2018’s Electronic Entertainment Expo: Best in Show?

Another E3 has come and gone with surprising annoucements, reveals, and more games to be looking forward to later this year and the following year, it’s that time again to discuss which game truly stood and which conference takes the gold.


At this year’s E3, many games were shown off that grabbed our attention, and our wallets, although only a handful of titles truly deserved it.

Ever since it’s announcement at the Sony Press Conference last year, Insomniac’s Spider-man is a prime example of how to treat a lisence game and bring life to a fan-favorite hero. Insomniac Games is best known for popular titles like Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, and Spyro. It was a surprise to see this company taking on a Spider-man game, but this journalist has faith in them.

The gameplay shown at Sony’s 2018 E3 press conference showed off Spider-man entering a high protected prison facility on a helicopter before getting shot down by Electro. After this happens, Spider-man finds himself inside the prison fighting his way past waves of enemies and finally web-swinging his way towards Electro. As he makes his way there, Spider-man is confronted by a handful of villians known as the ‘Sinister Six’ which consists of, Electro, Rhino, Shocker, Vulture, Scorpion, and a mysterious villian just before the demonstration ended.

Thus, this journalist is going with Insomniac Game’s very own, Spider-man as the best in show.

 

Best Confernece of E3?

This often a difficult question for most to answer as everyone is surely entitled to their own opionion and doesn’t wanna trash someone else’s. In this case, I’ll be writing about which confernece was really enjoyable.

Microsoft’s conference did deliver in annoucning 50 game titles and while we did a wide variety of games coming to the Xbox One exclusively and titles for multiple systems, the big downfall of the conference was the lack of discussing those annoucned to some extent. While the Sony Press Conference on the other hand focused on a few games to show off and present exciting new gameplay. Finally, fans of Naughty Dog’s Last of Us Part 2 were finally shown off gameplay and story, which is something many fans looked forward to see. From there we were presented a look at gameplay from Death Strading, a new title from Kojima. It showed off a bunch of exploring and quitely sneaking past enemies.

Though it’s only fair to give it to a studio from back  home and that is Bethesda Studios. Bethesda Studios is best known for it’s Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. The latter of which fans were rejoiced to hear of Elder Scrolls Six being in development. But the star of the show was Todd Howard presenting fans with a look into the world of Fallout 76.

Bethesda Studios continues to innovate the gaming world with new and exciting games, including a new franhise in Starfield. This company is gonna continue bringing story and action pack games to life.

 

Be sure to follow us @tehlunchboxpub on Twitter for more updates!

Vengeance Realized

Vengeance Realized; A God of War 3 Review

Article by Vesta Nyx

 

 

God of War picks up right were the last one left off; there is no time to breathe as you ride upon the shoulders of Gaia and her titian army while marching towards the base of Olympus. Zeus and his brothers are in disarray, not fully understanding the depth of the danger they are in, or the magnitude of the monster Zeus had created.   “The hands of Death could not defeat him, the sisters of Fate could not hold him, he will have his revenge!”

And he meant every word.

The story of Kratos is one you might call a cautionary tale of pride and ego gone wrong, a Greek tragedy if you will (pun intended) of a mighty Spartan that fell victim to his own ambitions, leading him to make a deal of servitude with Ares, the God of War. As we follow Kratos from God of War through God of War: Accession, we see in full understanding the depth of the price he had to pay for his power, acquired by means of betrayal and lies. What we are privy to as an audience to this downfall is the defining moment where Kratos is tricked into murdering his wife and daughter, an event that will haunt Kratos throughout his time in Greece. It is also a moment that would plant and feed the seeds of vengeance against the gods that he once respected, and set him on the bloody and treacherous path to forgiveness.

 

Gameplay

Right from the get go we see that the game play has vastly improved from the previous installments of the God of War series. There is a fluidity in movements and an ease of controls that wasn’t there before. One fix that I’ve noticed and kept in high praises was the cool-off time between the QTE prompts that would appear when the mini-bosses and main bosses were at the grappling points. The peak of this improvement can be seen with God of War: Accession.

