Cornucopia of Greatness – Thor: The Dark World.

Seeing as I recently began working full time at my job, I happened to be unprepared to write a full article, and for that I apologize. So occasionally I will just blitz you with amazing videos and products I come across, and in honor of Thor: The Dark World releasing, have all of these amazing videos, enjoy.

First, lets do some swooning for Chris Hemsworth and some falling in love with Natalie Portman.

Speaking of swooning.

And since I totally expect Tom to steal the show.

While this one is a little old, I imagine the problems remain.

According to Superhero Hype the film is already doing quite well.

Ever wanted your own real Mjölnir?

Check out the wishlist from the cast for Thor 3, for TotalFilm.

Look at this beautiful shirt made by OnceUponATee

And finally, just a quick TV spot to get you hype for this weekend.

Keep geekin’ everyone, and flex that nerdiness. See you next week.

The 5 Best Bromances of the Marvel Universe.

UPDATE: I finally wrote the followup DC Version.

Bromance – Describes the complicated love and affection shared by two straight males. (Urbandictionary)

Or if you prefer:

Now that we’ve defined bromance, know that when I’m talking about bromances, I’ll be trying to avoid relationships that are more hero-sidekick than bromances. For example, relationships like the Captain America/Falcon relationship are more hero-sidekick than two heroes bromancing. So we’re going to be more on the track of heroes who have solo books that have brought others into their book, or really prominent friendships within a larger team. The bromances will be judged on a number of factors, effectiveness as a team, fan reception, longevity, how many times you got the feels, and impact on the Marvel Universe. Let’s get into these Marvel bromances.


5. Wolverine/Nightcrawler/Colossus


What isn’t there to like about this group? Wolverine who is for all intents and purposes basically the face of the X-men. Nightcrawler, who let’s be honest, has one of the most creative and badass powers. And Colossus, the lovable Russian metal beast of a man. While they X-Men in general have found a family in each other throughout the years, these three especially had a backgrounds of being a loner, outsider or keeping a very small circle. And that created an interesting bond between the three of them, to me in regards to X-Men they were the most like family. We saw plenty of moments between the three of them separately that pushed the boundaries and reinforced their friendship. Nightcrawler finds an intellectual soul who is just trying to do the right thing in Wolverine. Wolverine wins a bet with Nightcrawler and makes him go out without his image inducer for the first time, and finds that the reaction isn’t as scared and hateful as he expected. Wolverine and Colossus? Two words, fastball special.

Only bros throw bros.

On top of all of that, they’ve even been in prank wars with each other, and have gone on road trips together. As for having an impact on the Marvel Universe? How about having fought heavy hitters such as Magneto and Omega Red. Just look at this badass cover they shared together.

Sure, this doesn’t prove anything I said, but just look at how awesome this cover is.

Now you’re saying they’ve done all that? Why aren’t they rated higher? Well, it has to do with where this bromance is at currently. Following the events of Second Coming, and Schism. This relationship has been put through some strain and may or may not work out. During Second Coming Nightcrawler sacrificed himself to save Hope Summers, the possible mutant messiah, and he is currently dead. During Schism the X-Men parted ways and some took the side of Cyclops and some went with Wolverine. Colossus had become the Juggernaut before this event and had felt something sinister change inside him, because of this he said he didn’t feel like he should be around children. Which is what Wolverine intended to do, to teach a new generation. So Colossus stayed with Cyclops. All that being said, due to a dedicated fan base, Nightcrawler will be back in some way, shape, or form. From there I guess we’ll have to see where this bromance goes.


4. Cable/Deadpool


Separate book chronicling the adventure? Check. Complete opposites that became allies in an odd manner? Check. Fan reception? They have a dedicated Tumblr. And while some of that stuff is more on the fanfic relationship side of things, there is plenty of panels showing them being buddies. With all that said the reason they aren’t higher on this list is because their effect on the Marvel Universe is not as big as some of the other heavy hitters on this list. Yes, Deadpool and Cable eventually got their own solo books because of this series, but as an impact on the most important events was minor. All that being said, they are still a fantastic bromance. They were on opposite sides during Civil War, but eventually made up.


What makes them so great is their unlikely friendship dynamic. Cable is as serious as a character as it gets when you’re talking Marvel. Whether it’s internal problems or completing his mission at hand, the mutant time traveler has always been stone faced and really as serious as can be. And Deadpool… Well, he’s Deadpool.

And yet, these two characters found a real friendship in each other that had it’s fair share of heart warming moments.

I can’t say I’d rob a bank for just anyone.


3. Spider-Man/Human Torch


Everyone’s favorite quippy web slinger and the hilarious playboy of the Fantastic Four? That’s a recipe for bromanticism. Or was it? When you look closely at the comparison, these two couldn’t be more different. Peter Parker is a reserved, introverted, and a loner who is more at home with his books and research. Johnny Storm is a good-looking, chick magnet with a hot head(no pun intended, ok maybe it was intended) that loves fast cars and fast women. However, their commitment to the safety of the public and those closest to them, is what eventually made them grow to respect each other in a way that very few others of the Marvel Universe understand. Despite starting as bitter rivals, they became the closest of friends, entrusting their deepest secrets to each other. And when I say bitter rivals, I mean bitter rivals.

