes place in the fictionalized Charm City, which is apparently the brighter, more colorful neighbor of Gotham. Day to day, Charm City is bombarded by villains and heroes come to save the day. Of course after a while, any person will get jaded when they have to live in constant fear of city level destruction. So as Emily, played by Vanessa Hudgens, watches in awe as her morning commute is disturbed by a massive fight, other citizens just try their best to ignore it. At work, it’s revealed that Emily is tasked with helping motivate the staff of the strangely start-up like Wayne Securities.

The company’s hugest accomplishment was the creation of the Joker gas epi-pen, but ever since that, Wayne Securities has been coasting and just choose to rip off Lex Corp. It’s a funny premise and the topic of people dealing with super hero destruction is unique. However, that doesn’t mean the series is wholly original.

Powerless

Powerless

Old Familiar Places

It’s not far-fetched to say that Powerless follows sitcom formulas quite closely. The cast is made up of familiar faces like Danny Pudi and Alan Tudyk, both of which bring their bubbly charms in spades. Vanessa Hudgens plays the quirky bright eyed, small town girl quite well but this is where the series kind of falls into same-y territory. There are inspirations taken from a number of other comedy shows like Parks and Rec, along with other series that feature quirky characters and goofy office shenanigans. At the same time, Powerless also leans heavily on wink and nod humor in its references to the DC universe at large.

DC's Powerless

DC’s Powerless

The Staying Power

At the end of the day, Powerless is an inoffensive sitcom with a lot of comic book references and a bit of potential. The first episode has just come out and a lot of other shows only find their stride after a few more episodes. It’s a fun watch and only the future will tell whether or not this show will get a bit cleverer. Try it out, because there are a few funny gags in its half hour run time and its closest rival, Marvel’s Damage Control, won’t be out for a bit longer.




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Magic Mondays: Saheeli A-Rai!

Multi Cat Meow Combo

I’m sure we’re not the only ones keeping open mana with a Felidar Guardian or Saheeli Rai on the field. The so-called “Copycat Combo” has now gone full-blown, with deck builds ranging from two colors to as much as four (Well, I haven’t seen a 5-color Copycat Combo deck yet, but I really wouldn’t be surprised to see one). Like what SCG Open Commentators Patrick Sullivan and Cedric Philips have mentioned, Saheeli Rai and Felidar Guardian aren’t the only two cards in the deck, so there will be other threats to support the combo.

Look forward to seeing the combo in your next FNM. You’ll be seeing a few variants of the deck, that’s for sure.

So, how do you fight it?

Personally, I’d prefer two methods: counter it or some hand disruption.

Disallow and Void Shatter

Hello blue-lovers! We have these two bad boys. Disallow is an exceptional card because it stops basically anything and everything. While, Void Shatter could counter and exile the combo pieces. Having these two-card in your arsenal could really be pivotal in the combo match-up.

The drawback, however, is that both cards’ casting costs are UU1, which could sometimes be difficult to have on turn 3 if you run a deck with more than two colors. Alternatives for other decks splashing blue could be Revolutionary Rebuff or Spell Shrivel, although conditional, they get the job done (more often than not..).

For those experimenting with the Improvise mechanic, you’ve got access to Metallic Rebuke. Good art, good effect and good (alternative) casting cost — good card, if in the right deck.

Uhh.. Hello, Scatter To The Winds.

…moving on.

Negate
This card has been a mainstay in blue decks as far as I remember (Unless you have a VERY creature-heavy meta). However, it doesn’t counter Felidar Guardian. Having the Negate could be a real bummer if you draw it when Saheeli’s on the board waiting for the cat. However, it’s perfect in the opposite situation where Felidar Guardian’s on the field just waiting for Saheeli.

A very handy career, indeed.

Transgress the Mind

This card could be the difference maker. A resolved Transgress the Mind can put you ahead of the game. Knowing how and when to play your cards could be key in winning the combo match up. Drawing Transgress the Mind in any part of game, whether it be in your opening hand or in the 5th turn, it still very powerful. However, having too much in your mainboard could backfire too. I’d have a 2-2 mainboard – sideboard split on them, since the meta’s still pretty shaken up.

