Horizon Zero Dawn

The latest trailer for Horizon Zero Dawn continues to make this look like the most epic game Playstation has attempted in a while. It sometimes has some Uncanny Valley moments in the trailer, but overall looks gorgeous. I’m a little concerned the gameplay will be over complicated as some of the RPG elements frankly scare me, but this trailer shows the story is there and is massive. I like that you really can’t tell much about the people other than some Native American influence and some lost technology type of civilization. Can’t wait to give the game a try when it releases.

Tomorrow I will have the Switch press conference impressions if I can stay up to midnight tonight.


Toy Look: Regular Show Titans.

Picked up two of the Cartoon Network Titans. I only wanted the Regular Show ones and I got Mordecai on the first try, and then luckily found an open Rigby later.

The figures are pretty good at catching the look of the show and normally I prefer Funko Mystery Minis to the oversized heads of the Titans line but I really like these guys. They measure about 4 inches tall and have limited arm and head articulation something they also have over the Mystery Minis.

If you like the Cartoon Network lineup these are worth grabbing for around 8$ each, but with all mystery or blind buys, you might end up with duplicates or one you don’t prefer.

All together I enjoy the ability to not spend a lot and have something that doesn’t take up a lot of shelf space.
You can get them here or get a whole case below.


Asheville Zine Fest year 2

One of our many projects proud to say the Asheville Zine Fest is gearing up mighty well for year 2. We are hosting it Sunday May 7th, at the Refinery Creator Arts space in the South Slope district of Asheville. The new location gives us a lot more room for vendors and much better lighting than the Grey Eagle provided. We have already filled most of the tables. If your interested in joining us this year all the details are here. Asheville Zine Fest


Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run is Nintendo’s first traditional game for the Iphone. Where Pokemon Go and Miitomo are nice fun diversions this is the first game that feels like a traditional Nintendo classic. It takes the 2d sidescrolling that made Mario famous and incorporates it nicely for IOS devices. There are six worlds all together with four stages in each for a total of 24. You can beat the game in a few hours but to master it you can easily spend many more.

The game works like an endless runner except going sideways and with traditional flag jumping at the end of each stage. Some of the stages even incorporate some puzzle elements. Where the game really shines and gets difficult is in the collecting of special coins. Some of them really take a lot of trial and error to collect and some feel almost impossible.

Theres a strange build your kingdom thing where you can use points to buy houses and decorations. I could do without it but as an add on for value I can see where it helps justify the price.
Speaking of the price Mario Run is 9.99 an almost unheard of price on Ios devices. Nintendo knows the value of their properties though and i can see their justification. 4.99 seems like a more reasonable price though.

You can try the first three levels for yourself for free. One word of warning, these three levels don’t represent the true difficulty of the rest of the game. Sure it’s not hard like Dark Souls but there are challenges throughout the game. If you like the feel of the first three stages chances are you’ll like the purchased game. If you don’t your probably not going to enjoy spending ten bucks on Super Mario Run.


Toy Look: Black Knight and Enchantress Minimates.

What: Marvel Minimates Series 69 – Black Knight & Enchantress

The latest Marvel series of Minimates is series 69 and features an Avenger who has been waiting a long, long time for his Minimate debut. It’s kind of crazy to think it’s been 69 waves of the line and we have the entire cast of Alpha Flight but not one of the main Avengers of the 1980’s.

Of course that’s one of the reason the line has lasted so long. Marvel has an endless supply of heroes and villains to choose from. Well the Black Knight waited and he got a pretty nice figure for the wait. The gold on the paint really shines and makes his helmet really pop. His cape is a very well made to not limit poseabilty although it doesn’t hold the figure up as many previous capes in the line have. Thankfully Diamond has continued to supply stands for all current Minimates.

The second character in the two pack is the Enchantress another big Marvel persona to never have a release. She is a good sculpt, and resembles her very well. She comes with two green blast accessories and a flight stand.

After collecting this line since its inception, it’s rare for me to buy alot anymore as I can only have so many Iron Man and Spider Man figures so it’s always great when they do an odd two pack like this. I also picked up the rest of Series 69 which included Tigra and Classic Falcon, and Blizzard and Mandroid

As long as Diamond releases more figures that don’t already have representation I’ll keep buying, because you can’t beat having the entire Marvel universe at a 2.5 inch scale.

Get yours here! Black Knight & Enchantress


Luther Season 4.

Just finished Luther: Season 4 and it is a pretty good reset for the character made famous by the stunning acting of Idris Elba. The first three seasons of Luther really twist the character in so many different directions and takes what should be a basic cop show and gives it more dimensions. By the time Season 3 ends Luther is a devastated man, wrought by his own actions to the point where he can’t continue on the path he’s on. Season 4 picks up somewhere past this. And while the two episodes of this season have some generally good and scary moments the story mostly focuses on bringing Luther back into the fold and really sets him up for more gritty detective work in the future. Great show for all four seasons. Here’s hoping Elba’s and creator Neil Cross work calendar allow more from this very grey detective.


Carolinas Region Con pick for January 2017

If your going to host a con in January, and it’s not going to be in the comfort of a hotel, and it’s only going to be one day long, then you better be darn good. And luckily for those of us within a day drive of Charlotte, NC there is Heroes Minicon! Now in it’s 40th year the show packed into the Grady Cole center in Charlotte is older by five years than it’s much bigger summer brother Heroescon but packs a whole lot of awesome into a much tinier space. Where Heroescon is the go to destination for comic artists, Heroes mini feels more like a traditional show with equal space given for comic creators, comic dealers, toy and collectible hunters and one or two Anime sellers as well. The only drawback to this show is that it’s crowded. At times the floor is almost un passable but with lots of time to shop and not much ground to cover you still have time to see everything.
If your near Charlotte make a day trip of it. We usually hit a Dim-Sum place in the morning, go comic shopping at the con, and then have a nice dinner in the big city before coming home. Pretty much a perfect cold January day.

