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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.




Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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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.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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This War of Mine: A Bleak Tale of a City in War Times

This War of Mine

Marko looked through the little keyhole in the grocery store. He heard two voices as he entered the broken shop, and it scared him. What he saw was a soldier, harassing a young woman who was just scavenging. He didn’t hesitate even when the man held an AK. Marko burst through the door, the soldier had no time to react so Marko struck him with the make shift crowbar his friend Pavle fashioned out of rebar earlier that day. The soldier, after a few strikes, falls to the ground and the young lady runs off. Marko doesn’t care though; what mattered was scavenging this place for supplies. He was in the way and Marko had a chance to get rid of him quickly.

You don’t get to pick who you start out with, much less who survives.

TWoM is a rare game which isn’t really deep until you choose to think about it. I did, and at the end of it, I think I wouldn’t be a very good person during war.

I’ve watched several Let’s Plays about TWoM, and in every one, I’ve seen players make decisions they regret. The unfeeling detached nature of gamers disappears when you have to deal with each of them. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Morality can die in the Face of Survival

In the last couple of years, the survival genre has gotten big. From Day-Z to Don’t Starve, it’s been a genre/trend which has attracted a lot of attention. None of them for me really captures what it means to survive day after day. That isn’t to say that TWoM perfectly replicates the refugee’s experience in times of war; it offers us a safe place to explore those things and there are dire consequences when you do. If you steal, a lot of your characters will start to question whether or not it was worth it. But surviving often means doing exactly that.

The Deserter becomes very useful when raiding.

TWoM perfects one aspect of gaming which many prominent reviewers always find gripes about; morality. Like many things, it isn’t about doing good for a pay-off, much like doing bad isn’t about convenience. They are simply decisions carrying with them their own repercussions. There are extremes, there are grays, and the game illustrates the price people pay every with decision you make.

Being armed doesn’t mean you’re dangerous.

Four days ago, we waited for the trader who comes every so often. He’s a talkative savior, always prepared with exactly what we needed. Two children came instead, beckoning us for a couple of bottles of antibiotics. We couldn’t turn them away, so we gave them whatever we could. That was a mistake… Bruno, my dear friend, died because we couldn’t get him those same meds. We mourned him with cigarettes and alcohol, and that night we were raided.

Simple Mechanics in a Complicated Game

TWoM, like many other reviewers have described it, plays like the Sims; I’d like to make the same comparison but the game is much simpler than that. You’ll click through short menus to build simple things like stoves and other crafting stations, move them to the optimal locations, and cycle through each of your characters. Each of the people you’ll control will have a unique skill and that adds a level of darkness to the game. After my first few play throughs, I started picking the characters I wanted to use; neglecting the elderly characters in favor of those with more utility.

But whenever the less skilled characters would show at our doorstep, I couldn’t stand reading the text each of them spat out after each hour ticked down. I usually just clicked the “End Day” option so I didn’t have to suffer through their pleas. I wouldn’t be a very good person in war time.

There are no restarts when it comes to companion losses.

We’ve survived… The ceasefire was declared today and we listened through a radio our new friend Marin built. Was it worth it though? I cannot help but hope that life can get better after this, but our time in the shelter leaves a dark specter which looms over each of us. But we’ve survived, we’ve helped. We did the best we could and maybe in a time of war that is enough. I kept Pavle’s notes and I will bring them to his son and wife one day. The war is over and life moves on.

Conclusion

On my first play through, I started out with an ideal team. One could scavenge, the other could run, whilst the third could cook better meals to keep spirits up. My main team didn’t make it to the end but the rest of their new comrades did. On my second ride, I had a soldier and a thief. The latter died of sickness whilst the first was scavenging to find medicine. He hung himself in the empty shelter the next day.

Perma Death in the game affects everyone in the shelter.

Depression, happiness, and contentment rarely work as game mechanics because they are usually forced. The developers of TWoM thought it through and integrated it perfectly into this puzzling survival game. But that’s just my take on it and that’s the beauty of the game. No one person will walk away with the same experience. It explores a dark place from a safe space, but it’s also a sobering experience telling us that war games need not be about kill streaks and K\D ratios.

