Ryan Couture

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 04: Ryan and the Mole-man

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 04: Ryan and the Mole-man
Welcome to Earth-2

 
 
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Episode 4 of Ryan’s extended stay in the multiverse, and he and his co-hosts have a surprise lunch with a Mole-man running for political office.  They take a deep dive into race relations between mole-people and surface dwellers, and learn what hashtags are on Earth-2.  #NotAllMolemen

Will Ryan put his foot in his mouth?  Will the Mole-man spread fake news?  What are the important political platforms for this strange world?

Listen in, and perhaps those questions will be answered.

Somehow, in a major plot hole that will likely never be explained, Ryan can still receive email on Earth-2, so send him one at Earth2@heroespodcasts.com!  He might even read it in the next episode.  Don’t like Ryan?  We don’t blame you!  Simply address it to another person on the show and we will make sure it gets to them.

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Welcome to Earth-2! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and our RSS Feed are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Show Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Starring
Jeremy Monken
Paco Gonzalez
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

iTunes Subscription Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/welcome-to-earth-2/id1331800755

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/welcometoearth2

Google Play Subscription Link
https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Ir2vu2vmhktmq42trbih7tmhniy

RSS Feed Link
http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/welcometoearth2

Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 04: Ryan and the Mole-man

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 03: Ryan and the Fanboy

Episode 3 of Ryan’s vacation to an alternate reality, and he is trying to make friends.  Not only that, but he interviews the very first fan of the show, who happens to be a wanna-be superhero with a mechanical exosuit.  You may be thinking to yourself “Wait, this show has a fan?”, and that is a totally fair thought.  However, YOU ARE HERE TOO, READING THIS ARTICLE.  I hate to break it to you, but you may be a fan too. Either way, this week, I got to meet someone who calls himself The Construct.

Will he finally get out of jail?  Did he survive his appointment with Dr. Stonefist?  Isn’t The Construct just a Green Lantern rip-off with a mech-suit?

Listen in, and perhaps those questions will be answered.

Somehow, in a major plot hole that will likely never be explained, Ryan can still receive email on Earth-2, so send him one at Earth2@heroespodcasts.com!  He might even read it in the next episode.  Don’t like Ryan?  We don’t blame you!  Simply address it to another person on the show and we will make sure it gets to them.

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Welcome to Earth-2! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and our RSS Feed are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Show Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Starring
Derreck Mayer
Paco Gonzalez
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

iTunes Subscription Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/welcome-to-earth-2/id1331800755

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/welcometoearth2

Google Play Subscription Link
https://playmusic.app.goo.gl/?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&apn=com.google.android.music&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Ir2vu2vmhktmq42trbih7tmhniy?t%3DWelcome_to_Earth-2%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16

RSS Feed Link
http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/welcometoearth2

Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 03: Ryan and the Fanboy

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 02: Ryan and the Redtape

Episode 2 of Ryan’s unsupervised trip to a different Earth, in which he tries to prove the multiverse theory is, in fact, fact.  He does this by, stick with me here, recording a podcast and interviewing a lady from HR.  He is lucky that he is handsome, or we wouldn’t put up with his shit anymore.

Will he find out why he is in jail?  Who the heck is Dr. Stonefist?  Will Toby ever win Michael Scott’s affection? Did he fill out the correct HR forms?

Listen in, and perhaps those questions will be answered.

Somehow, in a major plot hole that will likely never be explained, Ryan can still receive email on Earth-2, so send him one at Earth2@heroespodcasts.com!  He might even read it in the next episode.  Don’t like Ryan?  We don’t blame you!  Simply address it to another person on the show and we will make sure it gets to them.

