Monthly Archives: January 2016

In Lieu of Flowers…

In 2007, the internet was in the process of changing. A few years before Youtube had exploded on to the scene, Wikipedia had reached far enough into popular culture that my college professors were warning not to use it as a source on papers; The user-created internet was finally arriving in a big way.

There were a few great videos to come out early, but nothing had such a lasting impact on me as Haloid.

(The youtube video loads in low quality, so watch in fullscreen on 720p for full effect.)

This video was made by one man, a then unknown Monty Oum. I know that videos like these are not uncommon now, but to give you an idea of how standout this was: Here’s a video put out by Coke for the Superbowl that year, and the trailer for Assassin’s Creed, which also came out late 2007. Both are fully CGI and perhaps it’s unfair to compare a commercial to a 10 minute video, but I want to show some context of one man’s work versus an entire company.

Both ads are good, but in my book Haloid felt monumental. It would have been amazing if Nintendo or Bungie had released it – but this was a single person. I had trouble wrapping my head around how it was even created.

Monty Oum would go on to work for Midway and Namco Bandai Games, as well putting in time on the video game Afro Samurai. In 2010 he joined Rooster Teeth to help them bring combat into their long running Red vs Blue series.

I can remember a friend sending me this video telling me I needed to start watching Red Vs. Blue again. Through his work on RVB, he was promised the chance to work on his own original show.

Enter RWBY in 2013; a colorful, quirky, animated show. The following video is from the Red Trailer. The subsequent White, Black, and Yellow trailers are also worth checking out. Also here’s a quick trailer that explains the plot if you’re interested.

A few months after Rooster Teeth wrapped up Season 2  of RWBY. Monty Oum was hospitalized “following a severe allergic reaction during a routine medical procedure.” He passed away on February 1st, 2015.

Often when a celebrity dies, it’s someone who was older. As with January’s celebrity deaths they were all older people who had an impressive body of work. Does Monty’s death seem worse to me because he was my age, reminding me of my own mortality? Not really. I think it has more to do with the loss of creativity and a unique voice. A friend of mine said after the death of David Bowie “The world is now a shittier place.” That might be true to an extent and I hate the loss of our creative types, but I think the notion that they leave a hole that cannot be filled is insulting to the creativity and ingenuity of the human race.
in lieu

We will remember them by their work and the love we carry for it, but by learning, experimenting, and creating we continue the legacy of the artists who have left us. Keep moving forward.

 

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Episode 23: JQ and Jynx

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Samantha and James have a chat with game designer and author JQ Sirls about the upcoming Kickstarter for his new game Jynx. Jynx is a Rummy-based action card game good for family game night and friendly drinking night at the same time. Listen to learn more and check out the Kickstarter when it launches February 1st 2016! Check out what else JQ has done on Twiter @JQSirls and on the website for his publishing house Fantoria and Essentialissimo.

UPDATE: The Jynx Website and Kickstarter are now live. Click here to view the Kickstarter and here to view the website.

The Rocket Punch Ultrabot can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

Episode 22: Videogames of 2016 Here We Come!

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Join the pilots as we chat round the RPR Watercooler about video games – ones we’re playing, and ones we’re looking forward to in the new year. Did we remember to talk about your favorite? Tweet us @rocketpunchrdo to let us know what we missed!

If you haven’t seen, we do Twitch streaming every Tuesday night at about 7:30, 8:00PM EST. Subscribe to our Twitch channel for updates when we go live.

The Rocket Punch Ultrabot can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

Harry Potter Book Club: The Prisoner of Azkaban

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On this, our third episode of RPR Bookclub, Samantha, James, Ally and Ruth discuss Prisoner of Azkaban. Join us in trying to make chronological sense of time travel and the now traditional Snape-bashing. The biggest creeper of the wizarding world goes to Peter Pettigrew!
The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

Games with Mileage

You might think by the title I’m talking about driving games today. Nope, (well okay there is one driving game…kind of.) I’m the kind of gamer who plays a small number of games. But once a game grabs my attention I play the game until found every secret, gotten all the endings/achievements, and mastered every maneuver. For this I love games with mileage. By games with mileage I mean games that you can get a lot of use/hours of fun out of.

My list features the added bonus of most of these are somewhat cheap (because I am also somewhat cheap). So you can entertain yourself without spending much (or maybe anything at all if your a steam card expert). So who makes the list? Here they are in order of hours I’ve put into them.

tf2

Whoops, sorry god.

Team Fortress 2
-Price: Free
-Playtime: 757 Hours
You probably know this one, if not the link will give you the highs and lows. It’s a first person shooter that decided realistic was a horrible idea and went instead with color and humor. The community and weapon swap outs kept this game fresh for years and while it’s numbers have flagged, it’s still a fun game to jump into and set your friends on fire. Pyro for Life!

monaco

K.spaz was asploded by K.spaz…whoops.

