SWOLE PATROL’S WEEKLY PICKS – WEEK OF 02/29/2016

Spring has come early, Leo finally has an oscar, and all is good in the world. Why not checking out the things we love that brighten up our days?

Alex: Green Lantern Corps by Patrick Gleason & Dave Gibbons

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As I catch up on my way behind reading, I tend to find series that I want to jump into. Unfortunately, for the completionist I am, I like to start at the beginning of a story arc. When I first read the great Sinestro Corps War arc, I thought it was fantastic after starting with Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern revival. However, I saw the series was mixed with Green Lantern Corps. I’ve finally gotten the opportunity to catch up on it and I’m liking the build up of the corps while Hal Jordan takes care of discovering the other lanterns. There’s definitely more camaraderie and military based team-building that goes on, as aliens of different cultures, warring factions, and royalty are all mixed into one police force designed for the good of the universe. Kyle Rayner’s growth is great to see, but seeing how fantastic Lanterns like Kilowog, Katma Tui, and even Guy Gardner.

Brian: Helldivers

Helldivers

Local and online co-op, third person shooter, team attack on, opportunity to build for your own style, good times.

Shayna: My Grandma Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry

My Grandmother Asked Me

Last week, I was stuck working in DC and spent my downtime/metro time reading My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (a mouthful of a title) by Fredrik Backman. It’s a strange book in that it’s fictional but ties in so many fantasy/fairy tale elements that it’s really hard to categorize it into one genre.

Elsa, a seven-year-old, very intelligent, grammatically-correct child is best friends with her grandmother. In fact, her grandmother is her only friend. Elsa isn’t very popular with her peers. She’s not seen as normal. So, she and her grandmother created Miamas — a kingdom they travel to in their fantasies. In the Land-of-Almost-Awake as they call it, they build on their stories, travel through the kingdoms, and Elsa’s grandmother tells her fairy tales from all over Miamas. They even have a secret language so no one can understand them.

Elsa is shattered when she finds out her grandmother has cancer. When she passes away, Elsa is frustrated to find that Miamas wasn’t just something between her and her grandmother. Miamas is much more than a fantasy — it was directly tied to Elsa’s whole world and reality. Her grandmother has left her a scavenger hunt, leading her to find letters and deliver them to people from her grandmother’s life… people who correspond directly to someone from Miamas. It’s Elsa’s job to unravel her grandmother’s secrets and the darkness in her life.

I enjoyed this book because it ended up being brutally inspirational — it dived into issues such as self-acceptance and why it’s okay to not be normal. It was a light read, but thoroughly entertaining. It had its funny moments, but also some somber and dark moments. Definitely check it out if you’re interested in the fiction/fantasy genres

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!

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Opinion: I’m Anti-Trailer

What’s trending, what’s on social media, what gets views, it seems to be everything nowadays. 6 second snippet, 30 second commercial, 2 minute trailer, international trailer, 2nd trailer, final trailer. More content is better, right? No, not in this case, especially because there is no extra content. You get the same movie as everyone else when it releases. The term of teaser is correct, as it leaves you wanting more.

But there’s just too much. I know way too much about Batman V Superman. About Daredevil. About Captain America: Civil War. I just want to go into the movie with one trailer, a small snippet, and call it quits. Why?

There are too many reveals that should be saved for the movie. All of the surprises. All of the jokes. All of the actors surprise roles. All lost.

Take a look at this trailer for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. This movie had one of the biggest surprises in all of cinema, plenty of twists, death, surprises, none of which were revealed in this trailer and yet it still remained an amazing film filled with surprises.

INCOMING SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Vader is Anakin. Yoda. The Whole Battle of Hoth. The breakdown of Vader’s staff. The Luke-Han-Leia triangle. None of it is lost, but the trailer just reminds you of what’s great about Star Wars without revealing some key moments.

Lately, the trailers are what people can’t get enough of, but at the end of the day, I only need a taste to know I like something, not a whole platter. Let us know what you think in the comments below or via our Facebook and Twitter pages!

