The Pros and Cons of 2018

With the year winding down and just a few weeks left (still plenty of time for more surprises to be fair) let’s look at some of the notable events that occurred this year.


Gaming

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Pros:

Red Dead Redemption 2: A world that not only meets the status quo of Rockstar, but exceeds it with the amount of detail, depth of story, and seemingly endless hours of game play (with online still on the way).

Synchronizing online play: Despite some disputes on how it will all work, there has been a rise in cross-platform online play. While Fortnite is currently the only game to work across all platforms, Rocket League, Minecraft, and Hover are examples of games that play with more than the platform you may own them on.

With Microsoft supporting purchases across PC and Xbox with their play anywhere initiative, it looks to be a positive future regardless of your platform of choice.

SSBU: Possibly the final entry in the series (at least with Masahiro Sakari at the helm), this game delivers every single good thing you’ve experienced in a Smash Bros game and then some.  Touting an epic proportioned story mode and the largest cast of fighters yet, this is a must grab for any Switch owner out there.

Spider-Man: Although this is only for the PS4, when a Spider-man game is good, it’s great! Everything you could hope for in a sandbox superhero game and a bit more.

Cons:

Tell Tale: The company hit it big years ago with their Walking Dead series and came out with some promising titles after including their takes on Minecraft, Batman, and Game of Thrones. However, their lack of game play variation and poor management saw a very ugly end to the company.

Fall Out 76: This game was either going to be a hit or a miss.  Unfortunately, the launch was a huge miss.  Between the messy BETA, the amount of glitches, and the over reliance of multiplayer to compensate for the lack of story and NPC’s, the launch has been messy to say the least. It’s now lead many players to wait until Bethesda can provide more incentive to dive into their new Fall Out experiment.


Music

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Pros:

Honestly, this has been a great year for music in this writer’s opinion.  With releases like Kid Cudi’s Kids See Ghost,Anderson Paak’s Oxnard, Pusha T’s Daytona, Idles Joy as an Act of Resistance, Portal’s Ion, Sophie’s Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, Kanye’s Ye, and Brockhampton’s Iridescence to name a few album titles there was really at least two albums in most genres this year that were great to amazing to listen to.

Cons:

The cons aren’t long in length, aside from some inflated drama with celebrities, the biggest hits came in those who passed in 2018.  One of the most tragic losses being that of Mac Miller who passed away due to an accidental overdose. Mac Miller’s untimely passing was felt by many, and his positive influence on the world will be missed even by those who never got the chance to meet him.


Cinema and Showtime

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Pros:

Marvel, hands down the current king on the super hero genre and Infinity War was a true epic to everything that had come before, with more to come this next year.  Worth catching in the theaters and a fresh take on the whole Avengers formula.

Broly is coming, again.  With the mixed success of Dragon Ball Super, a new movie is on its way and while it has yet to hit, the impact of the trailers alone is palpable and is promising an anime movie release to rival that of the Pokémon franchise.

Whether it’s via broadcast or streaming service, television shows may be at its peak right now.  The only real problem is there may be too much worthwhile content.  It’s hard to keep up with things on Netflix, Hulu, and network shows from Fox, NBC, Showtime and so on.

With a controversial split between Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy’s director James Gunn, Warner Bros. wasted no time in penning Gunn as the new director of the sequel to Suicide Squad. One of the silver linings of the fall out is the sequel to one of DC’s bigger disappointments is getting a promising upgrade in direction.

Cons:

Marvel is also on the con side of things.  The whole franchise is huge and has plans to keep growing, but the burn out can be felt by some casual movie goers and fans alike.

To bookend the Marvel expansion issue, is the seeming end of the Netflix Marvel universe with the end of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, all announced this year.  It’s not too surprising considering Disney is now going forward with their own streaming service, but is still a blow to those that enjoyed what some of these series offered on the service.

YouTube may not be considered a television or movie source (at least not legally), but it is becoming harder for new content creators to be interested in coming to the site. YouTube’s ability to pay its creators has been coming under repeated scrutiny over the past few years it does not seem to be heading for a positive resolution, especially with the EU’s Article 13 (see more here). There is some worry about any appeal to this platform’s future.


Conclusion

All in all it has been an eventful year yet again in all types of ways. We had so much to be thankful for with new groud breaking in all areas of pop culture. The bad always comes with the good and it can only be taken in stride as we continue to see and enjoy the  innovation in what we as consumers enjoy so much. We can only hope for more of the good (without more of the bad) as 2019 quickly approaches. So lets say a so long to 2018 and embrace the new year with open arms.