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Welcome to Earth-2! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and our RSS Feed are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Show Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Starring
Amber Lee Bartlett
Paco Gonzalez
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

iTunes Subscription Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/welcome-to-earth-2/id1331800755

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/welcometoearth2

Google Play Subscription Link
https://playmusic.app.goo.gl/?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&apn=com.google.android.music&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Ir2vu2vmhktmq42trbih7tmhniy?t%3DWelcome_to_Earth-2%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16

RSS Feed Link
http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/welcometoearth2

Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 02: Ryan and the Redtape

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 01: Ryan and the Multiverse

Holy rip in space-time, Batman!  Ryan has fallen into another dimension while mindlessly looking at his cell phone and not paying attention to where he was going.  Now he finds himself trapped in a world where superheroes are real and he gets the chance to interview a couple of them.

Will he get superpowers of his own?  Who are these strange superheroes that inhabit this planet?  Why on earth was his first instinct to make a podcast?

Listen in, and perhaps those questions will be answered.

Somehow, in a major plot hole that will likely never be explained, Ryan can still receive email on Earth-2, so send him one at Earth2@heroespodcasts.com!  He might even read it in the next episode.  Don’t like Ryan?  We don’t blame you!  Simply address it to another person on the show and we will make sure it gets to them.

Comment below or hit us up @HeroesPodcasts on Twitter or Facebook!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Welcome to Earth-2! The links to iTunes, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and our RSS Feed are below!

Also, stop by our Patreon to see what kinds of cool perks you can get for being one of our contributors: patreon.com/HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Show Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Starring
Paco Gonzalez
Rae Stewart
Ryan Couture

Executive Producer & Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Flying Killer Robots

iTunes Subscription Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/welcome-to-earth-2/id1331800755

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/welcometoearth2

Google Play Subscription Link
https://playmusic.app.goo.gl/?ibi=com.google.PlayMusic&isi=691797987&ius=googleplaymusic&apn=com.google.android.music&link=https://play.google.com/music/m/Ir2vu2vmhktmq42trbih7tmhniy?t%3DWelcome_to_Earth-2%26pcampaignid%3DMKT-na-all-co-pr-mu-pod-16

RSS Feed Link
http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/welcometoearth2

Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

Welcome to Earth-2 Ep 01: Ryan and the Multiverse

Kong: Skull Island – Quick Movie Take

Ryan of the Screen Heroes podcast and Buster Props bring us an early take on the monster movie reboot Kong: Skull Island. The new incarnation of the giant gorilla takes place at the tail end of the Vietnam war and stars Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman.

Have you seen Kong: Skull Island yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for even more fun videos.

A diverse team of scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific, as dangerous as it is beautiful. Cut off from everything they know, the team ventures into the domain of the mighty Kong, igniting the ultimate battle between man and nature. As their mission of discovery becomes one of survival, they must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong. source

Kong: Skull Island is rated PG-13 and has a running time of 118 minutes.

Kong: Skull Island – Quick Movie Take

Pokemon Go: Tips and Tricks for your PokeAdventure!

So you just downloaded Pokemon Go to your Android or iOS device and you want to be the very best, like no one ever was?  You came to the right place.  We at The Grid Daily are here to make your journey to being a Pokemon Master as painless (and hopefully as fun) as possible.  Note that all these tips and tricks were gleaned from playing in the beta, so some of this information may be different at launch.

Pokemon Go Beginner’s Guide:

First things first, to learn to play the game, make sure you watch the quick start guide.  It wasn’t required in beta, and I didn’t know it existed, so my first day with the game was very confusing.

When picking your team, it may not be in your best interest to select the same team as all your friends playing the game.  The only battles in the game currently are at gyms, and if your team already controls all the gyms in your area, you won’t be able to control that gym until someone from another team defeats whoever is currently holding it.

You start out with the ability to catch one of the 3 starters, so make sure when they all pop up you tap the one you want the most, the other two will be gone when you capture it.pokemon capture

This is the screen you will see after tapping a Pokemon on your overhead map.  The button in the upper left corner lets you run from a Pokemon if you can’t capture it for some reason, or if you just don’t want to capture it. The backpack icon in the lower right hand corner lets you select different types of pokeballs or items to use in battle.  The camera icon above it allows you to take photos of the Pokemon you see in the wild.  The “camera” slider in the upper right changes the background to a fake world behind the Pokemon instead of using the actual world around you.  This will save battery life if you are having issues with that.  The CP number is the relative strength of the Pokemon.  You will be able to capture higher CP wild Pokemon the higher level you are.