Much to the player’s relief there was a lack of severely difficult and unnecessary puzzles and traps. This is a far cry from the first installment where you were running from flaming balls of death, fighting heavily armored zombies, robot minatours, and legions upon legions of bat-dog flying things, encountering hard to find sex scenes, and of course the bane of my existence- walking through condemned beams and running in f***ing circles…

My god. So. Many. Circles.

However, as I played through the series between PS1, PSP, PS3, and so on, I noticed that the gameplay was reaching further and further away from the platform gameplay and more towards a narrative-based action. There was only a taste of it during God of War 3- a taste that came to fruition through the fluid and smooth movements showcased in God of War Accession. From the looks of it, it’s a trend that will continue and improve in this year’s next installment

Audio and Visuals

Impressive.

I need not say more. As everyone knows, with each upgrade in a console system: the greater the graphics card, the greater the quality of the video game. For the time it was released the graphics of G.o.W 3 was amazing, the colors were vibrant and clear, and that horse-toothed, fish-eyed stare that plagued many PlayStation games was not as present in GoW 3 as it had been for previous installments.

That being said, with the remastered edition, all I can say is ‘Impressive.’ Impressive that the quality of the graphics remained the same, and in some ways, improved. From the gleam of the marble floors of the temples and the wet stones of the underworld, to the heat filled flares of Tartarus, even the graphics for the organs and gore that spilled on the floor and onto Kratos had either aged gracefully or had indeed been enhanced. Needless to say it is not without some flaws; the odd lip-sync when the gods were pleading for their lives, the out-of-place movements of the souls of the damned, and- a small pet peeve- the over-saturation of the dirt and pores of almost every main character… Almost.

Pros and Cons

With this installment, I can say with a clear mind that the pros had and still do outweigh the cons with this game and the series as a whole. The increased quality of the graphics, sound, and gameplay intertwined with the continuation of the story (and even a smooth and ambiguous segway into the next chapter of God of War- canonically speaking) was done masterfully and has withstood the test of time and gamer patience.

One con I came across in this game was the forced Rock Band tie-in within the temple of the flame of Olympus. To this day it is the bane of my existence and why I rarely, if EVER, play drums or guitar. Any other cons present were either too small to mention, not that distracting, or were improved upon in the prequel GoW Ascension. Even the second time around, what made me fall in love with this series and with the game as a standalone was recaptured once again.

 

With that being said, it should come as no surprise that I give this game a solid 5/5 rating. It is warranted and earned by a game series solidified for the traits mentioned in this article. Tune in next time where we take a trip to the tall evergreens of Nordic Mythology to catch up with Kratos and Atreus in the next Chapter simply called God Of War. Though I cannot delve into the game just yet, explaining the mythos, stores, and creatures shown to us so far will be an adventure in itself.

Until then keep gaming and raging.

Fighting Familiar Puzzles

 

I need to start this review with a warning, this game is meant to be addictive and does have gambling elements to it. If you are aware of being susceptible to any form of gambling or have issues spending money in-game to the point it impacts your everyday life; then please turn away now. I am not putting this here as a slight against Puzzle Fighter alone, but this cash grab model that is in most of the mobile games out there. I would feel disingenuous without giving attention to this aspect of the game.


Puzzle Fighter from Capcom, has been one of the bigger puzzle games in history. Nothing too special about it, it is a Tetris-style game with exploding gems instead of pre-shaped blocks, break the blocks down to attack your opponent and first one to cause their opponent to overstack wins. This game gained fandom by featuring Pocket Fighter renditions of Street Fighter and Dark Stalkers characters as playable avatars just clicked.

The game has been re-released and has had some slight tweaks to gameplay since its original PlayStation release. Some of them consist of it includes being available for download on the Playstation Store (PS3) and Xbox Marketplace (360). However, the mobile release now features 3D character models and a roster expanding with more Capcom characters such as Viewtiful Joe, Dante, Nash, and Phoenix Wright.


GamePlay Change

With it being a mobile game you obviously can’t have matches going on too long, and I think that this aspect of the game is pretty interesting. With the inclusion of health bars you need to cause enough damage through breaking chains of gems, as well as combine larger gems to accumulate enough damage to defeat your opponent. Also, destroying enough gems will build your special bar which will allow you to perform a single press Super Attack that deals direct damage to your opponent. And to keep your opponents guessing, the moves your avatar performs can be changed out to perform more damage or cause status changes to make the matches a bit more strategic and dynamic. To top all of that off, you play with a team of 3 and their affinities and assists will help to add wrinkles to your gameplay style.

