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Archives for : July2015

Episode 50!!!!!!

We wanted to do something special for episode 50 and boy did we deliver……in all the wrong ways. We get to some good stuff, but have your fast forward button ready as I am giving you this travesty as raw audio.

ProTIP: NEVER upgrade your operating system the day before you have a live podcast to record.

Bonus points to anyone that can tell me why this is worse than normal!!!

 

The fail is strong with this episode…

Kickstarter of the Week 07/28/15 – Light-Earth #0

Wow, July is so extraordinarily busy. Sorry for missing a week with our Kickstarter. However, we are back with a great project that has been a long time in the making. We talk with sci-fi/fantasy epic Light-Earth‘s creator JR Blanton.

 

Digital Nerdage: What is Light-Earth?

JR Blanton: Light-Earth is a sci-fi/fantasy saga that plunges readers into an ancient, enslaved world with constant wars being waged over it’s freedom. Much of the story focuses on themes such as how war, hatred, and grabs for power can bring a world to the brink of destruction, and appreciating the world we live in. I spent decades painstakingly editing and crafting what I still today believe is unlike anything readers have ever seen. Though, I have had reviewers making comparisons to other established properties. Some have even said things like “Light-Earth mixes the fantasy feel of The Lord Of The Rings, the brutal action of Game Of Thrones, the epic drama of Star Wars, and the complex-storytelling of Fringe into a nice little package that will keep you coming back to this world.” That is hard for me because I intentionally didn’t include classic fantasy elements such as dragons, hobbits, dwarves, elves, orcs, goblins, wizards, and magic to keep from being just another Hobbit rip-off. The more original the better has been my thinking since the beginning. The main characters are prominently displayed in this opening issue. The evil lord Vylezor has conquered Light-Earth. Ravnar of Agondul and Anarra of the White Realm lead a resistance to find the ancient champion of all the realms to help them win their freedom. The world is gorgeous, but the roads are perilous.

DN: Can you tell us about the creative team?

JRB: I am so lucky to have collaborated with famous names such as Ale Garza, Laura Braga, Ace Continuado, & my art hero Darryl Banks on covers. But I have also worked with red-hot talent such as Dino Agor, Carlos Braga, Jeremy Clark, and more. The interior pencils and art were provided by my good friend Sika Murti with colors by another good friend Bryan Magnaye. Their styles work perfectly together and really brought this world and it’s characters to life. There is also work by Don Edwards, Kitty Pierce, Mervin Gadaingan, Mark Marvida, Aaron “Aarpie” Pierce, and Ted Woods. 

DN: What is the reward (besides the comic itself) that you were most excited to offer?

JRB: The #0 issue currently ending this Friday at midnight on Kickstarter has 7 different covers for the collectors, several exclusive prints like the Armando Huerta Risque and Nude versions of Anarra for fans of the sexy art, and my favorites which are the blank cover sketches by Garza, Braga, Marvida, Murti, & myself.

DN: You have been working on Light-Earth for the majority of your life. Do you recall where the idea originally came from still?

JRB: The story itself was first created when I was a child 30 years ago. It came from my imagination when I would sit with my toys and run them through storylines, in much the same way I did with my wrestling toys. I brought many of the early comics I drew for it to Elementary school to show around but teachers, classmates, even some members of my extended family were extremely harsh on me, calling my dreams delusional, and claiming I needed to stick to more realistic “life goals”. It still gives fuel to my fire to prove that garbage wrong.

DN: Is there anything else you would like to share?

JRB: I would first like to thank you for taking the time to hear my story. Secondly, dreams do come true when you work hard and never give up. I have survived serious health issues, homelessness, and even crippling bouts of depression to get where I am. Let it be known that without my fellow creators and friends believing in me, I would have given up years ago. My mentor Dirk Manning gave me one of the best pieces of advice I ever received straight from his hit book Write Or Wrong…”It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”…meaning patience and perseverance will pay off in the end.

 

Personally, I hope this is the first of many projects from JR Blanton and the team at No Gravity Studios. The work being done on this is really beautiful and I am excited to see the completed product. This Kickstarter is just a few dollars away from being funded and ends this week. I hope you will consider helping them reach their goal as I think you will not regret it! Check out their Kickstarter here, and stay nerdy my friends.