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Valentine’s Day Comic Reads

Looking for a good way to get in the mood for the romantic weekend? We’ve got some romantic reads to get you in the mood! A bit unconventional but ultimately very emotional, these stories give you new perspectives on all different types of love.

Seconds

We normally point to Scott Pilgrim VS The World for comic book teen romance, but Bryan Lee O’Malley hit the nail on the head with Seconds. Following the rise and slump of Katie and her booming restaurant, we’re treated to Katie’s comical indecisiveness, brash attempts at affection, and her waging war with confidence. The romance is spliced here and there, but the love story is between Katie and herself, as she comes to terms with her professional and personal decisions. Definitely full of the feel-goods, Seconds is for the single out there always second-guessing themselves.
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Saga

One of the best from Image Comics, Saga follows Marko, Alana, and their newly born child as they try to find refuse from countless armies and mercenaries. Marko and Alana are from different planets and their offspring is the abomination to these warring factions; these ex-soldiers do anything to protect their child and their devotion is beautiful. Luckily, there’s more than one romance in this expansive, galaxy-wide epic; from the mercenary The Walk and his companion, Gwendolyn, to Prince VI and his queen, or reports Upsher and Doff.Saga-2

Thanos: Rising

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Bear with me on this one. Everyone a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting ready for Captain America: Civil War, ultimately leading up to Avengers: Infinity War (Part 1 & 2). The man behind all of the infinity stones is Thanos, wielder of the infinity gauntlet. One of the more unexplored regions of his mythos is his origin, which Thanos: Rising does an excellent job at expanding Thanos’ major motivations. In The Avengers, when The Other said to Thanos “that to challenge humans was to court death,” Thanos smiled. Thanos’ motivation is his infatuation with Death a figure who only he sees. To gain her love, he must kill to appease her. One of the darkest love stories Marvel has ever turned out, Thanos falling deeply for Death herself is both beautiful and tragic.

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Catwoman: When in Rome

Batman chases Catwoman. Catwoman loves the chase. They cannot be together but always find each other at the end of the struggle. Does love prevail over crime or justice? That always seems to be the struggle between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. In When in Rome, Selina goes off to Italy to explore a lead on some unfinished business while Batman attends to Gotham (as mentioned in Batman: Dark Victory).  During the trip, Selina’s struggles with Bruce come flashing in hot-and-heavy scenes with Batman. She’s struggling with maintaining who she is in relation to Batman, who she is trying to become because of him, and how their romance is forbidden, troubling, and necessary in their lives. The 2003 follow-up, Batman: Hush, is a fantastic turn of events for this romance, but it’s refreshing to see Selina’s point of view for an extended amount of time.

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Spider-Man: Blue

Another Jeph Loeb/ Time Sale team up, Spider-Man: Blue captures the misadventures in Peter Parker’s love life in a 6-issue story. This story takes place on Valentine’s Day, when Peter Parker swings by the bridge where he lost Gwen Stacy so many years ago. As Peter recounts his lost love, he reminisces about the past of how he fell in love with Gwen and how Mary Jane Watson coming into the picture turned him on his head. In his college days and through his trials as Spider-Man, Peter has a lot of fun in love, while romanticizing the greatest love triangle this side of comics. Both joy and sorrow as Peter looks back on one of the fondest times in his life and brings a bright side to all of his losses.

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What are the romantic stories that you’re reading this holiday? Let us know what you think in the comments below or via our Facebook and Twitter pages!

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void – It is Everything You Hoped For

Here at NerdSwole, we’ve always looking for new talent, feature all areas of nerd culture as we can, and let our fans contribute. As such, head writer Brian put out a call to a couple of places to see if we could get some people to write for us. Be it continuously or one shots; we’re absolutely happy to present this feature about Starcraft II, written by Saul Rivera. Enjoy!

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR STARCRAFT II AHEAD. PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

One of my absolute favorite real time strategy games has fully released its second installment, as StarCraft II: Legacy Of The Void has launched. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the series, the world follows three warring faction in their endless struggle to maintain their species and thrive as a civilization. They are the human-like Terran, the insect savages called the Zerg, and the alien mystics known as the Protoss. Now I will say that I have been a StarCraft fan, being my favorite game when I had a PC back in 2000. When I started playing StarCraft II a year ago, it was a great welcome back to the universe I fell in love with. Legacy of the Void, the last Chapter/Expansion left for SC2, came out earlier this month and I must say, the wait has been worth the 15 years.