As for actually capturing wild Pokemon, on paper, it seems very simple and easy.  However, it definitely takes practice.  The goal is to swipe the pokeball up to throw it at the Pokemon, and hit it with the ball.  The Pokemon doesn’t want to be captured, and will do things like jump out of the way and swat away the ball.  Once you hit the Pokemon, that is the first step.  Just like in the previous Nintendo Pokemon games, it will attempt to escape the ball.  The circle that comes up around the Pokemon when you are about to throw generally signifies the difficulty of the capture.  Green is easy. The closer it is to a red color, the more difficult it is.

The Pokemon can run away too, so make sure you do what you have to do to capture them!

The blue posts on your map are “Pokestops”.  These give you free items to use on your journey, and are the only way to get higher capture-rate great, ultra, and master balls, so make sure you hit every one you can!  They reset after five minutes, so take a bit of a walk and come back and grab it again.

The larger towers you run into are Pokemon Go’s version of gyms.  The color of the symbol shows you what team currently controls the gym.  If it is the same as the team you are on, you will not be able to take over the gym by defeating the leader.  You can still get EXP, but that is all.  If it is controlled by a different team, and you defeat the Pokemon, your team will now control the gym and you will be able to place your own Pokemon there to defend it.

Battling at the gym is fairly easy.  Tap on your enemy to attack it, swipe left and right to dodge attacks, and long press the screen to activate a skill once you fill up your ability bars.

Pokemon Go General Game Play Tips:

Once you have mastered the basics, here are some general game play tips for you.

Use lucky eggs and incense whenever possible while traveling.  Lucky eggs double your EXP gained from catching Pokemon, and in the early levels, that means leveling up MUCH faster.  Incense increases your chances of having wild Pokemon show up around you and is very handy.

Whenever you catch a duplicate Pokemon, make sure to hit the “transfer” button to send it to the professor.  This will give you items that you need for evolving your Pokemon.

While at a pokestop, you can use a lure patch, which will increase spawn chances of Pokemon around the stop for a short time. This bonus can be shared by all players at a stop, so make sure to use these when you have some friends around for maximum effect.

If your Pokemon are hurt during a gym battle, make sure to use potions to bring it back to health. They will not heal over time, and there is currently no such thing as a Pokemon center in this game.

Throughout your Pokemon Go journey, you will find eggs, which hatch into Pokemon as well as giving items necessary for evolution. Make sure you begin incubating these eggs as soon as you find them, as some of them can take up to 10 km of walking to hatch.

Speaking of walking, your distance isn’t registered in steps, the distance is tracked by GPS.  So if you walk around a lot at work, but stay in the same relative area, you won’t get any credit towards your egg incubation progress.  Also, any speed over 10 MPH isn’t counted towards your total, so car trips don’t help.

You can increase your Pokemon CP by evolving it or by using the “power up” function.  The items you get from controlling gyms and transferring Pokemon to the Professor are what you need to power up your Pokemon.

If you plan on playing this game a lot, INVEST IN A POWER BANK!  This game will chew up your battery and spit it out, so having some extra juice will be a good idea.

Also, look at your carriers data plan. This game averages around 10mb/hr of data used up, so if you have a very low data plan, you may want to change that.

And with that, you are well on your way to becoming a Pokemon Master. Good luck to you, and may your journey be full of Flareons and Mewtwos.

Let us know your thoughts on Pokemon Go by commenting below! Which team did you pick? Did you catch any cool Pokemon? We want to know!

Pokemon Go: Tips and Tricks for your PokeAdventure!