Lost Legacy

Need I say more about this card? If resolved, it kills the combo. The tempo loss for casting such a card could be ignored since you’re playing against a combo deck. If your opponent’s on the play and gets to land a Saheeli, then you follow-up with Lost Legacy naming Felidar Guardian, you’ve pretty much gained a lot of momentum.

Again, the card is pretty difficult to cast if you have 3,4, or 5 colors. Alternative?

No. Don’t say it.

Pick the Brain

Nope. Pick the Brain, first and foremost, is a hit-or-miss card. Without the Delirium trigger, it’s not a long-term solution. Don’t do it. Just don’t.

Outside UB there are simpler solutions to the combo. One that halts the operation quite efficiently and cost less than $.25(ironically) is Shock. Simply just wait for Felidar to target Saheeli and burn her out of the board.

In conclusion, I feel like the best deck to go head-to-head against the Saheeli Copycat combo deck is a UB Control deck. It has a great package of removal, counters, hand disruption and a good finisher in Torrential Gearhulk.

Tune in for our next article — A Primer on UB Control.

Cheers!

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Magic Mondays: The Chopping Block, Emrakul’s Promised End

Emrakul The Promised End

Bare with me: this will be my first public meandering on competitive Magic: The Gathering, and worse, I am here to discuss my thoughts on the latest bannings.

DISCLAIMER: In no way am I a pro, I do play competitively, but have fumbled and stumbled too many times to consider myself a good player or even an OK player to be honest. I write mostly for your entertainment and so I can keep my sanity despite my grueling and soul sucking job. But most of all, just for plain and simple fun.

Ok, a lot of you have moved on from the recent bannings, both for Modern and Standard, surprisingly, no one threw a fit.

Ok I’m not much for Modern, Ugin was banned a long time ago and for good purpose, but the current ban on Emrakul, The Promised End, Smuggler’s Copter and Reflector Mage just totally castrated a whole bunch of decks. Including my Aetherworks Marvel which I had thought I’d be able to play for a few more months at the least.

Fine. Fourth turn Emrakul is unfair(so is life), and it is hard to deal with or come back from. Reflector Mage removes anything from the board for at least two turns and well Smuggler’s Copter was just everywhere, the slut of a card even found its way into Pummeler decks: Green Red too slow, setting up for that combo is just whaaa… BAM Copter! Problem solved.

Emrakul, Copter, Mage Ban

Emrakul, Copter, Mage Ban

Not that I disagree or anything, I am not about to throw a fit. If more than anything, I am intrigued to know why they went ahead and cut off the balls on a whole heap of decks. Face it – what’s left after these bans? Fucking Grixis Control? There aren’t as many obnoxious players out there who have the patience and timing.

Draw, Pass, Draw, Pass, oh what’s that sir? Thraben Inspector? Well Void fucking Shatter cause I’m up 6 fucking mana and I want to obnoxiously cast Torrential Gearhulk next turn for Gideon and kill any love you have left for playing Magic: The Gathering boyeeee.

Sorry, just had to let it out.

But yeah, Wizard keeps saying “to diversify the playing field” – well give us cards to fucking deal with what’s out there then. Are you guys so lazy as to have not consider tweaking cards from Future Future League so as to “Diversify” the playing field? I was so looking forward to playing Nichol Bolas and Emrakul on consecutive turns just for the fuck of it, but noooooooooo, that would just leave everyone doing the same thing. Bollocks. Give us better cards to build with and we will build something.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams

Breathe. Sorry, that was sort of a fit.

You want us to play longer than the fourth turn? Then what is this fucking shit!?@!*&!@#

Saheeli Cat Combo Meow!

Saheeli Cat Combo Meow!