Dave the Nerd – Music Review – Angels on Acid ~ ‘Exile’ 2012

Angels on Acid comes as a suggestion from a dear friend of mine, when I asked for some new music to listen to. The album is hard to place into a specific genera since it has some songs that fit into Psy-Trance, Industrial, EDM (Electronic Dance Music), and also Electro Rock. The albums first song totally explains their sound ‘A Brave New World.’ And I have to concur that this is a brand new world of sound. I will admit this is not my usual choice for music. But I will say that this music does get me moving. When I started listening to this album I was very tired and lethargic. But by the time the track titled ‘Quicksand’ was playing, I was keeping time with the music and staying in pace with it. If you are not a fan of electro rock/industrial feel this might not be the album for you. But I might have found some new songs that might get me back interested in being a DJ again, especially the song ‘Unholyone.’ As far as a rating for this album I will break it down like this:

9 out of 10 for a workout album, yet a 7.5 for everyday listening. I did like it, but it is not my normal everyday listening type of album.

Episode 1 – Death Becomes Her

After facing a tragedy, I decided that I needed to something proactive with my grief. Enter Death Becomes Her – Podcast. In the introductory episode, I briefly discuss the 5 stages of grief, as well as living will/advance directive information and back end mortuary information. This will serve as both an honest and open look at my personal grieving processes as well as give information about some of the pitfalls that arise after losing a loved one. Thank you for listening.

Dave The Nerd – Music Review – The Stubby Shillelaghs ~ ‘Stubbies Assemble!’ 2011

This is the debut album for The Stubby Shillelaghs, a Geek Celtic Folk Band out of Colorado. Yes you read that right Geek Celtic Folk Band! My good friend John Patrick suggested this group to me a couple times. And I randomly selected this album due to a song entitled ‘Jedi Drinking Song’ in which we hear clips of ‘Star Wars’ music done on a mandolin. Also the album holds a cover of ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ which was also covered by Metallica. This group makes me think of groups like The Dubliners, The Chieftains, and The Pogues. This is the type of album that would be popular to listen to around St. Patrick’s Day. The reason they are claimed as “Geek” Celtic Folk, is they will write folkish hits that deal with Geek Culture. On a different album they have a song dealing with Gotham. So if you are a fan of celtic music, celtic folk music, folk music, or you’re just looking for something completely different than your normal listening tendencies. Check out the Stubby Shillelaghs, and you will not be disappointed. I give this album a firm 8.7 out of 10.

Episode 24 – Jeff Brown

This episode, the Mistresses interview Artist and Author Jeff Brown.

This episode was recorded previous to the Mistresses’ current hiatus.
To all of our listeners, supporters and friends: Thank you for your kindness and understanding. We will return, we just dont know when that’ll be possible. Keep the faith. Love to you all.

The Armor Machine Soldiers – Review

Title: Simple DS: Volume 18: The Armor Machine Soldiers (The Sokou Kihei Gungrando)

Platform: Nintendo DS

Publisher: D3 Publishing

Developer: Rideon

Simple DS: Volume 18: The Armor Machine Soldiers (Translated from its Japanese title The Sokou Kihei Gungrando) is a budget title released under D3 Publishing’s Simple series brand. The Simple series are games developed by many different game companies and released by D3 Publishing across multiple game consoles and gaming generations. These games are sold at a  budget prices usually around $20. Not many of the these games have been localized for the West though and if they do come over it’s without the iconic Simple branding; the black boarder surrounding the cover image.

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The Armor Machine Soldiers is an action packed sidescrolling shooter with a hint of RPG elements developed by Rideon. The first thing I noticed about this game was how good it looks. Even upscaled on my 3DS, which usually makes older DS games look a bit blurry, does not even seem to effect the flawless sprit art. The graphics rest comfortable between the 16 and 32 bit generations, it’s a bit too clean and smooth to be a 16 bit game but not quiet the full power of the 32 bit predecessors. There’s even a thin black stroke around the mechs allowing them to pop off the beautifully detailed backgrounds.

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My photos don’t do the game justice.

Complimenting the look of the game is the well crafted and responsive controls. From shooting, aiming, and flying high with your jetpacks you feel entirely in control of the mechs. This control plays a big part in the upgrades you choose for your machine. Most games that offer RPG elements with upgrades usually does not amount to changes in the game play. In some games buying a new body or legs may raise or lower your state numbers but you won’t feel the changes in the controls. The Armor Machine Soldiers loses this approach and allows the players to feel the changes in their mechs. I remember my first upgrade, I bought a body with better health but it also came with more weight. I didn’t think anything of it but when I went to the next battle my once limber machine was now a bit sluggish. This small detail even came up later in the game when my garish mech-of-death was to heavy to make a jump and complete a level. I ended up having to spend some money to lighten my mech which gave me a higher jumper and longer jetpack flight allowing me to make the jump and completing the level. Even though grinding for money and having to replay the level was minor inconvenience the appreciation over that design detail of having the machines react to their body parts was well worth any amount of annoyance.