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Campaign

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Well, this campaign is what I have been waiting for 15 years. The Campaign is based on the Protoss retaking their homeworld, lost in the first StarCraft back in 1998. In the story, only 4 years or so have passed since the end of Brood Wars (the expansion of the first game). You command the honorable Protoss leaders as they struggle to unite the broken tribes and take back Auir as well as stop the Fallen Xelnaga. You even get a surprise return of a fallen brother. The Campaign comes with a 3 Mission Prologue based on Zeratul, 19 Protoss Missions with Artanis, and 3 Epilogue Missions where all the heroes of the Korpulu Sector gather for their most epic stand against the dark one. You can customize different campaign exclusive units, deciding which branch you choose once you help out a tribe. As awesome as the Auir Zealots with their battle Axes and the Dark Zealots are with their Stun blades, the Purifier Zealots were handy as hell.

All being said, I can’t believe how good that ending was. Heck, even as the story started, the feels were right there from the second mission, establishing the tone throughout the game and laying the weight of the struggle on your shoulders. Finishing off in the Epilogue, I know I wasn’t the only one left with teary eyes. Bravo Blizzard.tumblr_nev01iVU3Q1sj17hyo10_500

Multiplayer Changes

Starcraft veterans will find plenty of new advancements as the latest expansion has plenty to offer for each of the three races. The first and major thing to notice that has been changed was the upgrade to the Starting Base Buildings (Command Center, Hatchery, and Nexus), which provide more supplies and also to start off with twelve workers instead of six. This promotes faster game play start and encourages faster expansions and aggression. Other units got changed/edits somewhat; Terran Battle Cruisers got a warp ability, allowing them to teleport anywhere on the map, even without vision.

qrjvuak6wiedd9aq78jr Siege Tanks can now be picked up by Medivacs in Siege mode, allowing tanks to go around, just waiting to be dropped near enemy units and begin their hilariously powerful shelling. Terran Reapers now get grenades that can attack a small area for damage, causing knock back that can stun for a short period. Protoss Warp Prisms get a longer area to reach and load units on the ground, great for micro harassment. Terran Carriers get a command that sends out their Terran Interceptors to an area and attack any enemy there. The Protoss’ Photon Overcharge ability from mothership Cores have been removed from Nexus to be casted onto Pylons. Zerg Overlords can now upgrade individually to also carry units, Nydus Worms are now invulnerable when spawning at their designation, and Corrupters get a new ability called Caustic Spray, which literally looks like vomit, that does increasing damage over time. These are just some of the bigger changes to note, as the game is full of surprises. I think that Terran and Protoss got the better of the changes, as Zerg don’t need that many changes to rip faces off. In general, change to the dynamics are designed with a joy to play with, without hindering what has been taught through the campaign.

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New Units

Each race gets two new units each, so we’ll break them down starting with the Zerg.

Lurkers, shouldn’t need much introduction, are back from Brood War! Morphed from Hydralisks, these nasty little buggers borrow into the ground, leaving them hidden and waiting for an enemy to approach. When that unfortunate enemy unit gets in range, the Lurker shoots out spines from under the ground in a line of damage.

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Ravagers, morphed from Roaches; they are an artillery unit that can launch Corrosive Bile into the air and rain down acid onto the field in a singular area. One shot can melt a Marine. Melt. The damage can also damage flying units in the area it attacks. These are mean evil big bugs; they can also bust down a Protoss Forcefield created by a Sentry. Damn these things, I’m not a fan of the ruthless Zerg.

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Adepts are a new range attack unit for Protoss; they inflict bonus damage to light units such as Marines and Zerglings. Adepts are also handy for early scouting missions; using their ability to clone itself, they split off to the opposite direction, offering countless opportunities to harass opposing armies. Tricky lil gals.