TWoM is probably one of the most important games to come out this year. It goes out of its way to give you control, while throwing inescapable events your way when you feel a little too cocky. It’s not for everyone though, as the gameplay has a learning curve which requires you to act quickly, but to think of the future patiently.

Sometimes, we escape to games to feel like something we’re not; Heroes. Check out Spec Ops the Line, The Last of Us, or I Have no Mouth and I must Scream for other sobering gaming experiences.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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The New Year Show Round-Up

Woo! It’s been a while since we’ve updated, and that’s totally my fault. I haven’t been working the hardest in many things, and at the same time, the holidays just piled on relentlessly. So, instead of doing the single posts and reviews, I wanted to make a bunch of mini-reviews for all the wicked shows and flicks which came out this year. Also, I noticed I write about everything I love, so instead of just endless love, I’ll also mention everything which I didn’t enjoy and I’ll start off with that.

The Disappointing: Constantine

Man… I wanted to love Constantine so bad… The Hellblazer series is awesome and it comes from one of the best graphic novel writers ever to have graced the glossy page. I wanted to be surprised by Constantine; hell, I was looking forward to how the writers and creators would have worked something new into the series. Honestly, the only episode I liked was ‘A Feast of Friends’ wherein a glimmer of Constantine’s apathetic nature came out, only to be revealed as a smoke screen. He cared about his friends, and he hated doing what he did. The latter part came as a surprise because John’s just an ass in the comic. It’s unfortunate that the rest felt like a rehash. But maybe that’s just me; I’m an avid fan of the first 5 seasons of Supernatural, and honestly, Constantine plays a lot like that.

The Surprising: Gotham

Ben Mckenzie’s sense of humor is pretty spot on

I made a review about this, and I’m happy enough to admit that I was wrong. Gotham came with the premise that it existed within Batman canon. I watched it as such and I hated it for a while. That is, until I realized, this is about Gotham. It’s a place which molded one of the most beloved vigilante’s ever. In this context, the series makes much more sense. Think of it this way; while Gordon is a target for most of Batman’s villains, have you ever noticed that (with the exception of Joker) most of them don’t try to mess with him? I think Gotham’s writers are trying to build that respect for him, which is why not a lot of villains try to hurt Jim.

The Questionable Investment: Supernatural

Tada! It’s sort of paradoxical that I would mention this in a list where I cited it as a great example of supernatural-centric series. Honestly though, Supernatural hasn’t been at its prime for a while. Sure, there are some episodes from season 6 to 10 which will rip your heart out, but the tenth and final season seems underwhelming. But that’s partially due to the fact that every problem, major or otherwise, pans out exactly the same way they did the first time. Basically, this season feels like a greatest hits album, exempting episodes like Fan Fiction, and Death’s Door.

The Bromance: The Flash and The Arrow

Superman and Ba- I mean Flash and Arrow

Arrow, started out slow. It was obvious that the writers were still trying to feel out the series when the Arrow started. However, over time, the series got strong enough so that it could host many different iconic DC villains. No one could have seen that Arrow would also be the best jumping off point for a series like The Flash. Plus; this is probably the best and most dysfunctional bromance on TV since Turk and JD from Scrubs also considering House and WIlson. I’m hoping that the DC movie universe will be able to replicate Barry and Oliver’s dynamic when Dawn of Justice comes out.

The Sadness: The Colbert Report

Well at least John Oliver’s still around

I’m not mad at this series because it sucks; I’m mad because it ended…

The Most Surprising Turn Around: Korra

That rumbling in the ground, can you hear it? That is the sound of a thousand Fan Fic artists’ wishes coming true

It comes as no surprise that the writers and producers behind Avatar came up with yet another amazing little gem of a series. However, what surprised me about Korra is that it asks you to stick around when it hits its low points. As a whole, this series perfects character development in that each season brings something new. The over-arching themes in each season are complemented by the most constant underlying lesson; change is inevitable but slow. Korra grows to discover herself, along with her best friends, over many years and we get to see that growth pay out in spades. The finale also had people up in arms, but I fully support how this series grows on you if you stick with it.

