20 Years of Pokemon Red & Blue

This past February marked the 20th anniversary of Pokemon Red and Blue releasing and Nintendo honored this glorious event by re-release Pokemon Red, Blue, & Yellow on 3DS’s Virtual Console. Some of the staff have been playing, while others have been enjoying the reemergence of Pokemon, like the upcoming Pokemon Sun and Moon announcement, along with oncoming releases of Pokken Tournament and Pokemon Go! We’re all just excited to see the rise of Pokemon on different platforms and are excited to share our thoughts on one of the most iconic video game franchises.

From the original game, what part hooked you the most?

Alex: I liked the journey of venturing around and being the best. The silent trainer let his training do the talking; beating a gym would allow you to have your name engraved right in front, you filled up the pokedex, and your reward for defeating tough opponents and pokemon gave you relevant and key rewards. The sense of accomplishment from dismantling a huge crime organization and beating everyone to be the best was rewarding to no end.

 

Willy:Definitely the joys of challenging all the gym leaders. Since all the gym leaders were based off one pokemon type, it was always fun to go out and find a specific Pokemon to counter that gym leader. I had the most trouble with Brock and Misty since I picked Charmander but then I learned about the power of Butterfree. Since then, Butterfree has become one of my first picks every time I started the game over (since Beedrill sucks). Butterfree using Confusion was my jam, carrying me places I never knew about.

Yeksson: It had to be the theme music. I was immediately hooked when I first faced Brock in Pewter City. I remember always saving before the Gym Leader battle and turning up the volume to hear that awesome theme. It’s the closest I felt to being Ash from the anime. In a sense I was turning my cap backwards and about to throw down!

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What was your team back in the day and with another shot at the game, what would your Hall of Fame team look like?

Alex: Way back when, I picked up Pokemon Blue and since my brother got Charizard, I had Blastoise on my final roster. Alongside the big turtle was Venomoth, Flareon, Hitmonchan, Omastar, and Zapdos! I mostly picked Pokemon that looked cool, and I think my new team will do some of the same. As I’m playing through the game again, my final team will probably consist of Charizard, Nidoking, Pigeot, Gyrados, Alakazam, and Jolteon.

 

Willy:I don’t remember too much about my starting team but I know it had Charizard, Pigeot, and Gyrados for sure. As for my new team, I’d definitely run three Eevees and Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon. I’d name the Eevees Glaceon(<3), Espeon, and Umbreon since they didn’t exist at the time.

Yeksson: I started off with Red and remember picking Charmander because he looked the closest. Every play through had at least Pidgeot and Charizard. I liked to mix in Gyarados, Jolteon, Aerodactyl, Nidoking, Arcanine, Dragonite, Zapdos, Articuno and Mewtwo.

What is your favorite moment of the original games?

Alex: Anytime I beat Blue when I was completely taken off guard (Rt. 22, Cerulean City, SS Anne), I was so proud and glad to shove his bragging back down his throat.

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Willy: Abusing Missingno and going mad with power, harvesting rare candies for the rest of my life. Occasionally evolving the Missingno into a Kangaskhan that knew sky attack was hilarious.

Yeksson: Beating the Elite Four and Blue for the first time. Lance’s strongest Pokémon was a level 62 Dragonite whereas Blue had a level 65 fully evolved starter that countered your original in-game pick.

Pokemon Yellow was a follow-up game made to capitalize on the anime and overall Pokemania. Mainly featuring a Pikachu that follows you and a quest that resembles Ash’s from the show, what aspect from the anime would you have loved to have in the game?

Alex: Dodging. Anytime a Pokemon was able to dodge, I was so jealous. Still waiting when that type of move (similar to a Defend command) can be incorporated into a main franchise game.

Willy:I would’ve loved to see more Team Rocket trolling you around. Constant attempts of snatching my Pikachu would’ve made for an enjoyable experience. AND IF THEY PUT IN MEOWTH’s LOVE STORY. OH MY GOODNESS, GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD. HE LEARNED ENGLISH FOR HER!!!

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Yeksson: Being able to use more than 4 moves. I always found it phony that Ash also made up some moves. For example, using water gun, powered by a Thunderbolt.

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2014’s Twitch Plays Pokemon event was a fantastically bizarre experiment where countless Twitch users controlled one trainer in an emulated Pokemon Red game. Of the countless memes, which are your favorite?

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Alex: The religious connotations that came with the game’s play through were hilarious. Praise Helix and the False Prophet Flareon always crack me up.

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Willy:I didn’t dabble too much in the twitch plays Pokemon era so I wouldn’t know. I only heard stories.

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Yeksson: Bird Jesus, the Messiah.

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Most importantly, what’s your favorite Pokemon from the original 151 and why?

Alex: Eevee. I always thought his potential for growth was great and continues to expand.

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Willy:Probably Pikachu with Vaporeon being an extremely close second. But I mean Pikachuwilly sounds so much better than Vaporeonwilly. How unfortunate indeed.