The salt was real.
The salt was real.

And when they became the closest of friends?

The Parker Luck.
What are super friends for?

In a lot of ways, these two were the friends that had parents that thought “Oh they’re the same age, they have to be friends! Let’s not check if they have anything in common.” And then the horrible awkwardness ensues, but some event happens and they find that at the core they do share something important traits. However, it wasn’t without a bumpy road, and this unlikely pairing coming together made them that much more dynamic. Throughout the years they’ve had plenty of stories, when the Human Torch was presumed dead the FF brought in Spider-Man to be their staple fourth. They had their own book together, and while this pairing doesn’t have as big an effect on the Marvel Universe and it’s events, it’s filled with plenty of moments that give the feels.

Only best friends have milk and cookies.
Only best friends have milk and cookies.


2. Captain America/Iron Man/Thor


Throughout this article I’ve been saying, that “they would be higher on this list if they had more of an impact on the Marvel Universe.” This group easily has the biggest effect on the Marvel U. When they fight, a universe wide event occurs. (See: Civil War)


“Well, where does Thor fit in?” In Civil War he claims to be neutral on the matter, but helps free imprisoned heroes, so on the side of Cap. They all have relationships separately, having had numerous annuals, but they are best known of course for being 3 of the founding members of The Avengers, Marvel’s resident super team. Listing foes they’ve taken on seems pointless, but let’s do a short list, the Phoenix force, Galactus, Doctor Doom, Thanos, Ultron, and pretty much every villain worth his salt. But, but, Brian, they don’t have enough d’awwww moments. Oh? During the Stark: Disassembled arc, Tony Stark has essentially had to erase his mind to prevent Norman Osborn from stealing the identities of all the Superheroes, and in doing so he turns himself into a vegetable. However, since he’s Tony Stark, he has a plan to reboot his memory due to the way his mind works because of Extremis. He specifically says, to only bring him back if it is better for the world, and that there are two people necessary to bring him back. Take a guess.


When does that story take place? After Civil War. And after this:

Wardrobe malfunctions are pretty embarrassing.

You could argue that they just have a working relationship. But I would show you this.


While there are plenty of bromantic moments throughout their time together, I wanted to show you how much pain and heartbreak this bromance went through, and after all of that Tony still kept his life in the hands of Thor and Steve Rogers. They’ve been through all of this and have decided to forgive Tony and help restore his mind. After which he relearned about the events of Civil War, and was disgusted with himself. Don’t think they could forgive him after something like this? How about throwing him a surprise party after he returned from his stint with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Fun fact: I love Pepper Potts

I know most of this example was through the eyes of Iron Man, but to me it was the best and most recent example of this group overcoming the adversity. When they are clicking on all cylinders there isn’t a villain in the Marvel Universe that want’s to stare these three down.


1. Luke Cage/Iron Fist


Here was a street smart guy that was weary of the world. The other was a martial arts master that was laid-back and philosophical by nature. If you thought of this:

Rush Hour Two
Maybe except Danny Rand is a white guy.

You weren’t far off. The two characters Luke Cage and Danny Rand(Iron Fist) struggled to keep an interesting ongoing solo series. However, together they had a very memorable run as the Heroes for Hire. They even transitioned to a new team together helping to lead and fight alongside the New Avengers. These two have been a team forever seemingly. You can’t go through the history of either of them with out hearing about the other at some point. The longevity of their relationship can’t be ignored, while Marvel is now bringing these heroes to the forefront, they have always been together, in a lot of ways brothers from a different mother. Having had plenty of moments like this:

Fun Fact: I also love She-Hulk

To me that is really the key to this relationship, they were friends outside of their team-ups and their time as a team. They formed such a bond that even when their team broke up they were still friends. Luke Cage recently became the headliner of a new book for Marvel called the Mighty Avengers, one of the first things that happens in that book? A reference to Danny Rand. As the New Avengers they faced an impressive list of baddies. Fan reception? Heroes for Hire is one of the Marvel intellectual properties constantly being brought up as a TV show or movie. Effectiveness as a team?

They have conversation while fighting.

I think one picture will really sum up why they’re the best bromance in all of Marvel.

I hate this art, but the message is there.

As always, feel free to disagree with me on here, facebook, twitter, or any other platform. Also, share this or any of my other articles, and I will owe you a hug or high five. I’ll even let you choose.
twitter: @thetwentytwo

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Thoughts About Stuff: The Arkham Franchise.

“But Brian, NerdSwole already did a Retrospective dedicated to the Bat, do you really have to write another article about him?” I don’t know, did we really need a rebooted Batman to be featured along side the boy scout in blue so early? If we’ve learned nothing else, it seems as though the world cannot get enough of Batman. And him being in the running to be my favorite hero, it’s hard to resist talking about a new game he has coming out. This will mainly be a glowing praise of Arkham Asylum and City, but mainly it will be my thoughts about the upcoming Origins. People will argue whether or not Batman or Superman would win in a fight, it goes back and forth either way. One place where Batman absolutely dominates Superman though? Video Games. I will also say that when the Arkham Asylum first came out, I had many doubts about the game. It just didn’t seem possible to make a good superhero game, let alone a great one. With previous games like this, I think you’d understand my caution:

Of course my first picture in a Batman article is this.