The Weird: Interstellar

2014 also had Baymax

A lot of people remain on the fence about this movie and I’m count myself among them. Interstellar is probably Christopher Nolan’s most hopeful movie, but he tells the story in a very ham fisted manner. There is spectacle after spectacle as the movie goes through its epic motions, but you’ll also have to be ready for lengthy banter in between. Mathew Mcconaughey hits the nail on the head with every scene he appears in, but I ended up favoring the Monolithic AI companion Tars more than the human characters. Overall though, I’d have to say I really liked this movie. It sits alongside titles like The 5th Element and Sunshine in my collection of funky Sci-Fi flicks.

I’m probably going to make a sequel to this soon, but for now, these are the media that made 2014 the year that it was. Watch out next week for the comic which made me a lot less excited about Star Wars Ep 7. I found that it pushes a lance right through the heart of those stupid laser swords.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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In the Flesh: Whooping the Walking Dead’s Rotting Bum (A Review)

In The Flesh

In the Flesh opens like any other standard zombie fare would. A young woman rolls around on a shopping cart, gleefully collecting supplies. She’s having a conversation through a walkie talkie, and that provides enough distraction for the undead to get the drop on her. What ensues is a bloody scene, where one would assume the hero would be introduced. But not in the way you’d expect him to be.

Now I’m a firm believer of Internet rules, so here it goes. The show is great and the writing is brilliant, however if I mention the plotline, I’d be robbing you of a good hook.

So… LOL 5P01L3R5…

Are you still here? Well then, you must be interested in hearing the rest of the story. What happens in the grocery, as I mentioned, seems like a standard action set up, almost reminiscent of that one moment in 28 Days Later. However, instead of heroes popping in to kill the zombies, turns out it was all a flashback and the one having it is a reformed zombie. What follows next are a series of revelations about a Rising of the dead in 2009. How neighborhoods fought back, and how humanity managed to find a cure for the rotter disease.

In The Flesh

In The Flesh

Now a lot of you can probably figure out from here that this reintegration into society might be a heavy handed metaphor for racial integration. In fact, one of the major factions in the town is a local militia hell bent on keeping this from happening and that almost mirrors the equal rights groups during the civil rights movement. It might actually be a clever means of getting you hooked in, but I’ll leave the heavy thinking to you guys.

There’s a new level of drama to be had here that the Walking Dead television series has yet to touch. While WD is still one of the best currently running graphic novels around, its TV counterpart may need a little help with its inconsistent writing. Maybe they can learn a thing or two from In the Flesh’s well-paced and twist filled storytelling.

In The Flesh

In The Flesh

If you’re still interested in redemptive storylines, check out the returned. It’s a French zombie show that runs a lot slower, but boils a lot harder. For people who want a lighter twist on the cured zombie concept, you can check out Warm Bodies.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.
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A Refreshing Hybrid, For A Steep Price. Sanctum 2 Gameplay

Sanctum 2

Sanctum 2 is a first person shooter mashed up with tower defense. It’s fast paced and forces you to think fast between creep waves.

Sanctum 2 was free over the weekend, it’s now listed on Steam for $14.99.

Sanctum 2 on Steam

Buy Sanctum 2 on G2A

We Simply Game. Nerd talk about anything and everything we come across with.
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How Eternal Will Eternal Crusade Be?

Having been an early adapter of Warhammer Online, I was both skeptic and excited to learn of the development of Warhammer: Eternal Crusade. Last year Warhammer Online said its painful goodbyes to its niche community and went on to close down Mythic later in early in 2014. Their legacy forever tainted by their stint with Dungeon Keeper Online(One the most flamed, dreaded and hated strategy games on the mobile platform), I still believe their true fans will remember them for Dark Age of Camelot and the short lived Warhammer Online.

So why is this all blog worthy?