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Yeksson: Jolteon. I remember having a first edition Jolteon card and seeing the move Pin Missile. As I kid I was like “that’s so cool! I want one!”

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Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

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SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 02/22/2016

Alex: Grayson by Tim Seeley, Tom King, & Mikel Janin

I’ll admit that, even though I read plenty of comics, I am severely behind on being up to date. With that in mind, one of my favorite characters to follow is Dick Grayson. When Nightwing ended during Forever Evil, I was shocked to see he would be outed as Dick Grayson to the world and become a secret agent for a international espionage organization named Spyral. The transition book, Grayson, has a lot of fun incorporating elements that put Grayson in the shoes of James Bond. Dick’s ethics, movements, charisma, and trust are all tested as he is forced to act as an agent, not a hero. The art has been clean, the stories balanced self-contained stories and using small tidbits to advance the plot, and the book is embraces the genre to have a lot of fun to coincide with the grit. Plus, seeing the rise of Midnighter to his own series is well worth the slight status quo shift.

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Brian: 7 Wonders

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Continuing my exploration of boardgames, a friend discovered 7 Wonders and we checked out videos online to see how it played. A lot of people recommended it saying it’s simple and fun and you get the hang fairly quickly. When you first play it doesn’t seem like it, but after about one and half playthroughs I’m sure anyone can understand the game enough to enjoy it.

Essentially the point of the game is to build up your empire through 3 acts and have the most points on the end based on how many civics, science, military, and other structures you have. The game has a fair amount of depth based on economy, resources, prioritization and even some mind games. It really is more about doing building up your stuff than being a scumbag though (although there is plenty of room for scumbagging as well). Once you get the hang of it, games take about 30-45 minutes which is fairly quick for a boardgame, and I’d highly recommend this one, especially if you like ancient civilizations, the art alone in the game will probably be enough.

Erin: Deadly Class

Ever wondered what it would be like to go to a different high school or college? Ever imagined yourself going to one of those trade schools that allow you to focus on JUST music, writing, or sports? What about assassination? No? Never considered it?

Enter Rick Remender’s Deadly Class – where kids are chosen to go to school to learn how to become flawless deadly assassins. I’ve been catching up on this hot series this month, and boy am I disappointed that I got so behind. Unique, exciting, and set in San Francisco – this comic is wonderful and has so many layers to it. Remender is really writing from the heart, taking high school angst and tropes to a whole new level. Pick up and read with me now please.

Yeksson: Yu-Gi-Oh!

It's time to D-D-D-D-DUEL!
It’s time to D-D-D-D-DUEL!

I found the entire Yu-Gi-Oh series on Hulu.  I remember being really invested when the show first aired in the US.  After the Battle City arc, I lost interest in the series.  I never knew what had happened in seasons 3-5.  I just know how it all ends because I randomly stumbled upon the finale on YouTube.  The duels are so dramatic and it’s crazy to think world implications are tied to a deck of cards.  However, the strategies explored in this series always make me want to go out and buy a booster pack.

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 02/15/2016

With Deadpool killing it at the box office this past weekend, it’s time to saddle on up with some new recommendations from the writers. Some big games from 2014 and 2015, some apps, and a surprise or two this week on Swole Patrol’s Weekly Picks!

Alex: Batman: Arkham Knightbatman-arkham-knight-rating-2-jpg

I’ve been grinding through the latest Batman game like a madman. It’s incredibly deep, with so much content it’s hard to put the controller down. I have some gripes about the overall pacing and direction of this open-world hybrid game, but the story, the gameplay, and the encapsulation of the Batman universe makes it one of the best in the series. I’m absolutely astounded by the amount of voice work and character design alone that went into this game, as it impossibly tops every other entry in the series. Well worth the delay, Arkham Knight is one for the ages.

 

Brian: Super Smash Bros for Wii U DLC

Bayonetta Corrin

After the super polarizing final DLC characters were released for Smash Wii U, I decided to come back to the game and give them a go (after some shenanigans with the wii shop, but that’s another story).

My personal first impressions are both characters are really powerful characters, and while a lot of the Smash community is focused on Bayonetta (deservedly so, she’s doing awesome stuff) I think Corrin is quietly destroying people. Both characters are a lot of fun and have strong tools to succeed, but to me, Corrin just has a lot going for him/her, and not really any glaring weaknesses. That’s not to say I think Bayonetta is bad, I just think people will study her harder and quicker, resulting in her dropping out of this top 3-5 discussion she’s currently in. Time will tell though.

Erin: Mortal Kombat X

I’ve been playing this game non-stop since the beginning of the year and I just absolutely love it. More than ever, I’m just excited to play a few rounds every day and try new characters and new moves. The visceral gameplay and the fatalities make this game so enjoyable for a fighting game – one that anyone can pick up and have fun with. My roommates and I play all the time and it’s a great break from life and moment for everyone to yell at each other. Add me and let’s fight: @erinofsteel.