Superman 64 is arguably one of the worst games of all time. For those that haven’t played the game, you’re probably thinking “Well Superman is overpowered as shit, why would a game with him in it be any fun?” The same reason Saints Row IV is fun. It’s fun to fuck shit up after leveling up. The real problem with Superman 64 is the lack of effort. The story doesn’t buy into itself. The controls are awful, the graphics are inconsistent, and enemy AI that was beyond stupid and pretty ridiculous. Possibly even this ridiculous:

Admittedly, this is so bad it’s hilariously awesome.

Superhero games struggled heavily after Superman 64, usually being reviewed as average, some games came along that were fun for a bit, but none of these games crossed into the upper echelon of games. Some honorable mentions: The Spider-Man games independent or movie based were still pretty fun playing through. Marvel Ultimate Alliance is fun for what it is, a couch co-op to play with friends. Rocksteady Games changed the game though. Arkham Asylum is not only a great superhero game, it’s a great game. The story is amazing, you buy in right away, the scenery, the opening, the voice, holy sweet jesus the voice (as far as I’m concerned, Kevin Conroy is Batman, and Mark Hamill is Joker). It helps immerse you into Arkham quickly. The game play is incredible, the enemies aren’t idiots, and there are plenty of unexpected curve balls along the way. I loved this game, and when Arkham City came out, I wasn’t sure it could top Asylum, I was dead wrong, and that is why I have come to trust Rocksteady as a studio. Which brings me to the game set to come out in three days. Arkham Origins.

New studio. New voice actors. New comic book consultant. Prequel. Hmmm. Originally when I heard of these startling pieces of news, I was concerned. Like, really concerned. Concerned to the point where I wasn’t sure I should buy this game. However, after watching quite a bit of gameplay, and attending a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, I have to say I’m excited for this game. At the panel I attended, Eric Holmes, the lead designer of the game quickly addressed the concerns of many. He told us he wasn’t going to change what made the Arkham games great, and he recognized that Rocksteady did a fantastic job, and they could not be replaced. He did however, feel like there was a gap in time for Arkham’s Batman to grow, his origins. The studio, WB Montreal also created the armored edition of Arkham City for the Wii U, so they showed experience. This reassured me that they were familiar with the elements of game play that were necessary to carry on the Arkham torch. Holmes also showed how much of a Batman fan he was, citing things such as Year One and Legends of the Dark Knight. The latter being much less known by ordinary fans. Which brought me to my next concern.

The new comic book consultant. For those that don’t know, the consultant and writer for Arkham City and Asylum was Paul Dini. Paul Dini’s other notable works include Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, and Batman Beyond. Now anyone who knows me knows that when we talk about Batman: TAS this is essentially my reaction:

So when I discovered Dini helped with City and Asylum, I was not surprised one bit. I had to know who helped write these stories that were so clever and refreshing, yet so familiar. So now, imagine my response when I discover that Dini is no longer going to be the consultant for the Arkhamverse.

I really expected good things when I opened that article.

So this new unknown consultant was taking over for Arkham Origins. Great. I didn’t even want to know who the new consultant was going to be, but I decided to attend the Arkham Origins panel at SDCC because I didn’t have anything else to see at that time slot. Then came onto the panel Geoff Johns. Faith restored. Geoff Johns is a bamf. While I won’t claim to have read everything he has written, here are some notables Brightest Day, Blackest Night, critically acclaimed runs on The Flash, Justice League: Origin, and many many other awesome things. While he wasn’t Dini, I had to say that I was excited to see what Geoff was bringing to the table, because when he writes Batman, Batman gives 0 fucks in the best kind of way.

Canon. Obviously.
Canon. Obviously.

So the studio looked up to the task. The new consultant writer had reason to be believed in. A prequel though? After the ending of Arkham City, me like many others wondered where the Arkhamverse would be going. Where could they go if they were making a sequel? Me, personally, I thought they were going bigger. I read many theories that agreed with me also, that the thought process was that it was finally going to be time to leave Gotham. At the very least have some new people enter Gotham. I wanted Arkham Batman to meet the Justice League, or at least some members of the League. This seemed to be completely within the realm of possibility as throughout the games there are many easter eggs referencing the other DC heroes.

There are more than the ones in the video, but it gives you a pretty good idea. However, the powers that be decided to go in a different direction. While I’m happy to play another Batman Arkham game, I really wish the DC Universe was getting bigger. However, when I saw the trailer for the game, I noticed that it wasn’t an origin story, so much as it is a Year Two story about Batman learning his city and how to be the World’s Greatest Detective. So I’m more or less meh about this being a prequel, I wished it was a sequel and they were getting bigger and expansive, but I’m not opposed to seeing the start and rise to greatness.