Monaco
-Price: $14.99
-Playtime: 214 Hours
A slick heist game with several twists in the storyline. I won’t spoil anything. Choose between 8 criminals and steal everything that isn’t nailed down in Monaco. A top down pixeled game. This is a great advertisement for how far 8 bit graphics can be used. May take a while to figure out what all the symbols are and how the mechanics work but a fun and challenging single player game which turns into a riot when multiplayer is involved. A great game for jumping into games online or playing on the couch with friends.

tbp

Excuse me while I brag, all these are taken from my Steam account by the way.

They Bleed Pixels
-Price: $9.99
-Playtime: 106 Hours
My hat is off to anyone who can finish this game. In fact I’m impressed if you have the determination to finish the 3rd stage. The platformer and beat-em-up combo that boasts a difficulty just shy of Dark Souls. Yet They Bleed Pixels is not a sadist like other challenging games TBP is a tough martial arts master. Making you do insane tasks that will hone your abilities to perfection. The beautiful art and music add to the game and if you like the music in the trailer, you may want to pick up the soundtrack if you have a few bucks to spare.

torchlight 2

Find epic loot, use it to kill strange races you meet along the way.

Torchlight II
-Price: $19.99
-Playtime: 99 Hours
A Diablo clone with awesome graphics and great multiplayer modes. This games biggest flaw is that the story is not long enough. The additional maps you can buy (in game gold not real money) help, but really new game plus just doesn’t go far enough. Great art and a ton of unique weapons and armor (some of which have humorous descriptions).

Rogue Legacy

rogue legacy

This is only about halfway through the first run.

-Price: $14.99
-Playtime: 89 Hours
Take a family of knights through a castle crawling with enemies. Every time you die an offspring takes over. Upgrade your castle to get better abilities but the negative traits your offspring have really adds to the fun here. Plus the random-ness of the castle will keep you coming back. Can be frustrating to start, but your persistence will be rewarded here. Also completionist instincts can cause you trouble in this game sometimes there are rooms you should skip, and don’t pay to keep the castle locked unless you find something really awesome.

Rocket League

rocketleague

I got it! I got it!

-Price: $19.99
-Playtime: 66 Hours
I’ve reviewed Rocket League on here before but I can say here was a game I didn’t know I wanted and has been one of many surprise hits of the 2015 gaming scene. It’s a demolition derby mixed with soccer. The game is made far quick set-up and quick games. I have yet to play this local with friends. But is too much fun to stay away for long.

Hammerwatch

haamerwatch

Hordes, hordes, and more hordes

-Price: $9.99
-Playtime: 56 Hours
I picked this game up cause I wanted a Gauntlet-esque game before the new Gauntlet came out. This game is simple to learn, nearly impossible to beat. You’ll have to find most of the secrets in the game to actually complete the quest. Hordes of monsters, lots of loot. And a simple but great upgrade system. The games Achilles’ heel is it’s horrible system for online multiplayer. Hard to set up a game with friends.

Keep in mind most of these games can be caught on a sale for way cheaper. I believe a spent under 5 dollars when buying Monaco and They Bleed Pixels. Well, hope this gives you a place to start. And just remember your mileage may vary.

The Ant-trasting Ant-Man

*** YES, I KNOW THAT’S A SH!T PUN AND THERE ARE SPOILERS…PROBABLY. ***

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photo credit: LEGO Ant-Man via photopin (license)

First things first, despite the title of the this piece, I actually really liked Ant-Man – which is saying a lot as I have a really serious bug issue. Probably not surprisingly, I don’t have an overabundance of Ant-Man knowledge, so I didn’t really know what to expect going in – but that lack was in no way a deterrent. The movie handles the backstory and plot in true Marvel need to know fashion; you know what’s up without being bogged down, and that leaves you with plenty of time to appreciate the sarcastically hilarious dialogue and unique visuals.

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photo credit: Paul Rudd via photopin (license)

The most surprisingly enjoyable thing about this movie for me though  was actually Paul Rudd. I’ll be honest and admit that though I really appreciated him in I Love You, Man I was not at all sure he could pull off a headliner superhero. But man, was I surprised. Just like Peter Quill was kind of made for Chris Pratt, I feel like Scott Lang was maybe tailor made for Paul Rudd. He’s every bit the lovable underdog and makes the good guy crook a believable and relate-able; The cat burglar you could take home to mom, if you will. Yellowjacket, played by Corey Stoll, however I felt was a little lackluster for a villain. I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly I wasn’t thrilled to pieces with him, but there just seem to be a lack of dimension in his character and he was crazy just for the sake of being crazy. Plus he looked exactly like Lex Luther if Lex Luther was a gym rat with pronounced emotional problems, which was somewhat distracting for me.

The supporting cast was pretty stellar though, so that made up for a lot of my misgivings with Yellowjacket. