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Archive for September 2014

Sweet Release! Shadow of Mordor, Super Smash Bros. 3DS, Forza Horizon 2, Skylanders Trap Team, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Wasteland 2

By Jared Cornelius

As September comes to a close it’s a good time to look back at the metric ton of triple A games we got this month DestinyDisney Infinity, and Hyrule Warriors just to name a few.  That’s not even taking into account the smaller titles that got released like The Long DarkShadow Run: Dragonfall Director’s Cut and The Waste Land.  September is one of my favorite times of year for a number of reasons, and the ending of the summer games drought is always one of them.  Now we switch from the doldrums of having little to play to having too many games to play.  We’re adding to the pile in what is bound to be another memorable week of releases with a brand new AAA franchise leading the way.


First off this month we take a scenic trip to Middle Earth, more specifically the bad section of town with Warner Bros Game’s Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor.  The third person action adventure game takes place between The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings and places you in the role of Talion, a ranger charged with watching over Mordor.  After his family is murdered, Talion is sacrificed and possessed by a Wraith granting him a resurrection and a chance for the ranger to head into Mordor and cut a swath of vengeance against Sauron and his minions.

Shadow of Mordor is somewhere between Assassin’s Creed and the Arkham series of games in terms of gameplay and features a sprawling Middle Earth to explore,  Arkham style combat, and most impressively it’s nemesis system.  Players will do battle with unique Urik’s (Orc) who’ll grow and evolve based on their encounters with you, not only that but they’ll do battle with each other for control of territory, leaving you free to spread discontent through the different tribes by pitting them against one another.   Shadow of Mordor also features light role playing game elements with upgradable ranger and wraith based skill trees.  Middle Earth Shadow of Mordor was released Tuesday on PlayStation 4Xbox One, and PC with last generation versions hitting later this year.

It’s time again to get your friends together and beat the crap out of each other with Nintendo branded characters in Super Smash Bros.  The up to four player 2D fighting game is brandishing the usual cast of characters like Mario and Link but are joined by the likes of classic NES mainstays like Mega Man and Pac Man this time around.  Nintendo didn’t seem to bother messing with the fighting classic in terms of mechanics, bid did add enhanced online play, a ton of new stages, new characters, mini-games, and a unique smash city mode that’s only on the 3/2DS version of the game.  Nintendo’s beloved brawler will also feature connectivity with its Wii U big brother upon release and be able to act as a controller on the home console version.  Super Smash Bros. is available Friday on Nintendo 3/2DS.


Microsoft’s premiere racing game returns to the Xbox One with Forza Horizon 2.  The arcade racing series first made waves back on the Xbox 360 in 2005 and for many became the driving game of choice overtaking mindshare of Sony’s popular Gran Turismo franchise.  While the series swings back and forth between hardcore driving sim and arcade racer, Horizons is the latter with a light hearted Top Gear feel.  This year’s version takes placed in during the fictitious “Horizon Racing Festival” in an open world European countryside.  The huge next generation countryside is purportedly filled with dynamic weather effects, day and night cycles along with secret trails and back roads to explore.  Microsoft seemingly have taken a page out of EA’s book and made the title a bit like Burnout Paradise with the obvious races as well as stunt events, jumps, skill driving, and hidden treasures.  Horizon is also boasting over 200 cars with the series trademark customization, Microsoft has also dialed back their aggressive free to play mechanics and downloadable content strategies possibly making this the first must own for title for Xbox One!  Forza Horizon 2 released Tuesday for Xbox One.

In what’s become an annual tradition for Activision their super popular, “Toys-To-Life” franchise returns with Skylanders Trap Team.  Skylanders consist of various magical based creatures from the titular Skylands who do battle with the evil Kaos for control of the world’s magic.  The series defining hook is the real life figures used to play the game.  Like Disney Infinity, players put a figure onto the USB portal which reads a chip in the figure, inserting them into the game.  This versions gimmick involves capturing the games various boss characters in “Trap Crystals” that let players use those bosses as in-game playable characters.  The isometric hack and slash series isn’t a graphical show piece and plays a bit like babies first Diablo, but I’ve found the series great to play with kids or less skilled gamers.  Beware though as Activision’s been getting increasingly insidious about the additional real life toys used to unlock content, and will now be selling special collector’s edition figures, mini pet characters, and the aforementioned Trap Crystals to go along with the regular figures.  Skylanders Trap Team is available on everything except PlayStation Vita on Sunday.


Seems like we’ve been seeing a lot of them lately so how about another anime fighting game?  Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is the sequel to the popular role playing/fighting game from publisher Atlus.  With another crazy Japanese story that I’m not going to bother summarizing because it looks incomprehensible, Ultimax picks up where the last game left off and features eight new characters, with story, survival, and online play.  There’s also a new shadow character mode that changes some fighters mechanics for hardcore players.  The game was also developed by 2D fighting studio Arc System Works makers of the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear series, hell they made Arcana Heart Love MAX!!!!! and that just came out last week!  Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a strange name and released Tuesday on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

In modern day rarities we have a PC game getting a boxed copy release with Inxile Entertainment’s Wasteland 2.  The original Wasteland was the inspiration  for  the Fallout series back in the 90′s and after a successful Kickstarter the franchise was revived for a modern day audience.  The isometric strategy game offers some of the most robust levels of customization in recent memory with players being able to micromanage more than just their team.  Wasteland 2 offers outside the box solutions to problems, player customization, and an interesting post apocalypse story.  Wasteland 2 is currently available on Steam and the boxed copy released Tuesday.

There you have it another week of amazing games.  Shadow of Mordor is in first place this week, but I’m also really interested to play Forza Horizon 2 as my Xbox One has sat alone and empty since Super Time Force.  Super Smash Bros. on the 3/2DS is sure to be a huge hit and will no doubt cause a spike in violence in college dorm rooms everywhere.  That’s it for this week, you can always find me on Twitter @John_Layrngitis where I’m drunkenly reminiscing about Philadelphia.  You can also check out my regular monthly column, Typing on The Dead: Bleeding Cool’s Walking Dead recap.  Until next time, Stay Gold!

Jared Cornelius is some guy from New Jersey’s coast who’s getting increasingly concerned about Toys-To-Life as a genre.  If you’d like to take bets on how long before Activision runs it into the ground, contact me @John_Laryngitis on Twitter. 

Sweet Release! Shadow of Mordor, Super Smash Bros. 3DS, Forza Horizon 2, Skylanders Trap Team, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Wasteland 2

How To Read Twenty-Three Pages Of Matt Fraction And Chip Zdarsky Sex Tips. Why, That’s Down To You

I think I should just run the press release. Seriously, it’s by far the best way to do this.

This November, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, creators of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning bestselling Image Comics series SEX CRIMINALS, will share some of the sexual wisdom that only a year spent creating a comic book about a couple who stop time when they climax can give you, in an elegantly satirical, NSFW hardcover book, JUST THE TIPS.

With tips, tricks, moves, advice, suggestions, stories, and confessions, how-tos, do’s, don’ts, and do-agains-but-slower-this-times from the unmissable letters column of SEX CRIMINALS, plus helpful illustrations of hot positions (1) and other brand-new material, JUST THE TIPS will give every sex-dummy the tools for totally not sucking at sex anymore (2).

Fraction spoke for himself and Zdarsky about their new creation: “On the cusp of becoming internationally renowned Sex Experts (note to Chip: we really need to figure out a way to tighten up ‘Sex Experts’ for the Press Release. Sexexp? Seexperts? Think it over some), Chip and I feel what anyone might feel in our position: drunk, absolutely drunk, with power, and overdosing on raw sex energy. Today: this book. Tomorrow: public office.”

JUST THE TIPS is 96 pages of pure sexual knowledge as hard as the covers that contains it, guaranteed (3) to take readers’ boudoir (4) life from boring to brimpin’. It will be in comic book stores on November 26 and bookstores on December 2 and is very available for pre-order now.

Not sure if JUST THE TIPS is for you? What’s wrong with you? Of course it is. But we’re still very generously offering a 23-page PDF preview.

1. Including, but definitely not limited to, swaffling, shrimping, twerging, and auto-erotic twerging.
2. Some tips may require the purchase of additional tools from reputable sex-tool vendors.
3. Not guaranteed.
4. French, and therefore sexy, for “bedroom.”

JUST THE TIPS: A SEXUAL GUIDE BY THE CREATORS OF SEX CRIMINALS by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky

ISBN 978-1-63215-178-0
Diamond Comic order code SEP140590
96 pages, hardcover
$12.99
In comic book stores November 26, bookstores December 2
Rated Mature

And you can read twenty-three pages of it here….

How To Read Twenty-Three Pages Of Matt Fraction And Chip Zdarsky Sex Tips. Why, That’s Down To You

Agents of SHIELD: “Heavy Is the Head” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow...

The second episode of SHIELD: Season 2 continued to show off an improved series, boasting better pacing and a stronger overall tone.

Right from the start, it was notable how this episode picked up immediately where last week left off, with May finding Hunter and chasing down Absorbing Man – with a few exceptions, last season almost never had these type of immediate continuations. Most Marvel fans are all in on serialization and no, every episode doesn’t need to bleed into the next, but there’s also no reason to shy away from doing it when it makes sense.

Last week, I noted there wasn’t much to really distinguish new recruits Hunter and Mac, but this episode quickly remedied that, giving both of them plenty of screen time and distinctive characterizations. Hunter especially was given some good material, as we learned of his military-turned-mercenary background. He was shown to be both very much about making money yet also a loyal friend and colleague and his determination that Izzy get a proper burial was a sweet touch. (For now, it seems any theories some of us had on Izzy/Lucy Lawless continuing on aren’t happening, as she was in fact buried).

Continue reading…

Magic And Spies – Preview Of Boom Studios Cloaks #2

I love the basic Hollywood pitch series, magicians turned into spies. Cloaks tells the story of a street magician named Adam who not only amazes his audiences, but he also lightens their wallets. When he gets caught, he is given the opportunity to join a clandestine organization that uses magicians as super spies. Kind of Chris Angel meets James Bond.

We have a preview of issue #2 that is out this week.

Cloaks is created by David Henrie and is being written by Caleb Monroe. The art is by Mariano Navarro, colors by Gabriel Cassata and letters Ed Dukeshire. Cover by W. Scott Forbes.

Magic And Spies – Preview Of Boom Studios Cloaks #2

Best Shots Advance Reviews: MEN OF WRATH #1 Another Hit for Aaron, FADE OUT #2, More

Take an early look at a handful of comics debuting this week!

Best Shots Advance Reviews: MEN OF WRATH #1 Another Hit for Aaron, FADE OUT #2, More

Take an early look at a handful of comics debuting this week!

Best Shots Advance Reviews: MEN OF WRATH #1 Another Hit for Aaron, FADE OUT #2, More

Take an early look at a handful of comics debuting this week!

Exclusive Extended Previews of Chaos #6, Sherlock Holmes Vs Harry Houdini #1 And More

We’ve got four exclusive extended previews here from Dynamite Entertainment. We start with the final issue of the Chaos series by Tim Seeley and Mirka Andolfo, then new series Damnation of Charlie Wormwood and Sherlock Holmes Vs Harry Houdini and end with the trade for Cryptozoic Man.

Chaos #6
Tim Seeley (w) Mirka Andolfo (a) Emanuela Lupacchino, Tim Seeley, Nei Ruffino (c)

The final issue of the epic Chaos event, redefining Evil Ernie, Chastity, Purgatori, the Chosen, and the greatest horror comic universe of all time! A wave of suicide engulfs the United States. The conflicting forces of the Chaos Universe arrive at the Fairview Mental Institution to determine the fate of the world. Is it a new beginning or a new Armageddon?

Damnation of Charlie Wormwood #1
Christina Blanch, Chris Carr (w) Chee (a) Francesco Francavilla (c)

How far will a man go to save his son? Charlie Wormwood has a pretty normal life – a house, a wife, a job, and a kid. With his son sick, he begins treading a dangerous path to make things right. Teaching in prison gives him many “opportunities” but what problems will he create as he walks into the prison of darkness for his family?

Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini #1
Anthony Del Sol, Conor McCreery (w) Carlos Furuzono (a) John Cassaday, Aaron Campbell, Colton Worley (c)

The world’s most famous detective meets the world’s most famous magician… and death ensues! Famed detective Sherlock Holmes and brash showman Harry Houdini must combine forces to defeat a mysterious mystic dedicated to destroying Houdini’s career and killing anyone who gets in his way. A new five-issue series by Anthony Del Sol and Conor McCreery, the Harvey Award-nominated creators of Kill Shakespeare.

Cryptozoic Man Vol 1: Decapitation Strike
Bryan Johnson, Walter Flanagan (w) Walter Flanagan (a/c)

From the minds of Bryan Johnson and Walter Flanagan, stars of AMC’s hit television show, Comic Book Men! Shortly after Alan Ostman’s daughter goes missing on a family camping trip, he finds himself living life on the fringes. After a particularly rough night, an industrialist interested in Alan’s research focusing on the “alternative sciences” bails him out of jail and offers Alan a job. Think your boss is bad? At least they’re (probably) not a leather pig-mask wearing, inter-dimensional miscreant bent on having a race of malignant beasts exterminate the world’s best known cryptids and destroy the entire universe in the process. Does humanity have a shot? A mythical society of Gray aliens didn’t create Cryptozoic Man for nothing!

Exclusive Extended Previews of Chaos #6, Sherlock Holmes Vs Harry Houdini #1 And More

First Look At Valiant’s Bloodshot #25

Valiant has sent out an advanced preview of Bloodshot #25, a 48-page anniversary special that includes the work of Peter Milligan, Lewis LaRosa, Howard Chaykin, Duane Swierczynski, Manuel Garcia, Justin Jordan, Rafer Roberts and more.

The book will feature covers by LaRosa, Al Barrionuevo, Rafael Albuquerque, Bryan Hitch and Don Perlin.

Bloodshot #25 arrives in stores on November 5th.

First Look At Valiant’s Bloodshot #25

Preview This Week’s Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor In The Deep South

The adventures of the Eleventh Doctor are back this week from Titan Comics in issue #3, written by Rob Williams, with art by Simon Fraser and colors by Gary Caldwell. This time we’re headed to America, Mississippi no less, and of course, things are going to get strange…

Here’s our preview courtesy of Titan Comics:

Preview This Week’s Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor In The Deep South