Finally, the voices. This is what really concerned me the most when I first heard about the changes that were happening in Arkham Origins. More than anything else, having Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill do the voices of Batman and Joker respectively, would sell me. Neither is on the game. But when I went to the panel at SDCC Roger Craig Smith(the voice of Batman in this game, and Ezio from Assassin’s Creed) reassured me how familiar he was with how iconic Kevin Conroy’s voice was and how he was doing his best to make his own voice but pay a great deal of respect to Kevin. The first trailers of Arkham Origins seemed to purposely not have Batman speak, and it made me think that the voice was going to be so different that it’d be really jarring. However, when I did first hear him speak, he made me do a double take, because he said two words really quickly, I did for a second think it was Kevin Conroy. After further review, I noticed the big differences, but I think it works for a younger Batman. Here is the comparison.

I like it enough to find it acceptable for this game, but if there are future Arkham games placed after City, I’d love for Conroy to return. The Joker though seemed even more difficult to recreate or go in a different direction with. You have to know though, Troy Baker is one incredibly talented guy. I heard his Joker voice once, and I was sold. Starts at about 2:12.

Do you also need a new pair of pants? As one of my friends said, “Troy Baker, the voice of everyone.” So, in the end here are my thoughts about this stuff: Arkham Origins will be a great game that respects where it came from, but wants to become its own entity, and be a great addition to the Arkhamverse. At the very least, it has earned its chance.

As always. Feel free to disagree with me on here, facebook, twitter, or any other platform. Also, share this or any of my other articles, and I will owe you a hug or high five. I’ll even let you choose.
twitter: @thetwentytwo

5 Characters You Love Way More at the End of the Story: Video Game Edition

Whether it was the main character or a side character, steady character growth or one dynamic moment, maybe even a plot changing move or a small gesture irrelevant to story. These are 5 characters that I and probably you grew to really care about by the end of their stories.



5. Knuckles the Echinda : Sonic series


If people are unfamiliar, the protagonist of the Sonic games, is Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s a blue hedgehog that runs really fast. The premise of his early games was to collect rings, and you go through the story to get something called the chaos emeralds. So this is Sonic:


After you collect the chaos emeralds, you become this badass, Super Sonic:

Yes, this picture is from Smash Bros, but it’s badass.

And Super Sonic can fly, is essentially invincible crashing into everything doing whatever he wants. And so you ask me what does this have to do with Knuckles? The first thing that happens when Knuckles first appears in a game is he takes your freaking chaos emeralds away from you and makes you regular Sonic again. Seriously. Watch the first 34 seconds of this video:

What a fucking dickbag man. As the story progresses he just does more things like this. He seems to be the jerk of the game, he pushes boulders to trap you in a volcano, cuts bridges, and other things a 90’s cartoon villain would do. We learn though, that Knuckles is the guardian of the Master Emerald and was told by Dr. Robotnik(the real evil villain) that you were here to steal that. After discovering he was tricked Knuckles goes after Robotnik and gets schooled, and decides that he should help you. From there on, he shows you what to do, but is too exhausted help you himself. Later on, Knuckles gets in a fight with Mecha Sonic, and wins, but is about to die because the ground crumbles under him, but Sonic saves him. A bromance is born. Knuckles essentially becomes the badass that shows up when you need him the most, the mystery character that has a lot of unknowns, but you’re glad he’s on your side.


4. Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad : Assassin’s Creed


I first started playing the Assassin’s Creed franchise a few years after the first one was released, so after having heard a lot of good things, I was really excited to start this game. Little did I know people loved the series so much, mainly because of the main character in Assassin’s Creed II, Ezio Auditore. So, much to my surprise when I first started playing as Altair, I find he’s a huge jerk. He’s a rebel in the worst kind of way, and not really a hero you can get behind from the start. He kills for convenience and not out of necessity, he is extremely arrogant, and he even get’s another assassin maimed and has no remorse for it. The only really redeeming quality he had was that he respected his master that taught him. He annoyed me to the point where even this wasn’t as fun:

He was that much of an asshole.

As the story progresses though, he gets taken down several pegs, and really is nerfed into the ground. This is where the story truly begins, Altair’s journey from cocky asshat murderer to humble master of the assassins is impressive because he doesn’t change much in what he does, but rather the reason for why does things. After being betrayed by the master he respected so much, and going through the relearning process of what the Creed really means, Altair becomes much wiser and a true Assassin. He separates himself from what the Templars(the order opposite the Assassins) by learning what his purpose is. He learns to kill only the necessary and not the innocents, to preserve the interest and image of himself and the order, and finally that an Assassin’s purpose is to create peace in the world and within himself. By the end of his story your respect for him goes through the roof, just take a look at him, how can you not think he’s a boss:

He kinda looks like Sean Connery


3. Gremio : Suikoden


Suikoden is an old RPG originally released in 1995 on Playstation. It is not as well known as some franchises like Final Fantasy, but those that do know this franchise know that the RPG genre owes a lot to it, and that its cult following is absolutely deserved. As you can tell, Suikoden is one of my favorite games of all time, and if you haven’t played it I highly recommend skipping this reading and playing it. Suikoden has 108 characters that can join you, even though only 6 at a time are playable in a regular party, they can join you in the Toran Liberation Army. The main character is Tir McDohl, he is the son of a legendary general Teo McDohl of the empire. Teo saved the life of a man named Gremio.Gremio03 And Gremio decides to repay that debt by taking care of his son. Tir begins his story as an Imperial soldier, but after learning of the corruption of the top of the empire, he decides to leave. Gremio throughout the game disagrees with Tir’s decision, essentially being a huge nag the whole time. It gets to the point that you’re surprised that Tir isn’t doing this:

But similar to all mothers and guardians, he does it out of love. At points you wonder if he really loves Tir or he does it out of loyalty to Teo. That question is answered numerous times throughout the game, but most poignantly at this moment about a little more than half way through the game:

Note: Where it says Ryan is just the main character renamed.