I say, it was a bit of a lazy knee jerk reaction to whatever they had lined up these recent bannings. I assume there was nothing coming(in the immediate future or in AER) that could deal with or stand toe to toe with the likes of Emrakul, Copter, and ‘ooops you too’  Reflector Mage(you’re just too damn irritating). Funny they just had had to chuck out the mage cause if they’d banned Archangel Avacyn, we’d be on to them.

Is this a sign that there isn’t anything coming up that’s better than these three cards? Sad.

Come on Wizards, I know you were caught off guard by extending the cycles but bans like this are as good as throwing a whole set out of Standard. Give us better cards, don’t take good ones off the menu – MORE CARDS – that friends, would make MTG diverse AF.

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Screenshot Frenzy: Banner Saga, An Epically Depressing, Viking Inspired – RPG/Turn Based Strategy Game

Another successful kickstarter baby, Banner Saga – was but a benchmark purchase for me on my thrifty Honor 4x. Excited to test out this cheap Huwawei Octacore’s gaming prowess I picked up a few games from the Google Play Store for kicks. What started off as a fluke buy became two weeks of long loo breaks, 3 a.m. coffee runs from the bedroom and utter chaos in my work flow.

Here’s another installment of Screenshot Frenzy and a few captions to explain why you should pick this up on your mobile.

 

 

 

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This game tends to be depressing, a whole lot, sometimes these sweet little events are the only break from utter sadness.

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I honestly didn’t train a whole lot, but yeah more often only 1 or 2 guys from your party survive the battle to the end.

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The only bad thing about the Android version I played was too many of these screens.

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Day 16, 400 Clansmen and a few dozen fighters.

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So where to boss?

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Getting out of swings way.

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It’s perfectly fine… we’re fracking Varl, this shit is easy.

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Okay so, I see training has its perks.

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Early game, Gunnulf is the man!

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Let’s pitch camp fer now, give the caravan a bit of a rest.

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More loading screens…. eck.

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Even if everyone hates Ludin, let’s try him out.

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Day 26 – On the Varl side of things.

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Woopteedoo more Varl for us.

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Destruction and Sadness: 1km ahead.

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All right, ready?

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This old man was a hoot. Disappeared though after scavenging some supplies for the caravan.

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Up we go.

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Hot damn this scene is intense.

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Ruuuuuun….

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We’re almost there!

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Damn… so many Varl.

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Waving our long ass banner…

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The serpent.

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A psychic serpent.

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An unfamiliar psychic serpent.

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Eyvind… pick up the phone…

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Weird way to say hello on the phone.

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The nothingness.

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Yeah… via phone.

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The hard headed Iver.

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Day 99: We lookin’ good

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All right all right… you can come.

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Up through the mountains again.

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Running low on supplies.

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Phew! A god stone… a place to rest.

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See nothing bad about that.

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Yet another god stone.

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The view is gorgeous.

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Finally… Juuuno… I got your call, I’m here where are you?

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No one’s here but those creepy villagers peeking out from their windows.

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She’s not here Eyvind.

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But the threads said so…

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If yo momma Juno so hot why she ain’t here, why she not pull lightning out of her ass, I mean sky…

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Damn boy you lost.

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Oh yeah… and did I mention someone just died.

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We just run out of Varl so 1 would be a lot of help.

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Day 158: From 500 Clansmen, only about half left.

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But things will be ok.

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Or so we hope.

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We lose some fighters on the way to Boersgard.

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And then the narrator makes things worse.

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I’m supposed to walk through all those dredge?

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Ok I don’t understand any of that, but I’ll assume you know what’s best.

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Bellower looks upon the last of us. No more fighters left.

Screenshot_2015-08-13-00-42-21

Spoilers coming up ahead.

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Time to face him Rook.

Screenshot_2015-08-13-11-27-21

Ok mage upfront, like in all RPGs.

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Nooooooo… Oddleif

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But at what cost.

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Told you spoilers up ahead.

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Fuck this game right?

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So frackin sad…

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Bye Alette..

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…. sniff.