Pokémon Go: First Impressions from a Beta Tester

If you have been living under a rock, Pokémon Go is a new mobile game launching this year from Niantic, the studio behind the Android game “Ingress”.  It allows Pokémon fans to do something they have always wanted to do, be the “Ash Ketchum” of their own personal Pokémon journey.  This game is now in the beta testing phase and a slew of invites were sent out this week to bring in more testers.  I was one of those lucky enough to be chosen for the test , and now that I have had the game for a few days, I decided to do a short article to give my thoughts on the game as it currently exists.

Just to preface this, I will not be giving out any information as to actual game-play mechanics.  As a beta tester, I am subject to an NDA, and I will not be breaking that.  This article is just to give my impressions having played the game for a few days.  If leaks are what you want, there are plenty of places out there to get that information.

Pokemon Go

Capture Pokemon in their first augmented reality adventure.

To start with, the game is quite fun to look at.  The graphics are quite good for a mobile game.  I am playing the game on a Nexus 6P, and it looks great  on the 5.7 inch screen.  The AR (augmented reality) portion of the game works quite well, making it look like the Pokémon are actually in front of you.

Pokemon Go

Explore your real life surroundings to capture imaginary Pokemon.

The most surprising part of Pokémon Go, for me anyway, is that it makes you actually want to leave the house.  I am not generally an active person, but this game has succeeded in making me want to leave the house and explore.  Just yesterday, I went out to go try and add a few more species to my Pokédex, and I found myself walking further and further from my home, trying to hit that next Pokéstop or gym.  There aren’t many other beta testers in my area that I have seen, but I imagine once the game releases, it won’t be uncommon to run into other people playing, hanging around those landmarks in the game.

And it is there that I think this game will succeed.  Whether you are a fan of the original Red and Blue, or a newer fan who enjoys the 3DS games, you will find something to love in Pokémon Go.  I will release a full review, as well as a tips and tricks article, once the game is closer to release and the NDA is over.

 

Pokémon Go: First Impressions from a Beta Tester

SH S1E19: X-Men Apocalypse Expectations

After receiving a new trailer for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, we sit down to talk about our expectations for the franchise’s 8th film, our thoughts on the trailer, and how we feel about the X-Men films in general. X-Men: Apocalypse releases on Memorial Day weekend and stars the younger X-Men cast including Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Michael Fassbender, along with new additions like Olivia Munn and the movies primary antagonist, Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse.

Before we dive into the meat of the episode, we talk about our experiences at the Kansas City area costuming convention Figments & Filaments over the weekend. Rae and I were there representing the Super Sirens along with Rae’s other half, Hillz. Ryan and Nicole were there too representing Buster Props and Crystal Bat Designs.

We also provide some more detail on our upcoming Captain America: Civil War POP Vinyl contest where we will give away a Wal-Mart exclusive Black Panther POP. Listen in for contest details!

X-Men Apocalypse Expectations Podcast Credits

Hosts
Derreck Mayer
Rachel Stewart
Ryan Couture

Special Guest
Ian Turner

Director
Nikki Lynn

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Derreck Mayer

Music
Michael Wallace (Flying Killer Robots)

iTunes Link
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/screen-heroes-grid-dailys/id1071922623

RSS Feed
http://griddaily.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@Grid_Daily
Facebook Page

Email
contact@griddaily.com

SH S1E19: X-Men Apocalypse Expectations

It’s not a doll, it’s a ACTION FIGURE! Part 2 – Mattel Multiverse 12″ Armored Batman Review

This article is going to look very familiar, because if you are a frequent reader,Ii reviewed the 6″ version of this figure not long ago.  You can find that article here.  This review is for the 12″ Mattel Armored Batman action figure in the Multiverse line.

I haven’t spotted this figure in a store and instead, purchased this one on Amazon.com here.  To begin, the packaging is very similar to the 6″, except in a larger scale, that will be a common theme for this review.