I can barely watch it. And I know it is possible to bring him back to life by recruiting all 108 characters of the cast, but it is highly(and I mean HIGHLY) unlikely you’ll do that on your first run through. And even if you know you’re going to get him back by recruiting all 108, the scene is still incredibly touching.


2. Tidus : Final Fantasy X


I debated putting every single FFX character on this list as one entry, simply because by the end of the game, all of the characters are so different from when they began. The game goes through so many plot twists, emotional moments, and losses that each character is constantly changing their life view. Tidus though is the only character I can say that I wasn’t a fan of at the start. Wakka was a fun loving guy, Yuna was a girl making a huge sacrifice, Auron is a complete badass, Kimahri is a freaking wolf man, Rikku is a funny and bubbly character, and Lulu is Lulu(fun fact: I absolutely love Lulu). Tidus begins as a self-centered Blitz Ball athlete, and throughout the story he is really childish and immature. While its hard to blame him, after all he is a 17-year old kid who got his home destroyed.  It just gets really taxing and annoying hearing him complain about the world though, and how unfair it is. I mean just look at him:

Something about that pant leg.

And early on he continues to complain with problems going on much bigger than his which prompts reactions like this:

Also, STFU Tidus

However, this changes as he meets the other characters and learns something from all of them. Most importantly Yuna and Auron. Under the tutelage of Auron, he learned how to be a guardian of a summoner on a pilgrimage, but with Yuna he found love. And that is really what makes you grow to love Tidus. He learns so much from his relationships with the other characters, and see how much of a better person he becomes through his interaction with others. I would argue that Tidus and Yuna is one of the greatest romances in all of video games, because touching moments like this stay with you:

The feels.
The feels.

But also because of how much Tidus improves as a person simply by knowing Yuna.


1. Raiden : Metal Gear Solid


Some of these characters were on this list because of how much I grew to love them. Some of these characters are on this list because of how much I hated them at the start and came to find them acceptable. Raiden is both. Honestly I would be completely ok with any of the top 3 being switched around, now that I’m actually writing and watching these clips again it reminds me how much I do love these characters. Back to the point though. Raiden first appears in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. He appears to be the main character after you play the first mission as the main character of the of previous MGS, Solid Snake. So, essentially we start the game with a character we already absolutely fell in love with, and we presumably watched die. And now we’re supposed to be attached to this new kid who has an annoying voice(this is a big deal because Snake’s voice is iconic), thinks he is awesome, and does a whole hell of a lot of complaining throughout the game. And who could ever forget this part:

Yes, the naked level, with a whole lot more spread eagle and Raiden ass than you could ever ask for.

Eventually, we find out Snake is alive, and that Raiden has a really messed up past. He was a child soldier, and his name is Jack, and he was nicknamed Jack the Ripper for the horrible things he had to do. He finds love in a woman named Rose throughout MGS2. By the end of MGS2, I respect Raiden, but I’m not necessarily a fan of him, and I was happy to see Snake at the helm of the next MGS game. This isn’t the end of Raiden’s story though. His arrival in MGS4 is quite the event. It starts at about 1:35

HES A MOTHERFUCKING CYBORG NINJA. Raiden does badass thing after badass thing in MGS4, but you don’t play as him at all, you wish you could though. Eventually, he sacrifices himself losing his arms stopping a tanker from crushing you. He then offers to go through a microwave corridor for you so you don’t die, and after you refuse, he defends the corridor WITH NO FUCKING ARMS. I would post the MGS4 cutscenes where he was a boss, but that’d take up the whole page, so if you want set aside like 5 hours and watch through the cutscenes and watch Raiden become one of your favorite characters. Also, this:

Feel free to disagree with me on here, facebook, twitter, or any other platform. Also, share this or any of my other articles, and I will owe you a hug or high five. I’ll even let you choose.
twitter: @thetwentytwo

Slice of Life: Awesome edition

Alex claims that he’s too tired and too burnt out from working on his previous article to set up the Slice of Life. So now it falls upon me, and whatever questions I decide I guess. I don’t really know what you guys enjoy to be honest, but it seems like the slices with romantic stories seem to do better. If you haven’t already, check them out here.

Brian: I think the first dates subject was pretty fun, so let’s roll with that. And I won’t do this the Alex way where I answer the questions after asking them, this way I can ask the funniest questions without having to answer. But we’ll start easy. Best date you ever went on?

Alex: I think it was having a beach day. From morning to evening, we spent the whole day together. Morning breezes with the sun shining on us as we casually talked. Early relationship giddiness, of course, but it’s almost intoxicating. We later caught a movie together, cooling off from the warm beach, and shared a lovely dinner afterwards. It’s pretty basic, but after all the heartbreak I’ve endured, I really crave some simple things with a lovely lady.