Embrace the New Year and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for the latest news @tehlunchboxpub!

Rest In Peace Mr. Bowie

Singer, songwriter, and actor David Bowie has died yesterday from cancer. He was 69.

David Bowie

The news was announced and confirmed by both his son, Duncan Jones, and various social media stating the following:

January 10 2016 – David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.

Bowie was known for his hits, such as Ziggy Stardust, Starman, Heroes, Under Pressure, and Rebel. He was also in movies such as Labyrinth, Zoolander, and The Prestige.

David Bowie

January 8, 1947 – January 10, 2016

David Bowie 2

 

Midnight Phoenix at T-Mode

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Midnight Phoenix, a visual kei/Jrock band, will be performing at Tmode coming up this April of 2015. Influenced by Jrock, visual kei, and Krock, everyone can agree that they have their own style. As of now, the band consist of lead singer Katana, with guitarists Shiyoji and Ginhane. Katana and Ginhane met each other in Japanese class in college and bonded with their love of watching anime, playing music together, and one day of going to Japan and making it big. Shiyoji on the other hand, didn’t come until much later when an ad was posted on Facebook and Craigslist.

Afterwords, the band really made some strides with finding a better studio to practice in and getting this great opportunity of performing at T-Mode. Before getting this magical shot, that they thought they would never get, they also performed at MAGFest to any lost souls that night that took the time to stop and listen to their music.

At T-Mode, Midnight Phoenix will be performing a song by One OK Rock and more to be announced at their live show. The band’s name; Midnight Phoenix, was described by Katana as “how Cinderella too changes at the stroke of midnight back to her former self, but also dies and is reborn like a phoenix.” Come checkout Katana’s wonderful voice and the melodic tunes created by Shiyoji and Ginhane at Tmode April 3-5 2015. Also, check them out on their Facebook page at Midnight Phoenix and YouTube at Midnight Phoenix Japan. I’ll see you there!

LadyJ Headlines T-MODE

HOMIES AND HOMETTES, I do hope you’re ready for the return of Spring!! This is your man Remy Tyndle over here, and I just need to get you all hype and hip on one of my amazing friends. Let me introduce you to LadyJ, a nerdcore hip-hop warrior hailing from the earth-shakin’ lands of California. Now she’s coming at you with some tracks inspired by anime, video games and all-around otaku shenanigans!

LadyJ in her Studio, known as Wreck the System Recordings

Now, how many of you have heard of T-MODE? It started as a video game convention, but now it’s added anime, manga, music and cosplay to the concoction!  It’s going to be brewing in Rockville, MD on April 3-5 2015 and LADYJ is one of the guests! Here she’ll also be one of the headliners at a concert and holding her album release party for her latest project, Our Fantasy II.

LadyJ performing at T-MODE 2013

A Banner ad of T-MODE, from their twitter @tweetmode

As T-MODE draws closer, we are planning on posting a video promoting the album to get you all ready for it!  The fun begins April 3rd, in Rockville, MD. Be sure to visit T-MODE’S Website for more details and secure your badge today!


Article by Remy Tyndle is a contributing editor for Teh Lunchbox Publications. Make sure to follow us on twitter @tehlunchboxpub.

Lupe Fiasco: Tetsuo and Youth

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Fun fact: Lupe Fiasco himself painted this cover for his latest album.

Unabashedly, I would describe myself as a big fan of Lupe Fiasco. From his unique and recognizable delivery to his ambitious and colorful lyrics, he has been a mainstay in my music playlist since his first big LP: Food and Liquor. His willingness to compete for spotlight not by conforming to the more conventional template of rap which includes sex, money, and drugs, but by attempting to slip in social commentary when you would least expected is what is most admirable to me. However, saying he is his own biggest critic is an understatement. Now that he has broken ties with his former record label he seems to be at peace with himself and his work and his newest project Tetsuo and Youth seems to mirror that.


Every album Lupe releases always seems to have an agenda. As if he is trying to get some point across. As I have said I admire that (even though I don’t think he’s always right), but many of times that gets lost on many listeners. This 16-track album is much more palatable because it finds a sort of balance that allows people to listen to what Lupe does best (which is probably to his chagrin) which is just rap. Not that he’s talking about nothing (I don’t think he could ever do that), but just that he allows himself to go through the motions and let his delivery and vivid metaphors do much of the heavy lifting. Songs he’s put out before like “Bitch Bad” and “American Terrorist” have importance because of the message but it tends to wear on individuals (like myself) to hear the aggressive delivery from any rapper (especially him) and compound that with a kind of preachy and chastising tone. This time around, songs like Tetsuo’s “Prisoner’s 1&2” supply Lupe with the arena to show off his superior lyricism and pension for social consciousness while still sounding palatable enough for the casual listener to enjoy (despite the song being almost nine minutes long).