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Multiverse Armored Batman Likeness

Judging by the likenesses shown on the back of the package, this figure has the best likeness of all of the 12″ figures.  Both Superman and Wonder Woman look nothing like their movie counterparts based on these photos.  Even this Batman has very large lips, to the point of almost looking cartoony.

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Batman likeness

The interior packaging is nearly identical to the 6″.

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Out of packaging

When you get the figure out of the packaging, it is a bit disappointing for the scale and price.  The figure appears to have been sculpted at a 6″ scale and blown up to a 12″.  This results in the details that look good on the 6″ looking blown out of proportion or overly large on the 12″.  The one bonus on this figure has over the 6″ is an actual fabric cape, though it lays flat and lacks the cool creases the 6″  version has sculpted in.  The paint is very similar to the 6″, and because of the increased scale, the lack of detailing around all the battle damage is even more obvious here.

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Out of packaging

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Bat butt

He comes with no accessories, and that is disappointing.  What is Batman without his cool toys?  A simple batarang would have given him something cool to pose with.

This figure has 10 points of articulation, versus 20 on the 6″.  The most noticeable change is the lack of articulated ankles, which makes this figure very difficult to pose in any position other than a boring straight up and down standing position.  The hips and shoulders have a decent range of movement.

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Here’s Johnny!

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Batman is more flexible than I ever imagined.

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Scale comparison

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Scale comparison version 2

Overall, i think that you get a better figure if you buy the 6″ version.  I’d give this figure 4/10 cans of shark repellent, or 2/5 spaceships.

The Grid Rating Saucer 2.5

 

 

Did you pick up either of these Multiverse figures? Did you find a different armored Batman figure you liked more? Comment below!

It’s not a doll, it’s a ACTION FIGURE! Part 2 – Mattel Multiverse 12″ Armored Batman Review

It’s not a doll, It’s an ACTION FIGURE! – Mattel Multiverse Armored Batman Review

Most people on January 1st were sleeping off a hangover or enjoying the day off work.  The die hard DC Comics fans were most likely planning a trip to their local toy retailer, as that day marked the official sale date for the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice merchandise.  As a major Batman fan, finally having some collectible versions of him in his Superman fighting armored suit is amazing.  My first find is the Mattel 6″ Multiverse version.

The packaging is eye catching, featuring character artwork on the side and front.. If you are a collector that likes to keep your figures in the box, you won’t be disappointed.  It displays very well.

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Batman package side

Each Dawn of Justice Multiverse character has a piece of a grapnel gun replica, so if you want the whole gun, you have to get each of the characters.  Only 4 pieces are available now, the other will be released in the future.

IMG_20160104_170609

Batman package back

As you can see, the four figures available at the moment are Armored Batman, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.  However, I was at the retailer while these were unboxed, and among about 30 of the Multiverse figures, there was not even one Wonder Woman.  It seems likely that she will be the most difficult to find of the bunch.  The convenient part about that is that she comes with a part of the stand for the grapnel gun, so you can still build the actual gun without her.

The box is easy to open.  Cutting through a couple pieces of tape allows the figure tray to slide right out.

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Batman open

The figure itself is has an impressive layer of detail for something at this scale.  Featuring 20 points of articulation, you will be able to put Batman into poses you never even imagined! (or maybe you have imagined those positions, no judgement here.)

 

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Batman front

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Batman back

He comes with a gun accessory, as well as his piece of the large grapnel gun replica.

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Batman pose

The sculpt is good, though the paint doesn’t really show it.  It’s a very basic paint job, and a little disappointing.  A little more highlighting of the battle damage would have gone a long way.

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Batman close-up

This figure is a large hunk of plastic, and despite having large feet and articulated ankles, its fairly difficult to get him to stand in anything other than basic poses.  You can do it, it just takes a lot of patience.

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Batman with gun accessory

I wish he had been proportionally bigger than the other characters in this line.  Its a little odd to have him stand at the same height as characters that he should be looking down upon.