Gameplay isn’t flawless though. A level up system has been added, along with a card collecting aspect to level up your avatars and their moves. However, unlocking characters seems to be done so by pure luck. To add to that, you have to rank up to gain access for the chance to unlock a new character at random. All of these aspects are built in as a clear attempt to make the game pay to play. Annnnd, it kinda does?


Randomizing

There is a level of excitement to be had in getting something at random. It makes getting the thing you want feel more significant than if you could just purchase it (hopefully with in game currency), but the game has so many randomized elements it grows tiring really quickly. You see, part of the appeal of this franchise is playing as your favorite character and playing with your skill to compete or just play a quick mindless game. When the player has to worry about leveling up their character constantly to stay relevant or have to use characters they do not want to in the hopes of unlocking MegaMan X through ranking up it lessens the experience. Winning enough boats and chests, or paying for an in game loot-box(chest) that will guarantee a character and some random cards and in game coins doesn’t seem very exciting either. To add frustration to anxiety, in order to upgrade a character; not only must an increasing amount of cards be collected to keep level up a character’s moveset, an in game currency is required to upgrade those moves. The standard pay out of these items is definitely tipped to make you either grind to unlock what you want, or cave and pay to be the best.

Really there is just too much randomized chance in this game and not enough player choice. If you have a friend or look online for people to post their ID Names to add them, you can choose to play with someone from your friend list if they are online as well, but the search option isn’t a search option. You’d need to know the exact ID to add someone and cannot search for active players. The Rank up matches would be your only access to other players online. And since winning those matches comes with prizes, that would most likely be the best option for a quick player vs player match.

To be completely fair, there are some milestone chests that can be unlocked through doing daily missions, playing the mission matches, and playing lots of PvP ranked games. Season and Mid-Season chests given to every player to which the contents vary depending on the player’s rank which break up the monotony. And there’s also a fair amount of drops for every kind of item in the game that makes it feel a bit fair. The high spikes in costs for items however, (you’ll start hitting them around level 6 for most characters) quickly unbalances the game with level caps at 15.


Satisfaction

The gameplay itself stays true to the series. Customizable characters, an expanded roster help a lot. And the addition of supers as well as a health based win system feels different in a good way. However, it’s slowed down by the money grab being done by Capcom with the game’s grind/pay to play nature. I still enjoy having a game or two if it’s just for a couple of minutes and if I am worried about my connection, I can do a mission for a for sure quick uninterrupted game. On a side note, I’d recommend this on tablet over the phone, as interruptions can ruin some PvP matches.

For those who do not like the changes, there are occasional classic style events where you can win up to 12 matches, but if you lose more than 3 you are out. I really like the set up of these tournaments, and while every player has their character set to max level to even the playing field, you are still limited to characters and moves you have already unlocked. But it is an event so it is not always available.


Final Thoughts

The game itself is good for a quick match every now and then. I turn off the notifications and just play it when I have an itch. If you have friends that are into this game it’ll be fun to play with them from time to time, and the gameplay is enjoyable, just some of the mechanics are broken purely for greed.


Recommends

Honestly, I think this game shouldn’t be free. I would have been willing to pay mabey $3-$5(?) for a complete offline mode of this game to really enjoy quick matches on the go with optional online features. I’d also either remove the level up system or make it less of a hassle to do. I wouldn’t even have everything unlocked right away either.

Bring back in-game unlockables. I mean, there’s no better feeling than pulling off a combo, or beating a certain opponent, or completing a character’s arcade mode run. Then there’s the added bonus of getting a reward in the form of a new character or a secret special move. Unlocakbles don’t need to be insane to achieve, and I’m sure there would be people to double their payment to unlock everything. But honestly, both those ideas beat the all to common loot box scheme going on everywhere else.