One of the biggest knocks against Lupe outside of his so-called “preaching” is the fact that the beats chosen for him are just not memorable enough to gain any mainstream recognition. The business nowadays puts just as much or even more on the production aspect of songs and the biggest part of that is the beats. Songs like “Little Death” and “Blur My Hands” which feature Nikki Jean and Guy Sebastian respectively are stark reminders of that. One thing I like is that he is often accompanied by great features, but flounders potential success with weary beats that lack innovation. However, songs like “Body of Work”, “Deliver”, and “Adoration of the Magi” are completely opposite. Songs like these still allow Lupe to do what he does best which is just rap with little filter better than almost anyone today while being accompanied by a bevy of beats that are sultry and provocative and leave little else to be desired.

Now while the album has 16 tracks, it seems to go in a three song format ending with an interlude named by a specific season of the year to mark the next section of the album. I don’t know what this is about as it doesn’t seem to signify anything of significance throughout the album (I could be wrong though as I usually am). Also, I am not a huge fan of long tracks, (mixtape or not) and this album has many of them. The average length of a song on the album excluding the interludes (which are always short) and the unusually long eight minutes tracks that precede them (one of which I mentioned before) still come out to almost five minutes long and that’s just a little too long for my taste.


Verdict: Lupe has some of the best talent of any one rapper when it comes to lyricism and this is probably his best album in quite some time to deliver that as well as it did. He’s been his own biggest critic from day one and that can work to your detriment. These days he seems content with his place now as he believes his peak is behind him. While some of it can be placed on him because of his combatant personality and unwillingness to bend a little to mainstream status quo, it doesn’t help when you are met with opposition from the very people who are supposed to be in your corner (talking to you Atlantic). I really do wish he would have just given in a little because this is still a business and he would’ve changed so many things. His flow is probably the most malleable of anyone’s and he can make amazing beats that lesser talents have been given that much better. Plus his content is rarely ever recycled or stale so when you see some of his contemporaries who enjoy more success with less talent, it hurts as a fan. Tetsuo and Youth is may be his best and most balanced album to date. It could have set the bar to which others are measured by for the rest of the year, but without the big machine behind him it’s hard to see that happening.

Tetsuo and Youth gets a 4 out of 5

+ Still the same Lupe

+ Love the change in the approach to his content and how much more acceptable it is

+ Features are always consistent

– Beats still kind of leave me wanting

– I’m not that huge a fan of long tracks (though some of them I do like)

Tetsuo and Youth is in stores now


Stephon W. is a contributing Editor for Teh Lunchbox Publications and sorry, he doesn’t do social media. But you can follow the team on facebook (Teh Lunchbox Publications), and on twitter @tehlunchboxpub.

October Message From The Editor-In-Chief

With witches on brooms, spirits on edge, and monsters under the bed, it can mean only one thing… it’s October! Bumps in the night, the funk of forty thousand years (Yes, I pulled a Michael Jackson there), and candy won’t stop us from doing and enjoying our jobs.

For gaming, we have our 3DS’s fully charged and Super Smash Bros. busting our fingers and the scary moments from PT and The Evil Within. Speaking of those two horror games, we will have a livestream with the latter two titles and a commentary video of our reactions as well, so stay tuned later this month!

For movies, we’ll be watching Annabelle & Dracula: Untold to creep us out of our seats, and John Wick for the action thrill seekers.

Television has our attention with the series premiere of The Flash and Constantine, as well as season premieres of Regular Show, The Legend of Korra, and The Walking Dead.

Our ear buds are ringing on music, with albums from Steve Aoki’s Neon Future and Taylor Swift’s 1989.

Our main focus at the moment is still building the company and the release of our newly designed website, which is schedule to have its official launch in the first week of November. We can’t wait to start posting all our reviews, gameplays, and livestreams in one place over using individual social media outlets, which will still be available for you to get in contact with us.

So, lock your doors, close your blinds, and stick with us as we save you from the horrors of bad games, movies, television, music, and comics… but we can’t protect you from the mad man wearing a leather mask, wielding a chainsaw, and hiding in your backyard. You’re on your own for that one.

Boo!

Grayson M.
Editor-In-Chief