Erin: I would say it was awhile ago when my last girlfriend and I simply hung out one night in the winter and then went out to look at a neighborhood that used to deck itself out with holiday lights. We used to just stand and walk around staring at the lights for hours and it was the absolute perfect moment for a time like the holidays, which as people know, I am a huge sucker for.

Brian: That was pretty easy. How about the worst date or most awkward experience with a girl ever?

Alex: The awkward moments with girls will never be able to fit in this week’s slice of life. One standout was consoling a girl in high school. I happened to be crushing on this girl for a year or two, and I knew I was in the friend-zone when I consoled her as she cried about her boyfriend who cheated on her. “Why can’t guys be faithful and care about the girl they’re with?” she cried, as my shoulder caught her tears. I hadn’t found the courage to tell her how I felt, but I think she’s found happiness in a new relationship and my awkward position hopefully helped that.

Erin: I wouldn’t say this was the “worst date” in the sense that it was bad, but just because it was kind of awkward and didn’t end well. Conversely to Alex’s story, it was with a girl couple years ago whom I had to put in the friend zone and bear bad news with. We were at a really awesome and nice fancy party, and I had a lot of fun, but just the heartbreak and emotion that followed made it hard for both of us to walk away feeling good or happy.

Brian: I suppose this next question could go either way, how many girls have you taken on a date? I’m going to be thoroughly disappointed if one of your numbers isn’t astronomically high like I expect it to be.

Alex: 5 at most. Not all of these ended well and some of them I haven’t talked to in years. And it depends what should be considered a date. Luckily, I found this handy-dandy chart.

Behold: The Romantic Date Scale
Behold: The Romantic Date Scale

Erin: Oh Alex, 5 girls?  How cute…  I think my number is like 10.

Brian: If you had to be a part of a devil’s threesome, who would the other man be? And you have to know this person in real life.

Alex: I wouldn’t be able to do it. It couldn’t be worth it and I’d rather be forever alone with no sword clanking.

Erin: Eyes stay looking upwards, no talking, if we just focus on the girl, probably go with any one of the Nerd Swole dudes.

Thoughts About Stuff: Questionable Content

While I’ve enjoyed writing my lists about gaming, occasionally I want to talk about things that I want to recommend or give a review for. We do a little bit of that in Retrospective and Slice of Life, but I’d like to go a little bit more in depth with my personal opinion on some things. I recognize that the name of this article is incredibly vague, but that’s because I might review or talk about anything in here. It may even become a title that the other writers will use, remember, we’re still a pretty fledgling blog here. So be prepared for anything, be it comics, games, movies, and anything else nerdy. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking “But Brian, I love your lists and your hilarious pictures and gifs!” And to that I say:

I really do.

Now that should answer any questions about whether or not this is going to be as awesome as my other things. Moving on. Questionable Content commonly referred to as QC is a webcomic written by Jeph Jacques. It started in 2003, and has been ongoing ever since, it has regular updates daily, and features a huge cast of characters. The closest thing to a main character is Marten, who you begin the story with, a guy who is trying to find his way in life, who happens to like a lot of Indie rock music. I’ll be honest with you, most of the Indie rock jokes when completely over my head. Even if you’re not an Indie rock fan, you’ll probably enjoy this comic for the same reasons I did. The characters. You will undoubtedly find a character to relate to or cheer for. Maybe it’s super laid-back Marten trying to find his way. Maybe extra angry but lovable Faye. Possibly even ultra horny Pintsize the AnthroPC. Jacques writes a tale of inclusion, and allowing people to be comfortable being themselves, it wouldn’t surprise me if a character that looked this was soon introduced:

Had to fit a Community reference in sooner or later.

If you start late, much like I did(I just began reading earlier this year) you will probably see there are over 2500 strips to read, but don’t worry, you’ll be burning through strips pretty soon. I was also thrown off by the artwork of the early strips, I won’t lie, it’s not pretty. However, Jacques grows quickly and strongly in that department, by the time you catch up to current comics, you’ll see that the art is exponentially better. I enjoyed this though, it created a unique feeling while reading, as the characters grew, the story arcs grew. As the story arcs grew, the art grew. As the art grew, you as a reader felt like you were seeing true growth in these characters, but also growth in the artist and writer. For anyone who has truly loved any book or game, it’s not hard to say you become invested in the future of those characters. I bring this up because QC has gotten me invested in each and every single character, I truly care about all of them. I often found myself in positions like this because of the choices these characters make:

Seriously like every 10 strips or so.

or this:

AND I’m not a super soldier.

Finally, while I would classify it as a romance/drama/comedy webcomic it has its sci-fi quirks. The webcomic goes on crazy tangential stories that might bother some readers. I personally love these crazy fun arcs. Don’t fret though, the comic always returns to the core that makes it great, the characters and their development. I’m sure it’s no secret that I spend a fair share of time on the internet, and I’m guessing you do too. Too often things that are not all that funny get a “lol” or “haha” when really you’re making the straightest face in the world. And a lot of times I wish there was something like this right alongside the like button:

Need a caption? Meh.