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Batman and Green Arrow

Overall, I would give this character a rating of 6/10  fistfuls of Batarangs, or 3/5 Spaceships.  However you want to count it.

BONUS PSA!

If you are shopping for characters in this line, make sure to look at it carefully before you purchase.  Quality control seems to be all over the place on these things.  I was looking at some of the Multiverse Batman figures, and every single one of them had this gold paint on their gloves:

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Batman defect

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Batman defect

A couple of them had spots on their faces as well.

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Batman defect

So check and double check, you don’t want to discover a shoddy paint job when you get the figure home!

If you’re looking for the figure, it is currently available on Amazon for $19.99 and Prime shipping here.

Have you picked up any of the new Batman v Superman action figures? Comment with your thoughts.

It’s not a doll, It’s an ACTION FIGURE! – Mattel Multiverse Armored Batman Review

The Force Awakens, a new hope for Expanded Universe Fans

I am a Star Wars fan.  In junior high, it would have been difficult to find a shirt I owned that didn’t reference Star Wars in some way.   We had the prequels releasing throughout that time, but with those being huge disappointments, I had to get my fix of a galaxy far, far away somewhere else.  Thus, I turned to the EU (Expanded Universe, which consisted of novels, comic books, and video games).

It wasn’t Qui-Gon or Jar Jar that made me happy to be excited to be a fan, it was Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade, and Darth Revan.  Games like Knights of the Old Republic,  Dark Forces, and Masters of Teräs Käsi  (don’t judge me!) were my jam.  I read Timothy Zahn’s novels between classes in school. I wasn’t very popular, as you can imagine.  You nerdy kids today have it so easy!

So when Disney purchased Lucasfilm and announced that the whole Expanded Universe wasn’t canon in any way, shape, or form, I was crushed.

Fast forward a bit, and I watched The Force Awakens, and my opinion has changed.

While the characters I love may not exist in name anymore, many of their stories are set up to play out in the movies.  I am going to cover where I think the similarities lie, and maybe some of where they might be heading.  From here on out, there will be MAJOR SPOILERS for The Force Awakens (TFA) and the Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) games.  You have been warned.

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Still here?  Good. Let’s get into some references to the Expanded Universe.

So to start, Rey bears a pretty major resemblance to Bastila Shan from KOTOR, as well as her daughter Satele from SWTOR (Star Wars the Old Republic).  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Also take into account that they both use staff type weapons (Bastila uses a yellow bladed saberstaff).  Not only that, but Rey’s grey outfit at the end of TFA looks very similar to many old republic styled outfits.

Expanded Universe Bastila Shan KOTOR Rey The Force Awakens

There were some new Force powers introduced in TFA.  Remember when Kylo used the Force to stop Rey in place so he could capture and interrogate her?  That is called “Force Stasis”, and was introduced in KOTOR in a very similar way.  Darth Malak used the same move to capture Bastila Shan.  Kylo using the Force to interrogate Rey and Poe is also very similar to another KOTOR force power called “Mind Domination”.

Just like Rey in TFA, Bastila is captured by her Sith enemy and locked into a partially reclined torture device, and subjected to Dark Side probing.  Do these screenshots look familiar?

Expanded Universe Bastila Torture KOTOR Expanded Universe Bastila Torture KOTOR

When Finn and Rey meet, he intends to try and save her, but she saves herself, beating up a slew of attackers in the process with her staff.  This is very reminiscent of this scene in KOTOR (even a similar weapon!):

Expanded Universe Bastila saving herself KOTOR

Remember Finn and Rey having to escape a planetary attack in the Millennium Falcon?  Bastila and Revan have the same situation happen, except the ship is the Ebon Hawk instead of the Falcon.

The plots of TFA and KOTOR II both revolve around finding the last remaining Jedi by chasing down incomplete maps of the galaxy and following them into uncharted systems.  In TFA, the last Jedi was Luke who left the map with R2-D2, in KOTOR II it was Revan who left the map with T3-M4.