Pros:

Updated gameplay that stays faithful to the series
Large cast of characters (Still expanding as of the writing of this article)
Strategic layers
Easy to pick up and put down

Cons:

Pay to win
Limited Player Choice at first
Hard to make friends in-game
3D models (This is my preference, but the 2D models from previous entries are superior)


Riley R. is a contributing writer for Teh Lunchbox Publications! For all your news, up to date information, previews, and reviews on the entertainment world, keep it here on tehlunchboxpub.wordpress.com and LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch!

E3 PC Gaming Show!

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The PC Gaming Show went live on Tuesday June 16, 2015, PC Gamer and AMD had  put on the Show. This was the first PC conference at E3, and was hosted by Sean Plott.

There was quite a few guest speakers on the show (did you guys see Sean’s stack of cards?) some talked about new affordable hardware for your PC. While others talked about new games and expansion packs.

And those speakers were:

  • Sean ‘day[9]’ Plott (Host)
  • Richard Huddy ( AMD)
  • Colin Johanson (ArenaNet)
  • Chris Sigaty and Dustin Browder (Blizzard)
  • Joris Vantland, Jay Crowe, and Brian Hicks (Bohemia Interactive)
  • Cliff Bleszinski (Boss Key Productions)
  • Phil Spencer (Microsoft)
  • Ryan Geddes (CCP Games)
  • Chris Roberts (Cloud Imperium)
  • Dave Crooks and Joe Harty (Dodge Roll)
  • Jean-Francois Dugas and Jonathan Jacques-Belletête (Edios-Montréal)
  • Bruce Maclean  (Electronic Arts)
  • Ian Thomas  (Frictional Games)
  • David Braben (Frontier Developments)
  • Steve Gaynor (Fullbright)
  • David Eckelberry (Lionhead Studios)
  • James Phinney (Motiga)
  • Feargus Urquhart and Fredrick Wester (Paradox Interactive)
  • Thom Glunt (Pixel Titans)
  • Dean Hall (RocketWerkz)
  • Paul Wedgwood (Splash Damage)
  • John Gibson (Tripwire Interactive)

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The show may not seem as exciting as the shows for the consoles but I can honestly say for PC gaming, their first show was quite good. From new and better PC hardware, new games, and 16205235562366-t300x200cool expansion packs.

In true PC gaming fashion, the show wasn’t just about games. AMD’s CEO Lisa Su revealed their new upcoming hardware. She talked about the R9 Fury X (above) and R9 Nano graphics card (left), and their dual-GPU Fiji. If you want to know more, you can watch the show.

Now to introduce the games!

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The E3 PC Gaming Show had presented some very interesting games. The long list included; Star Citizen 2, Total War: Warhammer, Fable Legends, Gigantic, American Truck Simulator, EVE: Valkyrie, Ion, Strafe, Pillars of Eternity: White March, Hitman, Strafe, Beyond Eyes, Dirty Bomb, Tacoma, Soma, Take On Mars, Project BlueStreak, Enter The Gungeon, Rising Storm 2, Planet Coaster: Simulation Evolved, Heros of the Storm, and Guild Wars 2 expansion.

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Microsoft also chimed in to announce that Killer Instinct would also be available to the PC and after that the crowd went crazy (in a good way of course). Another console game that would be making it to PC is (drumroll)…Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

Now I have a question for all of you PC gamers…What did you think about the E3 PC Gaming Show?


Sherita M. is a contributing Editor for Teh Lunchbox Publications and she can’t wait to try Minecraft Hololense. Follow us on twitter@tehlunchboxpub.

Kung Fury: Hitler and Dinosaurs and Man-Splits, oh My!

GUESS WHO’S BACK FOR ANOTHER LUNCHBOX REVIEW, LADIES AND GENTS!!  This is your man, Remy Tyndle over here, and I do believe it’s about that time take down the bad guys while delivering cheesy one-liners, because I’m gonna give you my two cents on Laser Unicorns’ Kung Figgity!  For those of you who aren’t familiar with this title, Kung Fury is a low-budget short film made in Sweden, written and directed by David Sandberg, that made its world-televised premier on the El-Rey Network this week.

The story first takes place in 1980’s Miami, centering around a martial arts master and police detective by the name of “Kung Fury”, played by director, David Sandberg.  When Adolf Hitler blasts into the present time and guns down innocent, Kung Fury makes it his mission to go back in time to kill him.