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Disruptors are a new protoss unit built from the Robotics Lab with a Robotics Bay add-on. It can shoot out a energy ball, dealing massive damage when its timed detonation occurs.Their energy balls are great for catching units retreating or used for zoning, with great micro required. Enemy units have to split up or retreat when they see the energy nova heading their way. The attack location is selected by the user, unlike many commands that select specific units to attack.

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Cyclones are a new Factory unit for the Terrans. A fast, mechanical unit, the Cyclone can keep a lock on enemy units and keep on firing, doing continuous damage. I’ve been somewhat confused to where it could fit in my Terran army, but I have seen it been a good mobile defense against harassment by some pro players in a tournament already.  It can attack both air and ground, with the range of its attacks and damage vs armor units upgradeable.

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Not too shabby.

Lastly, my favorite new unit, the Liberator is an anti-air gunship from the Starport. When this unit was announced, I begged to get into the Beta because of how game-changing it was. Using anti-air missiles to cause splash damage, the unit comes with an ability that can cover a radius area on the ground and blast enemy units once they enter. Liberators are good for worker-line harassment and zoning off enemies in-front of a mobile army. The transformation takes about as much time as a Siege Mode change, so it can be vulnerable. I would recommend getting the range increase for it, almost doubling the range it can dispense lasers to your opponent, or as I would say, letting Freedom reign!

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Co-Op, formerly called Allied Commanders

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This feature may be my favorite thing from the game. Co-Op allows you to pair up with a friend or random player, completing Campaign style missions together. Such missions are:

  •  Don’t let the Shuttles Escape
  • Stop the Trains from Escaping
  • Kill the Void Thrashers before they destroy a base
  • hold out against waves of enemies attacking your base”.

You get to choose a commander from the Campaign, such as Raynor, Kerrigan, Artanis, Swann, Zagara, and Vorazun. Zerg commanders also get to command their respective hero units on the field, while Protoss command from their Spaceship, the Spear of Adun, and get to use their abilities like warping in Pylons and creating Black Holes that stop enemy forces caught up in them. Terran commanders get to stay in their Command Centers but Raynor can call down airstrikes with Banshees and the Hyperion, his Battlecruiser flagship. Swan gets a giant laser drill with special damage abilities and uses a mechanized army. All units can be upgraded, with many familiar units returning from Campaign with fun abilities. Zealots that can stun and wield Battle Axes, twirling around to inflict area damage. Protoss Dark Templars slice and dice while teleporting, Archons that can cast Psionic Storms, and Corsairs that can cast Disruption Webs that causes enemy ground units in the field unable to attack. Terran Firebats make a nice comeback with upgraded flamethrowers and armor. All of these upgrades even out the difficulty level that can be increased for an even harder challenge, resulting in plenty of experience. While missions are about 30 minutes long, Co-Op offers countless hours of fun to be had with a friend or even random folks. I can’t wait to play this with some other friends.

Well that’s my take on StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void. Hope you can get a chance to play!

Are you glad to see StarCraft back in full or are you left wanting more? Leave your comments down below and let us know on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Pinterest what your favorite scenes were!

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3 THINGS THAT BOTHER ME ABOUT THE WALKING DEAD TV SERIES

The insane hype, zombie hordes, and horrific character deaths are just a few of the things that people can’t stop talking about when discussing AMC’s The Walking Dead. This week’s casting announcement for Negan makes me think about the way the show has transformed and while there’s plenty to love, there’s just a few things that don’t quite sit right.

So, everyone is a marksman?

Aside from a training exercise done by Shane in Season 2 and Tyrese’s clear lack of training during his time in Woodbury, everyone seems to pick up shooting pretty easily. For characters like Rick and Shane, they practiced everyday in their pre-zombie lives and can shoot confidently without a moment’s hesitation.

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For characters like Glenn and Andrea, they picked up good shooting practices through their mistakes, fears, and reservations.

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But when a horde or army comes through, everyone seems to be hitting headshots.

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I’m just saying, it seems like everyone who picks up a gun is ready to one hit kill not only zombies, but humans as well.