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The game play is set up in missions with occasional story segments in-between some missions (Which are in Japanese). There’s 25 mission in all with some missions extended into multiple portions towards the end of the game. In order to hone your skills, test new equipment, and grind for money a decent number of levels are left open to replay after completing them.  The level diversity is slow to change but there is an attempt to break up the game play. There are some added puzzle elements to complete using the touch screen and there are even a few levels that take a railgun bullet-Hell approach to the game play; which were really fun. Other than some minor tweaks to the formula the game boils down to killing everything on screen then continuing to the next level. Which, this isn’t entirely a bad thing, but makes the later portions of the game feel dull only saved by the games brevity rather than innovation. The boss fights range from simply spamming everything you’ve got to actually remembering patterns and tactics. The bosses difficulty is usually matched by their inspiration. Some bosses go down quickly with no flare while there were a couple that needed a multiple play-throughs. Even though some of the bossed felt a little uninspired there has always a great sense of accomplishment after taking down one of these giant baddies.

My recommendation level for The Armor Machine Soldiers is high. If you are a fan of shooters, mechs, action games with amazing sprit art this a must own for the DS. There is enough great content and enjoyable game play that is worth getting over the language barrier. Although the game runs thin on innovation there is very little bloat. The game is competent and knows what it does well and finishes before it’s flaws become to glaring. The game is an import from Japan though but with some hunting and video game intuition you can make it through the menus and understand enough to play. I really wish this game would’ve been localized for the West considering there is a multiplayer portion that would have really stretched the life of this game. It would have made that last few hours of grinding to save up for those better parts really worth it; especially if you could have unleashed some metal fiery on a friend. If you have the means, pick up a copy of Simple DS: Volume 18: The Armor Machine Soldiers.

-Travis

*Note: Your 3DS is region locked but the DS components inside are region free so you can play import DS games on your 3DS hardware.

Follow me on twitter @bramble_travis and take a look at what games I’m playing or what games I should be playing at backloggery.com/travis1

 

 

 

An awkward beginning…

For more than one reason, I wanted to write a quick update on my quest to play through all of the main Final Fantasy games. I also wanted to be sure to play the original version if possible. As many may know, that will include some emulation….

What makes this a bit funny is that I kind of had a weird first impression of Final Fantasy V! Apparently the ROM I had downloaded a while ago was a “hacked” ROM. It was not labeled as such, but after about 15 minutes of playing I kind of figured that something was up. You would have thought I could tell when the main character was level 99 at the BEGINNING of the game.

Having never played FFV before, I thought that maybe this was some form of mechanic to ease players into the game and some event would revert him back to level 1. When the other playable characters were geared to the teeth and destroying everything, I realized something wasn’t quite right.

So, I found a different ROM and have begun the ACTUAL playthrough of FFV. A game that I am surprisingly enjoying. I went into this with very low expectations and so far I have been pleasantly surprised. It may be because I had low expectations that I am liking this one, but after 3 crystals and unlocking around 15 jobs I have had quite a bit of fun already.

“Kickstarter” of the Week 7/14/15

This week we will be doing things a bit differently. This week we take care of one of our own…

As some of you my know, our own Mistress of Mayhem, Michelle Joy Gallagher, lost the father of her children to a sudden stroke. As much as I am sure she would much rather we take this time to promote another independent creator, I am taking this time to ask any of you that can to donate something to the GoFundMe page Michelle has set up in order to pay their bills while she tries to get their affairs in order. Not only did the children lose their father and Michelle her partner, they lost their sole provider.

Michelle is a wonderful person, and a part of our little family here so I hope that if you can you will visit Michelle’s GoFundMe page and give what ever you can.

Thank you all.

Dave The Nerd – Music Review – Skyharbor ~ ‘Guiding Lights’ 2014

In another suggestion from Jack Wallen, writer of I Zombie I, we have ‘Guiding Light’ by Skyharbor. The sophomore album from this progressive rock/metal band. An album that was made after a successful crowd-funding campaign on Pledge Music. The music sounds like a Deftone, Incubus, Oceansize, and Tool fusion band. Each of the 14 tracks on this album will bring a different combination of artists to mind that might have potentially influenced the group. With songs such as ‘Allure’, ‘Idle Minds’, ‘New Devil’, and ‘Patience’ will show you the versatility of this group, all while still staying true to the progressive rock/metal genera standards. This is one album that you will want to listen to multiple times. Because each time you listen to this album new images will come to mind as each song plays through. I would recommend this album if you want to introduce the genera to a new potential listener. I will have to snag their debut album

up, while looking for forthcoming albums as well from Skyharbor. I give this album a solid 8.5 out of 10.