Shayna: ShamelessShameless

This past weekend, I dived into Shameless, a show I’ve been meaning to watch for quite some time (mainly because I’m in love with the main character, Emmy Rossum). I watched all of season one in less than two days — which required nearly 12 hours of commitment. Now I’m halfway through season 2 (out of six). It’s on Showtime, and you can stream it with a login for DirecTV or anything similar if you have the Showtime subscription.

Shameless is a drama/dark comedy-ish show that features an alcoholic father, Frank (William H. Macy), and his six children. The real parent in the family is the eldest sibling Fiona (Emmy Rossum), a 21-year-old high school dropout. She raises the kids, attempts to find work, and cleans up after her father who doesn’t seem to give a shit about anything (think: basically willing to give up his youngest kid to pay off betting debts, lives off illegal income and faked disabilities, and steals money from his own kids). The show spends time focusing on all six kids, their personal lives, and how they are affected by their father. In every episode, Frank somehow proves to be a worse father than he already was.

There is a lot of drinking, drug use, cursing, sex (literally scenes with full male and female nudity in nearly every episode, so if that bothers you, expect to be offended).

This show is incredible. In a way, it reminds me of how Six Feet Under made me feel — and I’ve been looking for a show to fill that void for almost three years now. It’s one of those shows with a lot of character development, and I love when I start to feel close to the characters. It also has a kickass soundtrack.

Willy: Neko Atsume

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I haven’t been doing much in terms of new entertainment, as I am still playing Animal Crossing: New Lead and Fire Emblem. BUT if anyone wants a fun, cool app to try out, Neko Atsume is the place to be. It’s an enjoyable app for cat lovers such as myself. You get a whole yard to yourself and fill it with fun toys and treats and wait for cats to come. Would recommend to anyone aspiring to become a crazy cat person as the costs are non existent and the reward is a bountiful yard of cats. Purrfect for the whole family. Try not to start a CATastrophe while you play it and download it right meow!

Yeksson: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

**SPOILER ALERT**

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So aside from a few Side Ops and Extreme Mode Missions, I’ve finished playing MGS V: TPP.  The biggest takeaway from this game is that the main protagonist is not actually Big Boss.  In fact, you play as a plastic surgery modified copy of Big Boss.  It’s a huge point in the overalll MGS timeline.  Most fans know that Solid Snake defeats Big Boss twice.   However, the first time Snake beats Big Boss in Outer Heaven, it is actually the phantom copy of Big Boss that perishes.

This game definitely feels incomplete. Thanks Konami for rushing would could have been a masterful installment in MGS.  That being said, I still really enjoyed this game.  Weapons development and customizing was pretty neat.  You’re also given the option of having buddies in most missions.  My favorite is definitely the sniper, Quiet.  The dog, D-D, is arguably the most useful.  The Walker Gear has a lot of upside to it as it can almost act as a second soldier with you.

I’m thinking of trying out the Uncharted series next.  Stay tuned.

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

Nerd Swole Roundtable: Valentines Day

Whether you celebrate Galentine’s, Singles Awareness, or Valentine’s day, February 14th is a time to display some kind of love, so we decided to talk about some things Nerd Swole appreciates about the day, love, and other nerdy things.

Who is your favorite couple across games, movies, TV, anime?

JD and Elliot
Brian: 
I think I’d have to go with Elliot and JD from Scrubs. Something about the way they were written, how at some points I legitimately saw them not being together, and then I couldn’t imagine them not together. They went through so much as friends, colleagues, and lovers that it just felt right when everything finally fell in place for them.

Erin: So many to pick from, but I’m gonna go with Jim and Pam from The Office. The jokes and pranks in that show really enhance their relationship and make it so charming that you root for them the entire time.

Yeksson: I’m going with Bulma and Vegeta.  It’s just not your typical romance.  Out of nowhere, their future child arrives to tell Goku about incoming danger and the fact that his parents are Bulma and Vegeta.  Then there’s the point in the Majin Buu Saga where Vegeta blows himself up, but first admitting to the love he has for his family.

Alex: Tony Stark and Pepper Potts in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From employee to boss and friend to friend to inappropriateness to being in love to being dysfunctional together. Perfectly rational relationship in a world with Norse gods, superheroes, alien invasions, and madness every summer.

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What couple do you wish ended up together, but never did?

Brian: Mal and Inara from Firefly. This type of thing is to be expected from a show that was cancelled too soon. And while there were some exceptionally rude things said between them, they obviously cared very deeply for one another.

Erin: Barney and Nora from How I Met Your Mother. Finale aside, I loved Nora and I think there was so much potential for character growth in Barney while they were together. She really complemented his lifestyle and attitude, and she was a great addition to the overall dynamic of the crew.