Kung Fury Theatrical Release poster

Have you ever wondered what it would look like if Regular Show was ever converted to Live Action? This is pretty much the best visual you are going to get and it can’t possibly get much better.  Kung Fury is a parody film, paying top tribute to 80’s action cinema; Cops, robots, fast cars, hackers, dinosaurs, lasers, dinosaurs with Lasers, arcades, one-liners, David Hasselhoff, viking chicks, and man-splits… lots and lots of man-splits.  If you’re looking for a film that doesn’t take itself seriously, and you just want a laugh while you say “Well that’s just plain silly!”, Kung Fury is the flick to put on your screen.

The majority of the film was shot in front of a green screen with 90 percent of the environment having been digitized, however the end result is pretty awesome, especially considering the special effects and the cinematography.  The only downside is the lack of actors’ feeling in the dialogue.  Now I know what some of you may be saying right now– “It’s a parody movie!  The dialogue acting isn’t supposed to be great!”, but I mean c’mon. Even some of the one liners just lacked that cliché nail in the wood that would have driven those scenes home.


Kung Fury taking it to Hitler’s “Army of Death”

Verdict: Kung Fury is still a great time, unless of course you are aiming to critique it from top to bottom, as if the thing was directed by Martin-freaking-Scorsese (if that’s the case, you’re going to say “This movie was stupid!”). If you just want to see some hilarious shenanigans on a dull Saturday night, it will not disappoint.  Just make sure you invite your friends over.  Kung Fury accomplishes what it was set out to do; honor the good ol’ 80’s action flicks in just 30 minutes.

Kung Fury gets a 4 out of 5

+ Fun nod to the old cheesy action movies

+ Special effects were actually good considering the budget

+ Crazy stuff going on that you and your friends will love

– Actors could’ve been better with the dialogue

– It’s still just a straight-to-television movie, so don’t expect too much


Another Piece of Remy-type shenanigans, comin’ at you from Teh Lunchbox Pub. Make sure to follow us on twitter @tehlunchboxpub.

Dragonball Xenoverse Video Review

Our writer, Johnathan C aka “BiggerJohn” has made a video review for Dragonball Xenoverse!

Dragonball Xenoverse is rated T for Teen and is for Playstation 4, XBOX One, Playstation 3, XBOX 360, and PC.


Big John is a video blogger for the Teh Lunchbox Publications and he wants you to pre-order Pokemon Burnt Bacon Black Edition! For more information, news, reviews, and previews, visit us at tehlunchbox,wordpress.com and LIKE and FOLLOW US! On Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr!

Kamen Rider! Bring 44 years of Justice to the US!

WHAT’S THE HAPS, ladies and gents from around the world!  This is your man, Remy Tyndle. I do believe it’s about that time I introduced you Kamen Rider (Masked Rider); a long running TV show from the Country of the Red Sun that circles around the lives of Japanese civilians, who transform into masked (translated to Kamen in Japanese), motorcycle-riding super heroes to combat evil.  It is produced by the entertainment company, “Tokusatsu”, the same guys who brought you Godzilla.  Some may recall the name, as there have been two American adaptations: Saban’s Masked Rider in 1993 and Kamen Rider Dragon Knight in 2009.

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The First Kamen Rider 

(or Kamen Rider Ichigo, as the fans address him)

Let me take you back 44 years ago. The year is 1971, the start of the first Kamen Rider series that follows a scientist and motorcyclist by the name of Hongo Takeshi. Hongo is kidnapped by a terrorist organization (Shocker!) in order to be reconstructed into another one of their dangerous cyborgs to do their evil bidding along their path of WORLD DOMINATIONNNN!!!!… *cough*…  However, Shocker’s plan does not unfold in their favor. Being the iron-willed badass he is, Hongo rebels against Shocker. Using his new powers to take down the terrorist organization, he now operates as the Grasshopper-themed cyborg, Kamen Rider. Thus, a legendary franchise was born.

Main heroes from every completed Kamen Rider series so far.  Showa Era, Top.  Heisei Era, bottom.