What: Heroes Minicon 40
Where Grady Cole Center, Charlotte, NC
When: Saturday January 28th, 2017.


What the Nintendo Switch needs to convince me.

I still remember standing in line at a Target in Iowa for the launch of the Nintendo Wii . I got the next to last ticket for the system which I grabbed and rushed to work only about five minutes late. I skipped lunch that day in favor of going to Best Buy to pick up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess . More than one employee asked if I already had the system. Setting up that night Wii Sports entertained and Zelda mesmerized as the series often will. The system was simple and fun and allowed for easy access to even casual gamers. As the years passed Nintendo lost focus, stopped getting unique third party games and by the time they announced the Wii U, a disaster on many fronts, I had moved completely into Xbox 360 gamer and Playstation 3 world.
So I’m surprised by my excitement for the Switch press conference next Thursday. But there it is.
I can not wait to stay up late to watch a stream of a press conference happening at Nintendo of Japan for the latest (and all signs point to last if a failure Nintendo console) The Switch.

Here’s five things Nintendo needs to do get me in on launch day.

1: Price point. The machine needs to come in at under $300. Anything above that is a joke as the much more powerful and robust PS4 and Xbox one’s are lower than that and Xbox’s successor Scoprio on the horizon for next year. If this machine tops $400 its dead on arrival. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was though.

2: Games. Solid launch lineup. We know were getting The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and possibly a Mario game or the rumored Rabbids/Mario Rpg. But what has doomed many nintendo systems is a launch with just five or six games and then nothing for months. This thing needs ten retail games at launch to be a hit and a robust digital library day one to matter to the gaming audience. Gone are the days you can sell a system with Zelda and Mario alone.

3: Proof on an online system. I’m as solid as a single “Campaign” player as you will find. That being said Nintendo’s online system is a joke compared to it’s competition. I’d gladly pay $50 a year for a reliable service especially if it follows the Playstation Plus or Games with Gold model of providing free games with the service. They could even be…..

4: Games from legacy systems. There is no reason we can’t have a large library of Nintendo classics day 1 as they are all small roms at this point and easy to emulate.

5: This is the last thing but I think it’s important. Don’t overestimate your own hype Nintendo and make a plan not just for year one, or even year two. Sony has first party games in development for release into 2020 and beyond. I imagine Microsoft does as well. If your Nintendo with your vast array of characters, classic game franchises and legacy systems, you should have a plan if you want this to succeed that goes beyond coming out of the gate strong.

I’m excited to see the next step for Nintendo, especially in the middle of Sony and Xbox fighting for the most power. Sometimes it’s the unique team from Japan that ends up winning. It happened before with the Wii, and couldn’t hurt gaming if it did again.


The Walking Dead Volume 23: Whispers into Screams.

The Walking Dead Volume 23: Whispers Into Screams

After 23 volumes many comic series start to drag. The very short life of many of the characters in the Walking Dead make this unlikely. Sure we are still following Rick, Carl, Andrea, and Maggie at this point but so many of the cast has met their end already. This makes finding new people, and new stories a neccessity. And in this story we get just that as we are brought into the world of the Whispers. This group of people made an interesting choice when they decided how to deal with the dead, they become them. Rather they wear zombie costumes made from the skin of the dead and walk among them. It’s pretty brilliant and a step further than Rick and company took while wearing the blood of the zombies in previous issues. They have instant protection but of course if you live with the dead the question becomes how much are you living?. After 138 issues, i’m still interested and have volume 24 in the to read pile.
The Walking Dead Volume 23: Whispers Into Screams (Walking Dead Tp)

The Walking Dead: Compendium One

The Walking Dead: Compendium Two

The Walking Dead: Compendium Three


Gears of War 4: A family affair.

When I booted up Gears of War 4 to an image of James Fenix my wife commented, “he looks like a meathead”.
“Well he is,” was my response.
Then Marcus Fenix, the protagonist of the first three Gears games, appeared, an older and more grizzled version of James, my wife said, “He looks like a meathead too.”
“Well he’s the meatheads daddy,” I replied.
“Where’s his mommy?” She asked.
“She’s dead…… but she was a meathead as well.”
My wife left the room and I dove in to the around 8 hour single player campaign of Gears of War 4.
All the classic 3rd person duck and cover gameplay that made the series prominent last generation still exists. It’s heightened by pretty amazing weather effects and one or two intriguing set pieces that change the gameplay completely. I personally could do without the mech combat near the end of the game but it doesn’t take away from a solid ride fueled mostly by one thing.

The tag line for Gears 4 is “Never Fight Alone”. And that is the series at its best. In the first three games you and your oversized linebacker buddies delved deep into the locust underground relying on one thing only, each other. Even Marcus’s backstory is filled with him disobeying orders to save his father. In the new one family is even more important as James enlists his fathers help and although strained as many father-son relationships are they still answer the call. The main story is propelled by new character Kait trying to rescue her mother from the new enemies The Swarm. And in the end of Gears of War 4, the final revelation is about family.
Family is what you fight for, it’s what you go to war for and sometimes the people who fight along side you become the one thing worth dying for. They become family.
Beneath the over masculine framework Gears tells this story very very well.
“Never Fight Alone”. img_4414