Yeksson: Meryl and Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid.  You as a player have to mash a button to survive electrifying torture, twice, just to spare her life.  Sure, they snowmobile off into the sunset together.  However, in MGS4, she ends up marrying her follow comrade Johnny Sasaki.

Alex: James Bond and Vesper Lynd. Casino Royale revamped Bond for a newer generation, taking him to the beginning of earning the “00” license. His arrogance gets him into trouble and Vesper brings him back down to Earth, and Bond’s strength allows him to support Vesper as she comes into a world filled with darkness. Her death truly destroyed James and he became the cold Bond we all know.

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What couple DID end up together that you didn’t want together?

Brian: I’m going to go ahead and pick the low hanging fruit here and say Ted and Robin from How I Met Your Mother. The finale doesn’t bother me as much as it used to, but I’ll just always dislike that ending, because it’s a twist that should be reserved for movies or shorter series, not 9 seasons of buildup.

Erin: I’m gonna take a turn here and go with Bruce Wayne/Batman and Talia al Ghul. Very disruptive relationship for obvious reasons, she stabbed him in the back, pretty much broke his heart, and gave birth to Damian, who is, in his best moments, slightly tolerable.

Yeksson: I’m not too caught up on Arrow but I’m going with Felicity and Oliver.  Mainly because I’ve been on Team Laurel since day one.

Alex: Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in Amazing Spider-Man 2. It just felt like the actor’s had great chemistry and weren’t really playing Peter and Gwen. A rushed relationship that ultimately aimed to play fan service and shock value, instead of develop the characters naturally.

What’s a good movie or episode of TV to watch on Valentine’s day?

Brian: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a movie I love very much, and in my opinion has very appropriate themes for the holiday whether you’re single, dating someone, or married.

Erin: Any episode of New Girl. The show is just ripe with comedic romantic situations and friendships, and makes it such a great watch for people our age. Great to watch with friends, “sig oths”, or even alone chillin. Specifically, “Valentine’s Day” – Season 1, “Thanksgiving IV” – Season 4, and “Cruise” – Season 3.

Yeksson: Friends, the One with the Prom Video.  Yes, it’s about Ross and Rachel and there is an intense feels moment.

Alex: All of the above are great choices, but for me, either Hitch or Crazy, Stupid Love are great romantic comedies that find both sexes at odds and take a lighthearted but honest jab at dating, recovering from heartbreak, and relationships.

What’s the best pickup line?

Brian:

Broken Pencil
You must execute exactly like this.

Erin:

Yeksson:

54580718dhhei_smMost, if not, all of Will Smith’s pick up lines really.

Alex:

ultimate-spider-man-6-2000-bad-pickup-lines

This is all I got.

Let us know your thoughts! Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

Please like us on Facebook! And follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Contact me at twentytwo.le@gmail.com if you’re interested in writing for Nerd Swole.

SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 02/01/2016

The SuperBowl is a week away, Deadpool is two weeks away, award season is coming up fast, and there are many shows kicking off their second halves! There are more than enough great shows, games, books, and movies to experience, but check out the latest picks from the Nerd Swole writers!

Alex: Samurai Champloosamurai_champloo_wallpaper_by_pockets1987

I recently checked out the pilot for One Punch Man and want to get back into watching more anime. One show that I checked in and out of when it was on the air was Samurai Champloo. I always enjoyed seeing it, but it always premiered so late when it was on Adult Swim. Getting into it as a complete show, I’ve been able to follow the brilliant but short series from start to finish. The show stars Mugen, a street-smart swordsman, Jin, a Ronin who left his dojo, and Fuu, a young girl looking for a samurai who “smells of sunflowers.” The two samurai are always at each other’s throat, with genuine confidence and equally vicious disrespect. They are held together by Fuu, who is always bringing them back down to Earth and reminding her of their debt to them (breaking them out of a public execution). The series is an embodiment of the Linkin Park/ rebirth of anime era in the early 2000s, as the hip-hop inspired music that is cut through the show is matched by the crisp animation and stories that rivaled Cowboy Bebop, FullMetal Alchemist, and Rouroni Kenshin. The series has emotionally beautiful stories tied with hilarious perspectives on Edo-Japan; the show hits hard as much as it showboats.

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Brian: Valkyria Chronicles

Valkyria Chronicles

I was playing Valkyria Chronicles quite a while ago, but got caught up in other games that were higher on my priority list as they came out (I finally finished Xenoblade Chronicles X, and Nuclear Throne). Anyway, I don’t think I’ve quite gotten into the meat of the story yet, but the game mechanics are quite unique and fun (combining FPS and Tactics RPG) and just different enough to feel fresh and new, but familiar enough to know that you’re still playing a tactics game and that the same fundamentals (positioning) apply. I’m looking forward to playing through the rest of it and I do think the story will pick up and hook me in, I’m just waiting for the plot twist that at some point blow my mind.

Shayna: Hey! VINA app (if you’re in LA or NYC)

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Sorry guys, this one is just a recommendation for females.