The franchise’s seasons are divided into two separate periods of time: “Showa” (Old School 1971 – 1990s) & “Heisei” (Current 2000 – Present).  The terms, “Showa” and “Heisei” refer to two eras of Japanese history and the emperors of the country at that time.  The first wave of the Kamen Rider shows lasted until 1989, but afterwards the brand began to dwindle in popularity. Without the airing of any mainstream TV shows, the 90’s were pretty much the dark ages of the franchise so to speak.  The only notable productions were a few movies that introduced the last three Kamen Riders of the first division. With the passing of the original Kamen Rider creator (Shotaro Ishinomori) in 1998, one could truly say that it marked the end of the “Showa” era.

Kamen Rider Kuuga (2000-2001)

Time gives birth to the year 2000 and the revival of Kamen Rider with the successful Kamen Rider Kuuga.  Kuuga did not only mark the return of the franchise, it was a game-changer. Rather than accepting the traditional plot the “Showa” series had been relaying decades ago (evil organization plots to take over the world, a Kamen Rider stops them, rinse and repeat), Kuuga took on its very own story, and its been that way for every series that followed ever since.

Kuuga is arguably the darkest series of the “Heisei” era, but as time went on, Kamen Rider’s appeal expanded to more viewers. It began a transition to softer viewing content in order to suit a more general audience, becoming more kid friendly.  This change seemed to begin around 2006-2007.  It is now 2015, and there have been many more lighthearted Kamen Rider stories within those nine years.

With that being said, there’s pretty much a Kamen Rider show for just about anyone to get into (if this article has caught your interest).  It really depends on your tastes, so I’m going to share five Kamen Rider series that I regard as suitable for beginners:

  1. Kamen Rider Kabuto (Heisei, 2006 – 2007) Neutral series.  This show in my opinion takes you through a bit of Kamen Rider 101.  Various suit designs centered to bug species with exclusive capabilities, human organizations, advanced technology and most importantly; the famous “Rider Kick”.
  2. Kamen Rider Kiva (Heisei 2008 – 2009)  Neutral-Dark series.  A very artistic vibe to this show. The plot is divided into two separate timelines, following the lives of two protagonists and how the actions of the past connect to the present.
  3. Kamen Rider OOO (Heisei 2010 – 2011). Lighthearted-Dark series.  Catchy soundtrack with a Ska theme. OOO brings a cast of interesting characters with unique personalities and habits. Even the main antagonists are fun to watch.
  4. Kamen Rider Black (Showa 1987-1988). Dark series.  Arguably the best series of the Showa Era, and has one of the best theme songs and pilot episodes of the entire Kamen Rider franchise. If you can appreciate old school special effects, I recommend this to any newcomer.
  5. Kamen Rider Fourze (Heisei 2011-2012) Lighthearted series.  This goofy, gimmicky series gets mixed opinions from fans.  Think of it as Gurren Lagann meets Kill la Kill.  In fact,–Spoiler Alert!– it was written by the author of both Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill. If you can get into the two aforementioned anime, you’re sure to have a fun time with Fourze (trust me, the resemblance is astonishing).  Whether hated or loved, Fourze has without a doubt made a considerable mark on the brand.

There are a couple more great Kamen Rider series available that some fans may mention are not included in the list (honorable mentions to Kamen Rider W and Gaim), but there are reasons for not recommending them as a selection for a new watcher’s first series.

During a staff party for the Lunchbox crew last year, I screened the pilots of a few from my list. Kiva was a favorite of Grayson’s, and Reynaldo flat-out loved Black.  You don’t have to take my word for it though; scroll down the full list of Kamen Rider shows and decide for yourself which you would like to start with. You may watch in order from 2000 – present, or completely at random like I did (I found it more fun that way).

I got into Kamen Rider in the summer of 2013 and have been a fan since then, and I would like more people to follow the same path. If you’re looking for something to do on a Saturday, pick up one of these shows and give the franchise a try.  I feel it’s something that deserves a much larger fan base in the US.  Let’s Rider Kick caution to the wind and… HENSHIN!