Well, 2 things, its derivative competitor World of Warcraft is still going strong. Don’t spit your coffee out just yet, I am myself a Blizzard fan. When I say derivative, I meant the story. It’s no great mystery that World of Warcraft is based off Warhammer lore, from the Orcs vs. Humans plot to the oh so powerful Liche, a lot of it is drawn from the Warhammer universe. What Blizzard has done so well and what the game developers who have licensed Warhammer for their games have failed in, is –  Polish. Yes, you know that, Blizzard makes shiny games. Even their biggest fails in Diablo III were fixed, via spit shine, right to perfection even if it took the longest while. I’m not talking about error 33, I mean that horrible, horrible thing that was called the real money auction.

Yes, but you haven’t answered the question yet…

Ok so why am I worried for Eternal Crusade? Well, at first it was a Blizzard project called Titan – although rumors became too convoluted to discern which had value or truth in it, one rumor that worried me was that it would be Starcraft as an MMORPG.

Well that’s not so bad… right?

Well yes we would have another monolithic studio backing one of the best Sci Fi MMORPGs ever and that is not bad at all. The thing is I want Eternal Crusade to survive. I want and have always wanted the Warhammer universe to prosper and grow, because I see to much overlap in the Space Marines and the Terran Marines and fear if Titan was indeed a Starcraft MMORPG it would again overshadow such a good thing, then we’d lose another great MMO to the void. But who’s to say. Destiny is out and it seems like a very strong MMO Shooter, I’m not sure how close they will be tugging players from each other but hopefully just enough to leave the other thriving.

A few friends say that I shouldn’t worry about Eternal Crusade, Warhammer 40k is solid gold with lore. But they said the same thing 5 years ago.

Eternal Crusades has an active community, check it out and if you like what you see start saving up for the Founders Packs.

See some of the pre-alpha gameplay below.


Watch live video from 40kcrusade on Twitch


Watch live video from 40kcrusade on Twitch

A happy monkey pretending to be a boy.
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Would you care to Photosynthesize with me? (Knights of Sidonia Review)

Originally a manga series by Tsutomu Nihei, Knights of Sidonia(not to be confused with Knights of Cydonia the song by Muse) tells the tale of the last(?) human colony ship(Sidonia) to survive the invasion and destruction of Earth by an alien race called the Gauna. With a dwindling population Sidonia fears the imminent assault of the Gauna and trains its most promising youth to pilot the Gardes – mechanized robots armed with a long range cannon and the priceless spears called the Kabizashi.

The story revolves around Nagate Tanikaze, seemingly, the last human who is plagued by hunger. This due to his inability to photosynthesize. Knights of Sidonia accounts Nagate’s rude awakening into being a Gardes pilot.

The series will remind you of the classic treatment of the robot pilot series of the 90s. The Gauna and Gardes share the same depth the Angels and EVAs of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The story may seem jagged and hurried at the beginning, even a bit disjointed at times, delving deeper into this series is, in a weird way, its own reward. The beauty of Knights of Sidonia is in how all your questions appear to be answered as the story unfolds, ’til you come to a point where everything pretty much fits and makes sense.

The story telling is thoughtfully done and compelling, with epic space battles and even a tiny tint of be being marooned in space. Knights of Sidonia is easily one of our favorite animes released this year.

We Simply Game. Nerd talk about anything and everything we come across with.
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Kingdom Under Fire II OBT Gameplay(PH Server)

You can play KUFII by registering under on of the following servers. We tried to find an NA server but can’t see one as of yet. There maybe IP restrictions per region so do look them up first. If you own a PS4 you might as well wait as the game looks like it would be awesome to play on a console. Thanks for watching!

kuf2.mmog.asia/
kuf2.ph/
www.kufii.eu/

A link to an Interview with Sang Youn Lee – Kingdom Under Fire II’s Executive Director
http://mmoculture.com/2014/01/kingdom-under-fire-ii-exclusive-interview-with-developer-blueside/

We Simply Game. Nerd talk about anything and everything we come across with.
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Swordsman Online OBT Gameplay and Early Impressions

Here are our thoughts on Swordsman Online from Perfect World Entertainment and Arcgames.com.

We Simply Game. Nerd talk about anything and everything we come across with.