Lately, I’ve been trying to find ways to meet people who have similar interests as me (if you remember recently I recommended Meetup). As a female software engineer, I spent the majority of my time in college with guys and my professional career is pretty much the same — I rarely meet other women. I pretty much only have one girlfriend, and she’s in NYC and I’m in DC. Are you in a similar situation? Hey! VINA can help you out with that!

Hey! VINA is very similar to Tinder — link it to your Facebook profile, enter interests, your age range, where you’d want to meet… and the app will recommend other females who match your profile. If you have a match (they want to meet you too), then you can choose to meet in person. I believe the app also will recommend WHERE to meet, although I haven’t had the chance to try it.

Sadly, it’s currently only available in LA and NYC. I’m praying it comes to DC next.

Fun fact: The app was co-founded by two women in the tech field. Kinda neat.

Yeksson: Pandemic

Pandemic-trio

Board games are all the rage with Nerd Swole.  Recently, we’ve been playing several rounds of Pandemic.  While it’s great to win as a team, the losses are soul crushing.  The group can have a stellar start, but a few bad card draws can send the game downhill quick.  For a dramatic twist, we recommend playing this theme in the background.

It makes you feel like the fate of the world is in your hands.  Rid the world of horrific diseases and save humanity!

The Interstellar Theme works well too.

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 01/25/2016

The East Coast just endured on of its biggest snowstorms of all time, and while that happened, Team NerdSwole got to catch up on a few things. Here’s what we were enjoying while the snow reached over 20 inches!

Alex: The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughn & Marcos Martin
The_Private_Eye_Cover

As a huge fan of Brian K. Vaughn (Saga, Pride of Baghdad, Dr. Strange: The Oath), I couldn’t have been more excited for his latest offering. Originally released as an online comic on Panelsyndicate.com, I picked up the book in hardcover print and couldn’t be happier with my choice. The world of The Private Eye begins as the “cloud bursts,” leaving everyone’s identities and online activity out in the open. As the internet is abandoned, everyone adopts masks and aliases to hide their true nature. In comes our here, The Private Eye, who works to uncovers the secrets of the media driven society and unravel a conspiracy in a world too scared to show its face. A great story for our time, The Private Eye will keep you captivated with each vibrant and powerful page.

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Brian: The Office

The_Office-logo

Finally watching The Office, and I just watched what many consider the stopping point of the show, when Michael Scott leaves. I’ve enjoyed my run with the show quite a bit, but have found my opinion differs with a lot of people. I found myself enjoying seasons 5, 6, and 7 more than the earlier seasons, where popular opinions seems to be that 2, 3, and 4 are the best seasons of the show. Season 8 so far is a bit of a grind with some good moments, but overall feels like the show has lost some heart, obviously I’ll finish the show and hope for the best. Personally I would have preferred a character that had already existed come in to fill the void for Michael. Even though Andy isn’t bad as the manager, I definitely prefer he stayed a salesmen, I don’t think James Spader fits the vibe of the show, and would have preferred someone like Jan (Melora Hardin), David Wallace (Andy Buckley), or even an offbeat guest star like Danny Cordray (Timothy Olyphant) to return and take over for Michael.

Shayna: Avatar: the Last Airbender (Season 1)

Zuko

I just finished season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The thing that struck me the most when I finished it was how much my opinion of Zuko changed throughout the season. At first, the show really makes you loathe Zuko: he’s just the arrogant, hot-tempered boy trying to prove something by catching the Avatar — maybe trying to gain fame for himself. But spread across many episodes, his struggles are revealed. They show why he is actually trying to catch the Avatar, his past with his father, how he was burned, the compassion he actually does have somewhere inside for other individuals. I really love watching his progression and I can’t wait to see what season 2 brings for him. I’m really hoping that somehow, he becomes friends with the Avatar, leaves the fire nation, and helps the Avatar save the world.

Willy: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

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I just started Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing and surprisingly; I am insanely addicted to Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Being the new mayor of a town, that I’ve never even heard of, takes it’s toll. I didn’t realize how busy I would be! I’ve been collecting seashells just so I can put my first down payment on my house. They made me live in a tent! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! A TENT! I’M THE MAYOR and they made me live in a tent. But It’s okay, cherries and seashells carried me through and now I am living comfortable in a house that is the exact same size as the tent…So if anyone wants to visit my village, just hit me up. I could use some donations if that’s even possible or perhaps we can chill for a bit. Fish by the beach and talk about life. Someone should tell me how to stop getting stung by bees, I’ve tried outrunning them several times but it never works and I can never equip my net fast enough after I shake them from the trees. None of my people will even talk to me when I have a busted eye :'(.

Yeksson: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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The MGS V grind continues.  I’ve dived into more Main Mission quests and each one can be rather time consuming if you’re all about the stealth approach.  A couple of missions ask for 100% stealth, therefore being spotted by an enemy once can send you back to the drawing board.  By now, I’ve recruited many skilled soldiers.  This has enabled the unlocking of better weapons and upgrades.