All Kamen Riders from 1971-2012

The Flash: The Red Streak Lives

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Exactly what it should look like

Despite being a bigger fan of heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern, I’d always tap my brain to figure out what a live action movie or even a show would look like for The Flash. Now I was still very young at the time and only saw The Flash as a guy who ran really fa   st which was the obvious opinion of most around my age at the time. It’s wasn’t a lot, but it was cool nonetheless. Growing older and discovering comics that included The Flash and all of his exploits made me realize that he’s much more than just a guy with fast feet. This just made me even more intrigued to see what the scarlet speedster could do with a prime time television spot. Don’t have to do it anymore as we are now four episodes into CW’s The Flash and it has been a joy to see. Read on to see why.

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Grant Gustin as Barry Allen

 At a time where live action superhero shows are becoming more and more acceptable as a commodity for viewers, The Flash is not only a part of that new wave but it is at the head of it. The small screen version of this hero stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, a forensics scientist who gets struck by lightning after a storm mixes with an accident at Star Labs. After being in a coma for nine months Barry finds out that somethings not right… yadda yadda, becomes a superhero; you all know the rest. The formula for creating the Superhero may be static but what is dynamic is the character in the suit and the villains he faces.

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A look at the series first villain Weather Wizard played by Clyde Martin

What’s probably the biggest benefit this show has it its format. It’s almost the antithesis of its predecessor Arrow from which it shares the same continuity with. The show is far less gritty and while still actively trying to stay rooted in realism, has its own comic book charm that’s reasonable enough. It can get a bit carried away, but that’s much more the exception rather than the norm. The plot is also very simple. Working with a crew of scientists from S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry battles the typical Villain of the day with powers given to them in similar fashion to Barry while he tries to continue his daytime career. Its an easy concept to grasp and very workable for a first season

Unlike Gotham, easter eggs and the name drops are just that. Even if the characters may not be as recognizable as the more mainstream heroes subtle hints at future characters and plot lines are all that’s necessary. With that the focus of an episode isn’t shoved to the side by viewers because of all the easter eggs shoved in your face. Even seeing spots from characters like Ollie and Felicity from Arrow in this show make it a delight for fans of Arrow as they enjoy the benefits of seeing a shared universe. What this show benefits from the most is its heart. From the first episode when you see Barry have a moment with his father in jail to seeing Barry’s adoptive father Joe West (Jessie L. Martin) realizing the mistakes he made in dealing with Barry and his agenda to find out who framed his father for the murder of his mother, you get to see a depth of character and emotion seldom seen in much of any live action comic book adaptations,


enjoy

Special effects also play a big role in the quality the show possesses

While the show has many things to praise let’s not absolve it of its shortcomings. Let’s start with the fact that it’s still a CW show (yes that can be a bad thing). Whether the station produces good shows or bad, its target audience will still be teenagers and even young adults. Typically that is fine because they watch television too and as apart of that demographic I watch a bit of television. However, what seems to be this running theme in most, if not all of their shows is this angsty sort of vibe that characters seem to give off. Whether its the script (which often times it is) or the expressions and overall look of the characters, the end result always seems awkwardly executed and a bit unnerving to watch. In the most recent episode entitled “Going Rogue” there’s a date scene which sees Barry and Felicity on sort of a contrived double-date with Iris (Candice Patton) and her boyfriend Eddie (Rick Cosnett). I get what the writers were going for with the scene regarding the latter two but it just seemed a bit too much and too common an issue of what plagues other CW shows more than this one.


The Flash is largely what many like myself wanted from this and some other adaptations. A simple start to a complex character and a shared universe. Not a lot to gripe about concerning the show but it’s also not like the show is perfect. If I wanted to give it a grade I could but that wouldn’t be fair now would it, Show’s this new need time to develop and it’s worthy of that time. It’s done a lot of good things thus far and it looks like it will get the time to do more.

Verdict: Good show with even better potential. Look for more from this show and maybe even some more crossover episodes with Arrow.