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God Damn you Stoic Games!!!!

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{Sobbing}



Note: Character survival is based on how you play the game.


Filipino Folklore Based Kickstarter Game “Devastated Dreams” (Pinoy Review)

Devastated Dreams

So, there I was… in “Alt-Tab” mode, searching for something interesting on the internet.

Just like any gamer/work-at-home dude would do, on a regular day… but as it turned out, it wasn’t so regular after all.

 

As a Filipino, I get a “fanboy” feeling whenever something “Pinoy” gets into a game.

I mean, how often do you find them in games, right?

Yes, we have Manny Pacquiao in boxing games,  Josie Rizal as a new Tekken 7 fighter, Jose Rizal in the 1999 Medal of Honor…

…and the classic “Anito” from the early 2000’s (I actually bought this game… but never made it far, lol).

 

As I was saying…

That day was not like other because I was greeted by something new — a reddit post about “Devastated Dreams”.

It’s a Filipino folklore based game by Matt Gilgenbach, and is currently on Kickstarter, labeled as a “Psychological horror about the fears of being an expectant parent from the team that delivered Neverending Nightmares”.

(This game breathes a different air from the failed Kickstarter campaign of another Pinoy setting based game I saw in the past)

Anyway, here’s a snippet from their campaign page…

 

“The protagonist of the game is Angel, a young Filipino woman who is living in the rural area of Aklan in Western Visayas in the Philippines. Visayas is a region rumored to have the most aswang – Filipino legendary monsters that are like vampires and werewolves only more twisted.

Western Visayas was also devastatingly affected by super typhoon Yolanda (known internationally as Haiyan) in November of 2013. The game will also feature other real locations from the Philippines including the Kabayan caves, which house fire mummies – incredibly well preserved bodies using a unique preservation process. Since the game takes place in nightmares, we can explore different regions of the Philippines that express the fears of the protagonist.”

 

The video attached to this page is me doing an actual first-time playthrough (starts at 1:38 ).

 

I can say that the suspense is there. The plot line sparked enough curiosity in me to want to know what’s next.

I also like that the non-Filipino developers were able to show elements from the game that are “really Pinoy”.

Overall, I think Devastated Dreams is a promising game.

 

I’m just not sure if it’s gonna’ get funded, but I hope it does — here’s the link if you want to cheap in http://kck.st/1UYYZVs (opens in new tab).

 

~Daily420
“Play high, stay high. Keep rolling, ’till next time.”

 

How about you, would this be something you’d like to play? What are your thoughts? Come and share on the comment box below.

 

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I Was Hit By Lightning And Bitten By A Cobra – Kung Fury

Kung Fury

Finally LaserUnicorns’ Kung Fury is out! We’ve just recently basked in Mad Max Fury Road’s awesome hour and a half of pure unaldulterated goodness and yet another glorious, violent, and unpretentious treat comes our way. If you’re the same as us, not looking for substance, just a for fun no brainer to watch to make you forget your bosses’ ugly face, then Kung Fury is waiting for you right here.

Don’t miss out on this too.

And if you’re Hair Metal aficionados like we are… here’s a Metal version of the soundtrack.

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Screenshot Frenzy: Persona 4 Golden Is Indeed Golden

Persona 4

It may be a bit late to put my word in, but let me be the one to tell you that you cannot let this game pass you by. It’s been 3 year since its remastered release and it still tops the charts for most consoles it has been ported to. I cannot stress how this game was made. But here let me try and show you with a little screenshot frenzy!

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Coming across this dude made me chuckle a bit

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Much like Chrono Cross’ Technique/Combo mechanic, this rumble option when your opponents are down is a treat to watch.

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Rise Kujikawa buffing the party

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Yukiko in a simple kimono, collecting these costumes became a focal point of the game for me one time or another.

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The investigation team still has no clue.

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Teehee, bikini costume for Yukiko and Chie. If the whole highschool social rpg part of the game doesn’t make you feel juvinile this will.