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The Rick Show starring Rick Grimes featuring Special Guests and Zombies.

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I touched on this before but as the show progresses, Rick’s importance seems to become more and more vital. Answer me this, Walking Dead fans. Is there a show if Rick dies?

This question counters something that Robert Kirkman has expressed numerous times, including in this Rolling Stones interview.

RS: When you began The Walking Dead comic, how much of the story did you have mapped out in your head?
Kirkman: At that point, a lot of my books had failed, so I wasn’t really in a position where I could say, “This comic is the zombie movie that never ends, and it’ll go for years and years and years.” But I had years of story lines planned when the first issue came out. I knew they were going to get to the prison. I knew they were going to have that area where they were going to be safe and they were going to start building a little civilization.

Although he couldn’t name specifics, I feel that the focus of the show (and the comic) has expanded to a group and civilization, but keeps Rick Grimes in the center. When I came across the show and comic, I felt that everyone was fair game for deaths and hardships. However, maybe some people are only meant to suffer and be invincible. I mean, look at the close ups and awesome scenes he gets; clearly, Andrew Lincoln is running the show.1379128657_tumblr_mqbfklSp0Q1rcd86lo1_500

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While I’m not complaining at the actor’s performance or Rick’s character, the series loses some merits when some people can stick around and others can come and go so easily.

Zombies invade only America

This may simply be a personal gripe, but having 5 seasons pass before the series looks to explore areas outside of the main group is a bit of an oversight. Fear The Walking Dead allowed for audiences to look into what is happening in Los Angeles, California, but I think having The Walking Dead progress slowly with the same group is also cause for the show to cling onto characters. Seeing how other civilizations have dealt with the apocalypse is more interesting than exploring the east coast and finding the same neighborhoods turn into war-zones.

All in all, I’m enjoying The Walking Dead’s fresh take on the zombie genre and am excited at the prospect of a series with possibly no end in sight and unpredictability at every turn.

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New Film Genres hidden in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

A few months back, I picked at the inner workings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s formula, but as I have re-watched a few of the films, the seeds of change may have already been planted. Here’s some ideas that have been hinted at that can go a long way to create an entirely new Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Shakespeare in the Park

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While Tony kids Thor in an early scene of The Avengers, I think the relationships built up in the first Thor came from a very theatrical heart, thanks to director Sir Kenneth Branagh. The tense dialogue between Loki, Thor, and All-Father Odin were fantastically executed and gave audiences a much-needed introduction to the world of Asgard. While I hope Thor: Ragnarok touches more upon the havoc in Asgard, the movie may benefit from taking itself a bit more seriously instead of cutting to the normal humans such as Darcy and Dr. Selvig for humor.

To add to this, anybody ever read the Star Wars by Shakespeare books? Writer Ian Doescher takes lighthearted moments, underused characters, and scenes needing more dialogue and dashes a touch of drama and depth that feels like it’s been missing all this time. It works, people, and it works well.

Horror and Fear in our Heroes

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In Avengers: Age of Ultron, some of the most dramatic moments that drive a fist right into your gut are the scenes in which Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, and Captain America are all being shown their worst nightmares by Scarlet Witch’s reality bending magic. Thor’s Ragnarok, Natasha’s training, Steve’s loss of his friends and his era, and Tony’s guilt are all portrayed in a traumatizing and striking scenes. For just a moment, these heroes are vulnerable like the rest of us and horror is an excellent genre to do excellent character studies. Horror is a genre that takes the familiar and the comfortable and warps it to add to our neuroses. I would love for a future film to stick with the genre, or at least see Scarlet Witch take her powers to unethical and horrifying new levels.

It’s Sidekick Time!

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Anyone who has checked out the Marvel One-Shots such as The Consultant and All Hail the King can see that there are so many different things happening in this world with an endless supply of characters. That said, I’d love to see the sidekicks and supporting characters in story all their own. The upcoming Captain America: Civil War may just be a grouping of many of these characters, but these characters could support smaller arcs.

How did Rocket and Groot meet? How did Pepper Potts start work with Stark Industries to become the CEO? Can War Machine and Falcon escape the shadows of their leaders? What about Nick Fury and the Howling Commandos, or Bruce Banner’s cousin, Jennifer Walters?

