Archives For December 2014

I LOVE COMICS

Mr. Grimm. —  30/12/2014 — 2 Comments

Alright this arbitrary post is going to be short and sweet cause this is all you need to know about the comics that should be in your sausage graspers right freaking now okay? This is what you need, and if I feel frisky why you need it to redeem whatever terrible decisions you made in 2014. You want to start 2015 right? You want to maybe suck a little less, and have given your life a little bit of depth before you depart the mortal coil? You want to accomplish that with as little effort as humanely possible? Then read the list! I mean, don’t just read the list. Read everything on the list. If you really needed me to clarify maybe I don’t want you reading this, it could change your life. You might live longer because of it, and I don’t want that kind of responsibility on my soul knowing that I helped stymie that natural order from doing what it’s supposed to by taking you out of the game early.

Right, so to sum up if when I wrote read the list you thought just read the list, go play with blocks or something, everyone else have fun!.

5. The Crow. Set in a  seedy and fictionalized version of Detroit back in the nineties James O’barr took all the pain and misery he had felt and wove it into a gothic masterpiece. The rage he felt seemed to ink the pages and the endless well of sorrow drove his dialogue throughout the entire piece. Many of you will be familiar with he movie, this isn’t the movie. This graphic novel captures the message and intent of this story in a way that sadly film just can’t. Read this.

4. Saga. Jumping from the somber notes of the Crow to a lighter more upbeat story brings us to Saga. This tale of intergalactic romance in time of war is cute and humorous. It’s a war story so clearly there is plenty of action and blood and death and sex. Lots of sex. Actually to be fair I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many drawn dicks in one project before. Maybe don’t let your kids read this one, but you should. Solid dialogue, great storytelling if not wholly original, then again what is? And incredibly imaginative. The Varity of creatures alone is worth it.

3. Sandman. Written by Neil Gaiman this story tells the adventures Morpheus lord of dreams. In this world your dreams come from and return to his realm. He is the master and creator. It’s a dark often haunting story that weaves its way through the entire d.c. universe.

2. American Vampire. This was my introduction to both Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy. The story is fantastic, spanning sixty years so far it tells the tale of the first American vampire and the ripple effect his genesis causes. The product of  an accident brought on by an errant prisoner transport he escapes and causes havoc across the old west. It is an indispensable read.

1. The stuff of legend. Ever been afraid of  the boogeyman? Ever own a teddy bear? Ever play with toys growing up, or now? Then this is the kidney punch in the feels you’ve needed. Mike Raicht, Brian Smith and Charles Paul Wilson III come together to share the odyssey of a band of toys that brave the darkness of the closet to save their boy from the clutches of the boogeyman. This is the one story you cannot pass up. If there is any emotion in your soul at all you have to read this.

BONUS.

Read the Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy this was by far my favorite to have come out this year. I don’t want to risk spoiling anything by describing it, that and I’m lazy and want to go back to playing video games. Check it out those two are by far my favorite duo in the comic world right now. Leave comments below and check out my independent blog 365 well in a few days I’m not really starting it until the first.

What’s up ladies and gentleman! 2014 is coming to a close and we are hoping that 2015 really turns everything around. We have great writers coming on board, and more than enough content to post for your viewing pleasure–but we forgot to mention that we have a new show. These very very important things that slip our minds. For that we apologize for not trafficking it through the appropriate channels, but we hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

 

 

NERDSYNQ

 

 

 

Today is a glorious day for fans of Dark Souls, or the ‘Souls’ games in general. The PC version of Dark Souls was updated to no longer require Games For Windows Live and instead will be using Steamworks, the system used in Dark Souls 2. This is something the bulk of the community has been pining for, and for good reason. The GFWL system leaves more than a little to be desired. Reading the forums lead me to see a lot of posts talking about the flak that the sequel received. I began thinking about the differences and similarities between the two games. Let’s start this off by saying that everything in this post will be purely opinion and there’ll be spoilers eventually. Let’s also establish that as I’m sure you’re about to find out for yourself, I’m not very good at these games. Both are in my Top Ten games of all time. I have around 600 Hours (I know, trust me.) in the first and about 200 in the Second, so while I’m not the authority on these games, I know a good deal about them.