But in all seriousness though, when it comes to Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques there is no question. You should read it.

5 Things that upset gamers. (And really everyone.)

Let me start by saying the rest of this read will not be nearly as PC as the title was, and that lagging will not be one of them, although that totally makes me rage. This is more about things others do or say. There will likely be a lot of cursing, because you know, why the fuck not. The examples will be for gamers and about games but will really apply to everyone I think.


5. When people tell you to pause an online game


You’re in the middle of a huge team fight in whatever game you play, league, CS:GO, whatever, and you get a phone call that ruins your concentration. It’s your friend who doesn’t game and says they want to get food at this exact moment and it can’t wait another 30 minutes. You say you’re in a game, and they have two responses, the other we’ll get to later, the one we talk about now is “Can’t you just pause it?” This is really just a misunderstanding and that’s ok. However, it gets annoying when you try and teach people that online games do not have a pause function, and if they do, they are likely based on a vote and they still don’t understand. And if you totally just wrecked the shit out of the other team, player, or something else, I can’t imagine them wanting to pause. Admittedly, neither would I, especially if something like this happened:

For those that haven’t played DoTA or MOBA games in general, what just happened was the equivalent receiving a full tank of gas you didn’t pay for. Times five. Point being, you just need to explain to people calmly that online games basically for all intents and purposes cannot be paused. For example, you wouldn’t ask a Basketball player to pause the game or take a timeout for your sake would you? And if they don’t get that, well, point them to this article. If that doesn’t work, feel absolutely free to flip a shit. (Note: I’m not responsible for the consequences of you flipping a shit).


4. When people come into your room when the door was closed, and leave the door open. 


No, I don’t mean when they’re in your room and they leave the door open. I mean when they leave your room and they leave the door open. Admittedly, this is not gamer exclusive. However, I don’t know a gamer that this does not bother. Why is it such a big deal? Unless your room is like 1 mile long you just have to walk a few feet and close your door again. I can’t say I know for sure why it is such a pet peeve of myself and many others. Other than that it aint fucking rocket science to close a door. If you knocked to come into the room or you opened the door to come in, why not leave it the way it was when you leave. It’s not like it is a difficult thing to do, all it takes is a swing of the hand on your way out.

If you have three, it might be a bit different.

At the end of the day, it’s about respect isn’t it? If you borrow someone’s sweater, when you return it to them, you probably washed it and try to keep it in good condition, at the very least, the same it was given in. Why not do the same for a room when you enter and leave?


3. DLC that should be a part of the game.


I understand that micro-transactions are the future. I even believe when executed correctly, they can be a pretty great thing (I.E. Steam, League of Legends, other FTP games). However, what I don’t agree with is when a new game comes out, costs 60 dollars (upwards to 100 if it’s the collector’s edtion), and DLC that costs money, especially if it is DLC that is essential to fully experiencing the game. You’re probably saying, “BRIAN! STOP BEING A CHEAP-ASS” and you’re right, I’m a total cheap-ass. However, I simply do not believe in paying full price for a game and then having to tack on DLC to experience the full game. The micro-transaction model employed by many PC games allows you to install a game for free, play it, but you don’t have full access. It allows you the choice to do what you want, to buy which characters you want to buy, to progress how you want to progress, generally speaking though they do not allow unfair advantages for other players and allow you the choice for the experience you want with your money. Would you pay full price for a Blu-Ray movie, and then be OK with having to pay 5 dollars for the ending after the ending? I imagine your response would be something like this:

Except add in like three fucks in there somewhere.

My point is simply this, it feels as though we are hoodwinked(I never thought I’d get to use this word on here) into buying an incomplete product. No one likes to feel like they are getting the short end of the stick. DLC is fine, if it’s extra things that compliment the game. If it’s necessary to gain the full experience of the game then gamers have paid full price for an incomplete product that will only take more money for this. And that can only really illicit one response from me:

I’ll even put on the suit.


2. Using your controller without cleaning their hands.


Holy shit. I mean do I really have to explain this one? It’s so fucking grimey. OK, you’re hanging out with a friend who you just met, you’re getting along you were gaming hard, it was hella fun. You decided to take a food break, and I don’t know let’s say you had some Doritos. Now that your hands look like you’ve been playing in an Arizona desert and you’re full of awesome and ready to play again, what should be the first thing you do? WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS. If you come anywhere near my gear with your hands looking like this:

God have mercy on your soul.

The next moment is going to look a whole lot like this:

And you're not going to be Batman.
And you’re not going to be Batman.

This is the part where I sum it up with an analogy or simile right? Nope. This is just really fucking grimey, just don’t do it.


1. Saying “it’s just a game.”


Do you remember when we talked earlier about two possible responses? You say you’re playing a game, one response is “just pause it!” the other answer I alluded to earlier is “It’s just a game.” Honestly, it infuriates me just to write the phrase.  If it is important to you and it does not harm anyone else, why would anyone belittle your hobby and make it seem insignificant? If they don’t know that games are really important to you, then yes, by all means feel free to explain to them what’s up. If you have explained it, and they are still using this phrase with you, then I recommend any of the following:

Even more badass if you’re actually going down a sinkhole.
Extra points if you wear the same outfit.
Hair styling, with a Kung Fu hand? Solid choice.
Why not keep it simple?
This one is just awesome.