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I never found out how to trigger this combo…

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The awesome personas make up for the boorish gym clothes.

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Ehem, in every tough man, there is an equally effeminate man hiding somewhere… inside. Or is there…

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Discussing the meaning of life with a cat.

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How this game employs exams as milestones in the game is baffling, but works in making the whole school vibe work.

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The grind requirement though…

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Let’s go!

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The generated maps reminded me of Diablo.

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If you’re an awkward teen, Persona 4 Golden has some pick up lines to teach you.

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Dinner with the Dojimas.

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Ready to face her other self.

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Senpaaaaiiii!!!!

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Bye Rise.

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Tomoe

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Hehe, you got to play this game to find out what this scene is all about.

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Glorious Personas

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Role Reversal.

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Uhhhhhhhhh…..

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Yukiko-san so kawaii.. 😀

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Chilly Night

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Rise-kun is feeling a bit cold.

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Everyone’s in

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Getting ready to storm the castle.

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Whoaaaaa!

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Kick that fool in the nutts!

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Naoto watching in the distance.

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You go girl!

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Hiro

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Rise

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Teddy or Kuma in the japanese version with Yukiko

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Naoto Shirogane and Chie Satonaka

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Yosuke Hanamura and Kanji Tatsumi

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Can’t believe after 80 or so hours I’m finally almost done with this game.

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Or so I think

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Thanks for the update Rise!

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Gotta find her.

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Naoto gets invested in the group.

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Good for you Teddie.

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Learning the truth.

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The fog ensues.

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The meh ending.

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Where no one kinda gives a rats ass you’re leaving.

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Then there is this guy.

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Dishing out the pain.

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Returned in kind

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“Cheering squad uniform”. Naoto cheats though she’s wearing a dudes uniform.

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Kanji on the drums!

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Time to fight some bad dudes in shorts!

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Uh oh… better check the TV

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Kanji-kun!


Hope you enjoyed the mash of images from Persona Golden 4, now I can finally delete them off my Vita. See you guys again soon!


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Marvel’s Agent Carter: A Heroine in the making

Captain America is probably the most iconic superhero next to Iron Man, and Marvel’s move to play them against each other is a wise one. However, that doesn’t mean Cap and Iron Man don’t have long, storied histories. The First Avenger did a lot to solidify his reputation as the do-good freedom fighter with a strong sense of morality, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have any help along the way. One of the most important characters who helped him build up his confidence is Peggy Carter. In the film, she takes a secondary role, but doesn’t act passively. She isn’t just the prize, she gives Cap confidence, all the while kicking ass all on her lonesome. So, how does her run on TV fare in comparison to the movie universe?

Peggy Carter, the founder of S.H.I.E.L.D.

A Bigger Role told in Smaller Parts
The show wouldn’t be called Agent Carter if the spotlight wasn’t thrown squarely in her direction. Taking place a few months after Steve Rogers’ death, Peggy is sent to the SSR, a secret government organization to continue her work. Here lies the twist, however, because the work she is assigned is far below her station. After helping Cap, fighting a war, and having a hand in the downfall of Hydra, Peggy becomes a glorified secretary. At the same time, Howard Stark plays a big role. Like his son after him, the weapons he creates are often sold, and because that, the US government see him as a merchant of death.

Not just a dame in a dress.

These are the main plotlines and intrigues the series unveils over its 8-episode run, and the writers give everyone justice. Instead of relying on standard story tropes, they subvert every character in one way or the other. Peggy, in particular, is a strong protagonist in that she doesn’t accept her new, secondary role in the office. At the same time, she doesn’t lash out or act irrationally in a situation where anyone who has already proven themselves, would. Peggy has to help Stark clear his name, and that means she can’t fall to the perils anger.

Forward thinking in an Older Time
One can’t help but praise the series and how it uses a few progressive themes to its advantage. However, most of them are mired in some of the old stereotypes which run perfectly with the 50’s environment. Every one of her peers thinks that because she’s a woman, she is supposed to be delegated to doing menial tasks. Peggy, after getting over the initial shock, starts using this to her advantage. In fact, many of the female characters in the series use their perceived weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

These guys start out looking bad, but you grow to like them as the series goes along.