There are also some pretty large similarities between Revan and Kylo’s mask design.

kylo ren Expanded Universe Darth Revan KOTOR

That planet the Luke is on at the end of the movie could easily be Rakata Prime, which was a planet that was covered in ancient stone structures that are strong in the force, and was first mentioned in KOTOR.  Those stone structures could easily fit the bill for what Han says Luke is looking for. It just so happens that this planet was shown on the newest, official, canon map of the Star Wars galaxy.

Star wars Map

Speaking of planets from KOTOR, Malachor V is a planet introduced in KOTOR II that is full of ancient Sith temples and teeming with Dark Side energy.  In the visual dictionary released for The Force Awakens, Kylo’s saber is described as “an ancient design, dating back thousands of years to the Great Scourge of Malachor.”  The book is canon, as is Malachor now.

Visual Dictionary TFA

KOTOR had a super-weapon called the “Star Forge” that siphoned power from the sun, the same way that the Starkiller base did.

Pretty striking similarities, in my opinion.

So onto some speculation, because why not?

Maz Kanata mentions something about history repeating itself. Could Kylo’s more primitive clothing and weapon and Rey’s resemblance to Bastila be attributed to that?  Could history repeating itself be a reference to KOTOR’s story repeating itself?  Could Rey be from Bastila and Satele’s bloodline??!?!

I don’t think the mentions of Malachor and Rakata Prime are just nods to the fans.  I think that Snoke is probably living on Malachor, and that’s where he is summoning Kylo to to finish his training.

What do you think?  Coincidence?  Something more?  Did I miss some Expanded Universe references?  Will we see Rey wielding a yellow bladed saberstaff soon?   Let me know in the comments.

The Force Awakens, a new hope for Expanded Universe Fans

Zombie Vikings – Review

Zombie Vikings.  The name is enticing.  I certainly do love vikings, and zombies are still cool..ish,  so I was excited to give this game a shot.  The basic premise is that you are one of four different zombie vikings summoned to life by the Norse god Odin, to recover his one good eye from the trickster Loki.

The first thing that catches your eye is the unique art style.  It is different and interesting to look at, and certainly fits right in to what the game is trying to be.

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You choose from four different characters to play from in each level: The very tiny and very spiky Hedgy, the large armored Gunborg, the small but powerful Caw-Kaa, or the “has-an-Octopus-for-a-stomach” Seagurd.  Each character plays very similarly, with each having a unique special move.  For me, it came down to which one I thought looked the coolest, as none of the special moves really appealed to me one way or another.

The gameplay wasn’t at all a game changer or impressive.  It feels nearly identical to other games in the genre, wrapped in a different package.  That’s not to say it isn’t fun, or a good game; it’s just that nothing about it really stands out among other games in the genre.  Simplistic controls and a low difficulty level means that even the most novice of gamers will be able to be successful playing this game.

The first boss you run into was pretty obviously a throwback reference to one of my favorite characters of all time, “Earthworm Jim”.  That was a positive point in the play through, as appealing to a players nostalgia is a path straight to their heart if executed well.

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As far as the writing and humor in the story goes, there were some moments that gave me a slight smirk, but it seemed to rely mostly on crude bodily fluid humor.  If you love poop jokes, you will most likely love the humor in here.  For me, it wasn’t really doing much.

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The music and sound effects managed to not get overly repetitive, which is a solid plus on a game of this type. 

Overall, a fun game that doesn’t bring anything new to the genre, but still manages to be a fun mindless game to play with your buddies.  I can’t recommend it fully at the $19.99 price point on Steam, but if you can grab it for $5 -$10 during a sale, do it.

Ryan’s rating: 5 out of 10 random Octopus appendages.

The Grid Rating Saucer 2.5

 

 

If you’re looking for more information, check out Zombie Vikings here – Zoink Games Website

Have you played Zombie Vikings yet? Let us know your thoughts on the game in the comments below!

Zombie Vikings – Review