Honestly. At the risk of sounding like an after school special, people should respect other’s hobbies and what they choose to do with their time (again, assuming it’s not harmful to anyone else). At the end of the day, it’s about respect.

Feel free to disagree with me on here, facebook, twitter, or any other platform. Also, share this or any of my other articles, and I will owe you a hug or high five. I’ll even let you choose.
twitter: @thetwentytwo

6 words that are very different for gamers and non-gamers.

Let me start by saying this has nothing to do with cats. If you’re a part of any group, team, or club, chances are you have your own lingo and jargon. For me, it’s happened a couple of different times, but gamer terms seem to be the most confusing to others, whether it was my parents, friends, or girl I was dating. You shout “gang bang him” into your mic one time, and no one lets you forget it. While they weren’t all my personal experiences with these words, I have some pretty great stories, as well as have been told some pretty great ones. Without further ado, 6 words that are very different for gamers and non-gamers:

6. Toon

I once played an MMORPG(Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, or the destroyer of lives.) called Final Fantasy XI. That game consumed hours upon hours of my life and was hard as a boy going through puberty at a porn star convention. When asked by my girlfriend at the time what I was doing, I’d probably be doing something with my toon. For those unfamiliar, your toon, is your character in a game, usually referring to MMORPG. So a phrase like “prepping my toon for tonight” might sound like this to gamers:

I can’t say I knew what a Gambison was before this.

However, since I played viola at the time, she thought i was prepping my “tune”:

This might be a Violin, I honestly wouldn’t be able to tell you.

She thought I was playing in a concert that night that was at our school that she went to for me. I’m not there, I’m actually hunting a notorious monster after having prepped my toon. Shenanigans ensue, but we were kids so we clear it up like we’re in an old sitcom and end up laughing about the whole thing.


5. Sandbox


For a gamer, the term sandbox is not really in style anymore, they are more more commonly now referred to as open-world. However, this was not the case back when I was in high school. We still used the term sandbox. So when I talked about how fun Grand Theft Auto  was for a sandbox game, and was overheard by a teacher, my friend heard this:


And my teacher heard this:

I bet you’ve been waiting for this picture.

Needless to say, it created a bit of an awkward situation, when I was talking about beating up whores in the game.




As with Toon, this one will take a small bit of back story. I build things occasionally, like movie props and things like that when I have time and feel motivated to do so. This all started in my shop class in middle school, where I was told I was a pretty talented kid by the teacher. So of course when you’re in middle school, this automatically makes you the guru of shop, and people assume you do nothing but build things at home. When my teacher asked the class what we do every day, I thought it would be funny to say “leveling” because who doesn’t appreciate good gaming humor? (No one that’s who.) I was trying to make a joke that I get experience each day and I get older. (Trust me, i’m much funnier now I swear.) So while I would have understood if people thought I was doing this:

Yellow Dragons are serious business.

But really for some reason, they all thought I was doing this:

We all need some balance in our lives.

3. Hacker

This definitely has multiple meanings, whether it’s older or younger generations, or gamers and non-gamers. However, for my particular example, it wasn’t me, just a story I was told by a friend. He was at a cafe and he overheard a girl talking about how much she hated hackers, naturally he thought she meant people who can see through walls in Counter-Strike and get auto headshots. Or any FPS where someone’s score is 5,000 kills and 0 deaths really. Or pokemon where someone does outrageous shit like have a team of 6 mewtwos in pokemon red or this: 

I know this doesn’t take hacks, but seriously wtf.

Back to the story, the girl meant things of this nature:

Hah, ovulating.

Of course my friend built up the courage to talk to the girl he thought was a gamer. I wish I could say hilarity ensued and he failed horribly, but hilarity did ensue, but it worked out for him. D’awwww that’s right, we have heartwarming stories too.

2. Farming

Ah, farming. Traditionally we’d be talking about growing plants that bear fruit or vegetables and things of that nature. Well, that sounds right to me too, however to a gamer this usually means getting money or items to get for money. Basically you’re doing some act, generally killing monsters, and getting items that drop to sell or money directly. Welp, in Final Fantasy XI there was an item that was particularly profitable at the time I was playing, and I was discussing this with a friend of mine, I was farming something called “Boyahda Moss” and “Tree Cuttings”.  So while I was farming things like this:

The resemblance with the sandbox kid is uncanny.

A classmate of mine thought I was talking about something more uh, tangible:

Tangible, smokable, and edible too.

If you didn’t get my euphemisms, he thought I was a weed farmer. I knew something was funny when he asked if I ever hot boxed the moss.

1. Grinding

I actually don’t have a story for this one. But honestly when one thing can mean a whole bunch of this:

We really like Final Fantasy around here.
We really like Final Fantasy around here.

And the other can mean this:

I'm pretty sure I got pregnant just from seeing this.
I’m pretty sure I got pregnant just from seeing this.

I rest my case.

Feel free to disagree with me on here, facebook, twitter, or any other platform. Also, share this or any of my other articles, and I will owe you a hug or high five. I’ll even let you choose.
twitter: @thetwentytwo