I’m currently on season 3 of New Girl. It has become my guilty pleasure.  The main characters always end up in binding situations and often times, feelings are hurt.

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 01/18/2016

Winter is here. It’s cold outside. The holidays are over and many have made their resolutions for the new year. Check out some of the new things we’re getting into here at Nerd Swole!

Alex: Huck by Mark Millar & Rafael Albuquerque

I’m the type of guy who likes to read comics in full collections, making the wait painful but the reading experience full. However, when I saw the art and heard about Huck, I just had to jump into the first issue. From famed writer Mark Millar, Huck is a beautiful story that acts as a response piece to Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel. In contrast to DC’s darker direction (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Arrow, Man of Steel, etc), Huck is about a man who can do anything (ala Superman) and chooses to do a act of kindness everyday. Huck is not a superhero comic, it’s a comic that inspires people to do good, not just do well. It’s definetely worth it whether you check out the issues or wait until the trade paperback.

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Brian: Pandemic

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I continued my exploration of board games, and decided to play Pandemic. I’d never played a cooperative board game before, and there was a lot of good hype floating around the game, so I decided to give it a go. And I’m super glad I did, the game is a bit difficult to learn and set up if everyone is completely new to the game, but once you go a few rounds, things make a lot more sense and you try your best to cure the world of diseases!

It’s a bunch of fun, with danger of random diseases popping up, while you and your team try your best to keep it in check while collecting the necessary cards to cure the disease. With different roles, and different things you can do to make the game more difficult, it provides quite a bit of replay value which is fantastic. Your victories can be quite epic, but they can also be incredibly soul crushing and seemingly out of nowhere, but that just keeps you coming back for more. I’d highly recommend the game.

Shayna: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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This week, I’ve been reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s a fairly lengthy book about a boy who loses his mother in a terrorist attack while touring a museum – but he also steals one of his mother’s favorite paintings during the attack. The book continues to follow his life after the attack, including how he copes with his mother’s death, living with his friend’s wealthy family, and then moving to Las Vegas when his alcoholic, gambling father reappears into his life and takes custody. All the while, he continues hiding the painting as a secret, not sure what to do with it. I’m only halfway through the nearly 800 page novel, but I love it so far.

I chose this book because a book club I recently joined on Meetup.com selected it for their monthly meeting. Haven’t heard  of Meetup.com? It’s a website where you create an account (you can connect it to Facebook or Twitter), enter your city and search radius, and find groups/”meetups” that interest you. I’ve seen Anime gatherings, “code and coffee” sessions, social/singles groups, sports clubs, book clubs, even a group for parents who want to better understand their child’s interest in Anime. Some meetups are free, some charge a yearly fee (usually $3-$10 in my area). But it’s a great way to meet other people nearby who have similar interests to you, make new friends, or learn a new hobby. It’s useful for anyone but a particularly great resource if you’ve recently moved to a new area, graduated recently and lost a lot of the connections you had, or just feel like you have too much free time on your hands! I highly recommend joining and checking out some activities near you.

Willy: Fullmetal Alchemist

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Hey y’all. I’ve been meaning to watch Full Metal Alchemist for quite some time and I’m glad I am. It’s been on my list for at least five years now and I never got around to it. The Arrow will have to be put on hold as I marathon my first true love. OH man and anyone that hasn’t seen the anime, GATE, I seriously recommend you go check that out. The second season just started but wow, it has gotten so dark so quickly. But the cast is still entertaining and it is one of those must watch animes of the season.

Yeksson: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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I did what I said I would do by continuing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.  I’ve mostly completed missions under “SIDE OPS” because the list is extensive and it always feels great to plow through a list.  I remember why I put the game down in the first place.  It had all started with completing the first half of the game.  A new set of main story line missions were unlocked and I was stuck on a Subsistence version of a previous mission.  The basic premise is to destroy a handful of antennas but Venom Snake (protagonist) must procure all items and weapons on site.  You start the mission naked and cannot call in buddy assists or helicopter support.  It was a lengthy mission because I had grown to rely on third party assists for so long.

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 01/11/2016

Winter is here. It’s cold outside. The holidays are over and many have made their resolutions for the new year. Check out some of the new things we’re getting into here at Nerd Swole!

Alex: Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

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Of all the Legend of Zelda titles I hold near and dear to my heart, Majora’s Mask has to be in my top 5. Changing many Zelda conventions such as time, a focus on side-quests, and having multiple, dramatic transformations, Majora’s Mask remains a true classic that has withstood the test of time. The updated graphics, refined gameplay, and an emotionally charged story for every character, it is the sequel that rivals its predecessor, Ocarina of Time.