To start things off I’d like to just talk about what makes the ‘Souls’ games great in my opinion. To set the stage I’m going to talk about my first experience with the game. It started as many of my game stories will. The infamous Steam Sales. My friend got me a copy and told me to just play it. He gave me the same warnings I’m sure everyone else got when this game was recommended. “This game is hard, but keep going.” “Trust me, dying is just part of it.” “Use a controller.” “Blightown is going to make you hate everything about yourself and your soul will feel like it just ate a brillo pad while watching your parents have sex.” You know, the usual. So I launched it up and messed around with the character creation and settled on a Thief with a giant Blue Face, obviously. The tutorial section (a -VERY- generous name) was filled with challenge which was one of the first games to do that to me. This is the tutorial, I’m supposed to be safe here, Dark Souls considered my request and simply stated “No.” I made my way through, fought through an undead city, and threw my face against the symbolic Grindstone that is the Taurus Demon. I finally got through and by some grace of God, and an entire weekend, I defeated the first true landmark boss, the Gargoyles. And you know what I did after that? I quit. I quit this game that I was progressing in because I thought to myself “I spent this long to defeat the first boss, how am I going to do this?” Dark Souls was the first game that ever made me think I wasn’t good enough while actively progressing.

And that was the long winded segue to my first point against Dark Souls 2. Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls had so much faith in you as a player. It made you work for your glory. Grinding through the Undead Parish’s lobby area in order to try and conquer the Gargoyles and ring the first Bell of Awakening was one of the most frustratingly rewarding moments in my gaming career. This game never held your hand, it knew that you wouldn’t need it. The difficulty was very carefully woven into this amazing world for you to overcome, learn, and conquer. You were forced to adapt to each new environment and learn every little thing you can. However, in Dark Souls 2, I felt like the difficulty was thrown in just to live up to it’s reputation of being insanely difficult. But here’s the thing, it wasn’t just about the difficulty that gives the Souls series its charm, the difficulty is just an illusion, it’s very shallow. The difficulty comes from your own aggression and playstyle. These games don’t take your shit. you have to play by it’s rules. It doesn’t care about how badly you want to kill something, you have to prove it. You have to show it that you can be a tank, a fighter, a mage, a theif within the boundaries it set for you. In Dark Souls 2 it felt like the difficulty was meant to be ground through, and not for learning but more for the purpose of progression. They introduced this mechanic where when an enemy dies about ten times he’s gone until you go to “New Game+” or until you use a specific item to make the area harder. That’s this game’s downfall for me, it starts doing what the series hasn’t done for two very solid installments. Hand Holding. There were several times in my first couple of runs that I would simply exhaust dozens of lives on the mobs outside of the boss rooms just so I would be able to have a clear run back when I ultimately failed. And that just felt wrong to me.

Another thing I’d like to bring up is the one of the things that I think really defines the series. The Bosses. Dark Souls’ was really set apart for me by having these amazingly connected environments that I’ll never forget. The “levels” flowed together and the Bosses of each area were so fresh and unique to each other that when you we’re getting towards the end you felt like the end was coming or you saw one of the fog gates you got a mixed feeling of dread and excitement. The bosses Ornstein & Smough is a perfect example of this. The zone Anor Londo is full of very challenging and infamous areas and the end of this zone is one of the hardest encounters, because it had to be. Each boss was fitting. Dark Souls 2 had less of an intertwined feeling and more of a “Branch Out” feeling. Each zone led to one Major Zone and usually one Minor Zone. And a problem with these zones is that most of the bosses sucked. Even as I write this I’m trying to remember a few examples of bosses. I can remember they existed but i forget their unique qualities.

I guess what this pretty much boils down to is that Dark Souls 2 felt like a very generic RPG with an unnecessarily amped up difficulty and it seems like this game lost a lot of it’s charm while being created. The community has put the blame on the fact that the group that worked on this game didn’t consist of a lot of the key players from the last few rounds. And that’s understandable. So I guess where this leaves us is that Dark Souls 2 is a solid game, despite what the past few words may have indicated. In general this game is very good. It’s biggest flaw in my opinion was that it called itself “Dark Souls 2”. Calling a game a sequel leaves it open to that instant comparison that may harm some aspects of the game. The game itself is fine, the problem is that the community, myself included, have to compare it to it’s predecessor. Most arguments of Demon’s Souls vs. Dark Souls gets settled with “Well they’re different games and thats why the title is so different” which is fair enough. But that argument can’t really be made in this case. Dark Souls 2 is unfortunately tethered to Dark Souls because of that.