There’s so much to explore and while all these may not be suitable for a standalone film, a collection of short films could explore all these arcs would be wonderful. More like Batman: Gotham Knight and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, these stories could connect an overall larger story that give great development to lesser-known characters. With those in mind, it would also give the universe an opportunity to explore other genres, or even try it’s hand at animation the way the CW is currently experimenting with Vixen.

The next Marvel movie is still months away, but it’s incredibly hard to speculate when the possibilities are endless! Let us know your theories; share your comments below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to submit to our NerdSwole Mailbag, where you can ask questions anonymously and we’ll answer them in a video or upcoming Slice of Life article!

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Video Game Retrospective – Super Smash Bros

Every fighting game has humble beginnings, but Super Smash Bros came out of the gates like no other fighter. Super Smash Bros was a product of a rich Nintendo library and the unique opportunity to do something completely original. But what could make this combination of side-scrolling, fighting, party game make such an impact that it is now one of the Nintendo’s staple franchises?

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Breaking Fighting Constraints

King of Fighters XIII
King of Fighters XIII
Tekken 6
Tekken 6
Sould Calibur V
Sould Calibur V
Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat
Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II

The few things these games all have in common are a life meter, a short clock, rounds, and two characters. Super Smash Bros broke many of these rules to create an all new experience.

1 vs 1 in Super Smash Bros
1 vs 1 in Super Smash Bros

If you’re not noticing the percentages at the bottom, the little heads, or even the clock to the right, you may notice the platform and the ledges that appear once you’ve left the main stage. The percentages increase as players fight each other; the higher the percent, the further a character flies when hit. The object is to knock an opponent off the stage with an attack. The little heads represent lives, not unlike traditional Nintendo platformers, and once one player is out of lives, the other wins. The game invite you to explore, without directly facing you towards your opponent. Another major deviation from tradition fighting games is the option to have up to 4 players in a free-for-all match, along with the team mode, where you can have two teams of two, three against one, or two versus one versus one. The inclusion of items and stage hazards shakes up the variety of each match and adds plenty of strategy.

Celebration of Gaming

Each addition to this game does not only evoke feelings of nostalgia for Nintendo titles past, but also pushes on classic video game conventions and leads players to do beyond what is asked. Playing through the game, you can enter the single player campaign, that plays like most fighters where you enter a challenge to defeat every other character in the game. However, there are slight deviations when you are entered into team battles, where opponents are giants or metallic, or even when you come across an army of 20-30 opponents. There are also challenges the players can tackle, such as an obstacle course that requires you to break the targets, or navigating stage traps to land on every platform. There’s plenty to do that stray away from the normal arcade, versus, and training mode options found in standard fighting games. Lastly, there are unlockable characters and stages that push you to complete the single player game with every character, on the hardest modes. The general shift from the norm invites players who may not have grown up with fighting games to come try their hand at a game that can be taken seriously or just be played for fun.

Multiplayer Mayhem

Ultimately, the real fun begins once you have people to play with. The free-for-all battles let you explore what characters can really do. Fox, from the StarFox games that pit him in a plane or a tank, moves fast and uses futuristic guns, speed, and shields to mess with his opponents. Ness is a telekinetic child who can use his powers to fight from a distance. Donkey Kong’s behemoth stature promotes getting up close and personal to lay the smack down on anyone in his way. There’s enough variety among the whole cast, and that’s not including the long list of items and stages that bring to life more of Nintendo’s famous locales like the Mushroom Kingdom, Brinstar, and Saffron City. Because it is great to see all these franchises in one game, it is equally as great to seem them knock the living snot out of each other.

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Start off simple…
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…use a special attack…
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…and then lay down some Falcon Punch!

Lastly, for those who think the game is just for fun, the game is also being played competitively, with tournaments out there that are just as competitive as modern. While not as popular as the 2001 sequel, Super Smash Bros Melee, the Nintendo 64 fighter stills brings people together. Check out this sample of combos from famous pro-player Isai, and see what happens when you explore and push the game to the limit.