Brian: Settler’s of Catan

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In general I’ve been playing a lot of board games/puzzle type things on the side of my gaming/reading gaming news. So of course I’m still playing Xenoblade Chronicles X (I probably could have finished the game by now, but actually enjoy a lot of the side/affinity quests) and Nuclear Throne (because this game is impossible and i’m terrible at aiming on controllers), I also played a lot of Codenames and Blokus.

So right now I’m also looking into Settlers of Catan, which looks like a pretty fun game.

Shayna: Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Last week, I started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. I’m on episode 12 out of 60. At first, it took me a while to get used to the standard definition and dated animation. But the characters, themes, and dialog are so strong that the out-dated feel really isn’t noticeable a couple episodes in.

I know this show is very popular and I’m definitely behind in starting it, so I won’t give a summary. I will say, regardless if you’ve seen this show or not, you should watch or re-watch it! Maybe you saw it when it first came out in 2005 and you were much younger. If so, I’d say you almost definitely missed out on jokes aimed toward an older crowd and smaller themes throughout more mature episodes. I wouldn’t categorize this as a kids show even though it originally aired on Nickelodeon; as an adult watching for the first time, I really don’t think it all would’ve made sense to me as a kid/young teenager (I was 13 when this first aired!). There are a lot of emotionally-mature scenes that stretch multiple episodes and seem to follow long plot arcs that I wouldn’t have followed as a kid.

You can watch for free if you have an Amazon Prime membership. It’s not on Netflix or Hulu.

Fun fact: One of the main characters, Katara, is voiced by Mae Whitman (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Parenthood, The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

Willy: The Flash & Arrow

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Well, it has finally happened. I finished the first season of The Flash and one thing led to another… and here I am watching some Arrow. Seeing Oliver’s team in The Flash, I’m amped up to see how it all began. Mainly, I just want more Felicity in my life. Meanwhile, the plot progression has been moving at an enjoyable pace and I appeciate the efforts the writers went through to cover potential plot holes.

On a side note, I’m making preparations for reviving my weekly watch column. If there’s a show you want featured, email us at OfficialNerdSwole@gmail.com with the subject anime recommendations and perhaps we can become reddit famous. 😉 (that’s my flirty face, please notice me senpai)

Yeksson: Pokemon 20th Anniversary

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I’ve been binge watching a couple of shows on Netflix, mainly Jessica Jones and Baby Daddy.  In addition, I learned about the upcoming promotions for Pokémon’s 20th Anniversary.  ICYMI, here’s a YouTube Video highlighting Pokémon in 2016.

I am most excited for the list of legendary Pokémon to be released in the coming months.  On February 1st, all owners of Pokémon X,Y, Alpha Ruby and Omega Sapphire can receive a promotional Mew!  For a full detailed list, you can check out Serebii.

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 01/04/2016

At Nerd Swole, we share everything we love to enjoy. With so many different avenues of entertainment, it’s hard to get a grip on everything out there. For those of you wanting to jump into something new or wanting to keep up with the writers, you’ll find that everyone here at Nerd Swole has varying tastes. Welcoming in 2016, we’re looking to expand what’s new and what’s familiar.

Alex: Star Wars: Battlefront (PS4)

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I’ve been excited for this game since the Battlefront series debuted, and with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Star Wars hype could not be any higher. Mainly a multiplayer, third person shooter, Battlefront takes you through (roughly) the locales and era of the original trilogy as you embark on insanely expansive skirmishes. From air to ground, the matches place you in the role of an imperial or rebel soldier with different missions (deathmatch, capture the pods, defend a zone, etc). While not entirely original in terms of first-person shooters, Battlefront gets the mechanics, the gameplay, the look, and the feel of Star Wars with every moment the game has to offer.

Brian: Counter Strike: Global Offensive

While I’m obviously still playing Xenoblade and Nuclear Throne, and I’m not sure I’ll ever finish at this point, I’ve also been tracking the movements in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive scene.

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With huge moves like s1mple moving to America from Ukraine to join Team Liquid, NiP signing a very tactical coach like Threat, the iBUYPOWER bans being permanent, the Turner league, Dreamhack upping their prize pool, and other rumors swirling around, the CS:GO scene is really fun to watch grow, develop, and change.

Erin: Akira

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This week it’s taking it back to the 80s. I recently picked up Akira on Blu-ray with my roommates and watched for the first time in years. I almost forgot how groundbreaking this story and animation is. Set in a war torn world, Akira follows a few kids living in a new Tokyo facing a lot of violence and a lot of scientific mystery. There’s a lot to love in this story, and if you’ve never experienced it, go find the comic/manga now or find the movie for the more condensed version (both are pretty hard to find). This tale is one of those where the more you invest in it and soak it in, the more understanding you’ll find in the layers to the story. Even today, Akira stands out and resonates well. I guarantee you’ll find something interesting in its deep story and you’ll also find it to be unlike anything you’ve ever read or seen before.