No score

+ A simple format for a slightly lesser known character

+ Good special effects and villains to combat the main characters

+ Nice portrayal of Barry Allen’s character

– Still has a bit of the angst and drama prevalent in most show on the CW

Watch The Flash Tuesday nights at 8PM Eastern/7PM Central on the CW

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying Review

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I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying (also known as Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken). This Comedy, Seinen, and Slice of Life follows the daily lives of Kaoru, a hard-working office women who’s passionate about her job and her husband Hajime, a dedicated otaku who lives a shut-in lifestyle, whose only friends are his blog followers. Kaoru worries about her husband from time to time, but they seem to get along just fine.


 

9e8027f658fcc763ae7c07880b9aa5711410914622_fullWhat can I say about this three minute anime? It’s absolutely hilarious! I give this anime it’s props for having the two main characters as a married couple and you don’t see that in a lot of anime. The show’s focus is unique on how the couple gets along even though they are two different people.


 

799472-cant_3For this type of show, I feel that the animation is perfect. The story also fits its time length perfectly and brings you the feeling of wanting more.

Verdict: I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Sayings is fun, witty, and cheerful. So if you’re looking for a good short anime that will make you laugh out loud, then I highly recommend this one.

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying gets a 5 out of 5

+ Good use of storytelling for its runtime

+ Original approach to a Slice of Life style anime

+ Well… It’s hilarious

 

Star Wars Rebels

Poster of Star Wars Rebels

Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels

Watch this show, you will.

Ever since Disney bought both Lucasfilm Studios and Marvel Entertainment, fans and adorers feared that one day on the big screen, we shall see Mickey Mouse wielding a lightsaber or Donald Duck having the power of the darkside. Thankfully, that has not happened…yet. Cartoon Network’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave us an original series with it’s unique animation and storyline that takes place after Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, but ever since the buyout, the last season was a tad bit short and released on Netflix. So is that it? No more extended universe storylines until we have to pick up the books, Star Wars Battlefront on the PC & next-­gen consoles, or wait for J.J. Abram’s Star Wars Episode VII? Not very likely. Disney released it’s new series, Star Wars: Rebels to keep it’s fans occupied but is it enough?

Rebels takes place fourteen years after Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and five years before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, when the Imperial Empire has established their oppressive order throughout the galaxy. It follows Ezra, a young con artist who fools citizens and Imperial groups. However one day, Ezra sees, follows, and steals from a group of smugglers led by Kanan Jarrus. Ezra decides to join the team to not only foil plans by the Imperials, but also learn the ways of the force from Kanan. The Imperials themselves won’t back down without a challenge as both Agent Kallas and the mysterious Inquisitor hunt down the group to put a stop to their actions in rising a rebellion.

With only the first three episodes shown, it’s safe to say that this show is a must see for a fan of the saga or a person who is interested in how the Rebel Alliance came to be or what happened during the Episodes of III & IV. It’s story and writing (by Teen Titans and Young Justice‘s own Greg Weisman) does feel like a Star Wars comic book with the action and space drama. However, since it is on a Disney, there are some comedic and kiddy moments that can be a bit corny at times. You can also see a similar type of storyline where a young person stranded on a planet wants to get off of this planet and do some small adventures. Sounds familiar no?

The animation unlike The Clone Wars which had a darker tone, is a bit brighter and gorgeous and sound effects from the famous blaster shot to a lightsaber being turned on are easily recognizable. The voice work supplied by talents such as Freddie Prinze Jr. (I Know What You Did Last SummerScooby Doo), Steven Blum (Cowboy Bebop, Naruto), Jason Issacs (Harry Potter series & NBC’s Awake) and some of the original Star Wars Cast Members, James Earl Jones (Darth Vader), Anthony Daniels (C­3PO), and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) is on point. Oh, did I mention that if you are TRULY a Star Wars fan, you’re in for a treat with the amount of easter eggs and references that are mentioned or shown throughout the episodes.

Verdict: Besides the typical notion of a boy who wants to get off a planet to find himself to the Disney family humor, Star Wars Rebels is definitely a must see for any Star Wars fan or lover of cartoons.

Rebels gets a 4.5 out of 5.

+ A good storyline to fill in some of the gaps of Episodes III and IV

+ Balanced action and drama

+ Great animation and voice work

– Has cheezy moments and jokes a typical Disney Family Channel would have

– A storyline of a young character who wants to find adventure and meaning, we’ve seen that already.

Catch Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD, Monday nights at 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central