The game is now available through the eShop if you are not lucky enough to have a working Nintendo64. If you’ve can’t get enough on Super Smash bros, fill us in on your greatest matches in the comments below, or via our Facebook and Twitter pages!

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

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2015 New York Comic Con Sneak Peak Video

We love everything nerdy and nothing is nerdier than a large convention, like the one going on in New York this weekend! We got a sneak-peek behind the scenes for everyone on the swole patrol to enjoy! With great creators, demos, swag, and promotional exhibits for upcoming games, movies, shows, comics, and more, New York has grown to become one of the countries greatest conventions. Take a look in the video below:

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ICYMI – Chicago Cubs – Team of Destiny

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What prophecy is  Neil deGrasse Tyson referring to?  The film Back to the Future Part II finds the main character Marty, in the year 2015.  The Chicago Cubs are the 2015 World Series champions, having defeated a team from Miami, Florida.  In real life, a World Series between the Cubs and Miami would be impossible since both teams play in the National League.  Yet, this film came out in 1989 and Miami did not have a baseball team at the time so props to the screenwriter for predicting a franchise in Miami by 2015. The screenwriter, Bob Gale, wrote the Cubs winning it all in 2015 as a joke.

On October 7th, the Cubs won their Wild Card game over the Pittsburgh Pirates, setting up a best of 5 series against the St. Louis Cardinals.  For geeks everywhere, the young Cubs squad must emerge victorious in the next three rounds to fulfill their destiny. Remember the hoverboard?  Well, we believe Gale wasn’t too far off.  You’ve probably seen these devices rise in popularity.

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Nerd Swole would find it amazing for the Cubs to win it all. That would mean Back to the Future  was right, Obama (a White Sox fan) would have to welcome the Cubs to the White House and the Billy Goat “Curse”/Steve Bartman incident would be things of the past.  Best of luck to the Lovable Losers this postseason!

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2015: The Return of Sci-Fi

The age of Superheroes seems to be dominant with DC and Marvel’s efforts to push their characters in the limelight, but that does not mean genres such as sci-fi are lost. In fact, the resurgence of science fiction seems to be stronger than ever, as focus is being shifted from our humanly existences to the future, technology, and the stars.

Movies

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Ex Machina

Let’s start with the bad: Jupiter Ascending was not a great way to start out the year. While the movie established a great world with impressive visuals, an overall sub-par narrative took away from a possibly great experience and characters. Same thing goes for Disney’s Tomorrowland, a movie that had an original story based of the Disney Amusement Park. The MartianEx Machina, Chappie, and Fantastic 4 are but a few of the movies making sci-fi more prevalent in entertainment. Even Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron tackled themes such as cybernetics and the role of man in creation with Tony Stark’s creation of Ultron and Vision. Lastly, it’s hard to ignore the impact of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, as it will hit theaters and introduce many young fans to a world sci-fi fans have adored.

Comics

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Descender #1

Chrononauts. Descender. Southern Cross. Invisible Republic. Injection. Bitch PlanetDivinity. Roche Limit. Cyborg. Star Wars. This is just a small sample of the books that are booming right now. Alongside these new titles, ongoing books such as East of West, Manhattan Projects, Saga, Lazarus, Black Science, D4VE, Alien, and FBP have kept up the strength, quality, writing, and originality that has brought sci-fi to center stage.

Gaming

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Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void

It’s hard not to highlight the return of Star Wars, with Star Wars: Battlefront being one of the most anticipated titles of the season. Similarly, titles like Axiom Verge, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians compete with many of this year’s big titles for game of the year. Many ongoing sci-fi titles have released expansions to great acclaim, including Destiny, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Starcraft II. Lastly, there are plenty of upcoming ventures in sci-fi that have been highlighted during gaming conferences this year, including the ambitious No Man’s Land!

It’s refreshing to jump into new genres. While zombies and superheroes are great, it’s fun to venture away from current day and jump into a setting so far and away.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Here is our NerdSwole Mailbag, where you can ask questions anonymously and we’ll answer them in a video!

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

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