Shayna: The Flash (Season 2) & Arrow (Season 4)

Instead of a weekly pick, all I have is a weekly disappointment. I’m almost fully caught up in Arrow now – I recently started season 4 and I’m just two episodes behind where they left off on TV. Without spoiling too much, I believe this is my least favorite season so far. Part of that is because I don’t really understand what the writers are doing with one of my favorite characters: Felicity Smoak.

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As season 3 left off, Felicity signed off on being the CEO of Palmer Tech and in season 4, she is. I have no problem with that in itself, but I do think they’ve made Felicity look really weak this season. The once very independent, fully capable, most knowledgeable tech person on the show now can’t figure out strange messages/code showing up on her phone? Can’t track an item left behind by a meta human? Can’t extract a second layer of sound from a sound byte? Now she gets a significant amount of assistance from a new character, Curtis, who works at Palmer Tech. I wish the writers made it clear Felicity was too busy to work on these things between being CEO and working with Team Arrow, but they don’t. So far, it’s just seemed that she can’t figure things out and the younger employee does all the hard work that Felicity can’t think up solutions for. This really isn’t where I saw her character going and it’s disappointing. The rest of the show is mediocre so far as well.

So my weekly suggestion instead… stick with The Flash: Season 2. I enjoyed this much more when I binged it last week!

Yeksson: Baby Daddy

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Yeksson can be found still watching Jane the Virgin and Baby Daddy. Both comedies center around family dynamics.  Additionally, Yeksson has committed to finishing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.  He last played in November, having finished the main storyline, centering around Skullface. No doubt he will be asking Alex to borrow Battlefront in the coming weeks.

Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates! 

SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 12/28

At Nerd Swole, we share everything we love to enjoy. With so many different avenues of entertainment, it’s hard to get a grip on everything out there. For those of you wanting to jump into something new or wanting to keep up with the writers, you’ll find that everyone here at Nerd Swole has varying tastes. As we approach 2016, we’re always looking for something new and great to follow!

Alex: We Can Never Go Home

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This is one book that completely caught me off guard. A take on superpowers in the late 80s, this book follows two teens with powers who learn that the consequences of their actions have immediate and long-term outcomes.

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Things happen that are dark and disturbing and our two kids have to deal with these problems while trying to get a grasp on what exactly is happening to them. Half coming of age story and half action thriller, We Can Never Go Home was one of the books I couldn’t wait to come in a collected book. The creators, Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon, Josh Hood, and Michael Walsh are just as important as the story, as their personal contributions like soundtracks, variant covers, scripts, and more are included. For the art, for the story, and for a little late 80s nostalgia, this book happily took me off guard.

Brian: Blokus

While I continue my deep plunge into Xenoblade Chronicles X, I’d have to admit that I was also enjoying a couple of board games. Codenames and Blokus are both fun and very different games, but both will tell you a lot about the people you play with.

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Codenames is more about working with your team and seeing how well you know them. It’s incredibly fun to see how your friends/family minds work.

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Blokus is more of a game where you scumbag everyone else while trying to get as many of your pieces down. Both of these games are fun for casuals and more hardcore players.

Erin: Secret Wars

Even though my mind is still focused on lightsaber and millennium Falcons and droids, I’m getting hyped up for Marvel’s Secret Wars now too. I just caught up with the new Secret Wars series and I’m also re-reading the original Secret Wars from the 80s with the new paperback. Lots of twists and turns and Marvel characters, so for me it’s been a great way to keep up with the Marvel universe while we wait for the next movies.

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Willy: Codenames

Hey guys, I started watching episodes of the Flash and man do I have to say that I was not disappointed. One thing leading to another has convinced me that I might have to start watching Arrow too. Now that I think about it, I haven’t done much for entertainment this past week with the holidays and everything. I played Codenames, a pretty intense board game, with some of the people on Nerd Swole and I would highly recommend anyone interested in board games to check it out. Codenames can be pretty addicting as we ended up playing it for 6 hours straight and slowly learning the depths of one’s mind. It seems hilarity ensues when you think you know how your friends think, only to watch them ride the struggle bus.

Yeksson: Jane The Virgin

Hey there, hope everyone had a great holiday season.  I spent mine enjoying a good haul of Star Wars merchandise.  Two of my favorites include a Kylo Ren lightsaber and a Darth Vader face pancake maker.  As previously mentioned by other writers, I took part in the Codenames board game experience. Let me tell you, this game compels you to think in a certain way, hoping your teammates are on the save wavelength.  For the coming days, I look to continue watching the CW series, Jane the Virgin.  I recently caught the pilot episode with my lady and we were instantly hooked by the drama and humor.

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Be sure to check back every Wednesday for new things to read, watch, play, and enjoy!

Any of your favorites show up on this list? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest what your favorites are!

Interested in writing for Nerd Swole? Contact Brian at twentytwo.le@gmail.com for more information!

Please check out our Amazon Store, full of items that we recommend as Amazon Associates!