Agent Carter is also about dealing with consequence in the wake of hard decisions. Characters like Sousa and Thompson, who are both war vets, have to deal with their situations. The former was crippled and faces discrimination because of his handicap. Thompson, on the other hand, has to deal with maintaining a war-hero facade while keeping a secret that racks him with guilt. Every character here is strongly written, but my favorite moments are when Peggy and Jarvis bounce off of each other during their conversations.

They truly do make the perfect foils for one another.

Conclusion
It stands as a testament that at the end of this series, most of the people doubting Peggy’s abilities take a 180 turn and are even awed at her ability to out-spy a spy agency. Every character has their faults and strengths which the writers consistently build on with well thought out character development. I would say that Agent Carter’s 8-episode run is its only fault, but truly, if the show ran the standard 23 episode length, the quality of the writing and the direction it took will surely have suffered. You’ll probably end up binge watching the series, and re-watching it because Agent Carter is highly addictive. Definitely watch the show when you can.

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Galavant: You have to Watch this Strange and Friendly Fairy Tale Mess

Monty Python, A Knight’s Tale, and Princess Bride are among some of my favorite movies of all time. Monty Python for its absurd and referential humor, A Knight’s Tale because it’s a classic underdog story scored by classic rock, and finally, Princess Bride because it’s a genuinely warm adaptation of a good book. So it’s no surprise that I find Galavant so endlessly charming and funny.

It wouldn’t be Fantasy without Random Musical Numbers
It really wouldn’t and in Galavant, we’re treated to satire rather than pop. It comes from a very unconventional set-up. Characters in the series end up filling their own standard fantasy trope. There’s the Hero, his faithful squire, the princess in need, the tyrannical king, and the mysterious maiden. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fun series without self-awareness and a ton of satire. Galavant, for instance, is washed up after getting his one true love stolen by the said king. In his drunken haze, he doesn’t realize that the king is a lot more incompetent than evil, and in fact, forced his beloved to become his queen out of a sense of kingly privilege. All of these plot lines are reviewed during the sickeningly catchy title song.

Less Once Upon a Time and more Stumbling On a Washed Up Drunk

There are around 3 songs per episode, cut into short 1-2 minute segments in order to accommodate episode length. A lot of them come with a Shrek/Disney vibe to them, but this is where Monty Python comes barreling in with a keg of ale. Every song has a comedic element attached to it, mostly discussing their current issues but not without a few self-aware pokes. The first track from the second episode ends with Galavant gasping for air, complaining that it was “a long song”. However, like most comedy themed off-beat shows, most of the jokes are hit or miss.

The Humor: The Gags are hard to Pin Down
Galavant likes to throw out its jokes quickly and with consistency. Because of it, the series does suffer some lapses in quality. In one minute, the show lampoons montages with a montage of its own, and in the next lie yo mama jokes. There are quality set-ups that take episodes before they pay off, but it is worth a watch even when you’re slogging through the second song during of the episode. However, what makes the difference here is that even the bland jokes feel sincere. Thanks to the chemistry of the cast and their genuine enthusiasm, Galvant’s songs and bad jokes become welcome.

His face speaks volumes on the art of Murder and Friendship

Conclusion
Galavant goes on my list of shows you must watch, but not because it offers top tier writing or for deep story lines. The show is funny and weird, foregoing and accepting genre stereotypes like the need for diversity or a mandatory love duet. Catch it while you can, you might even enjoy its unhinged humor. On that note, Vinnie Jones should be given an award for his impossibly quick switch from scary badass to big dumb sweetheart.

Now I’m off on a secret mission, I’ve got me a secret plan, I’m going to go and slay my foe, as quietly as I can. I’ll sneak up and then surprise him, before he has time to think. I’m off and away but first another drink!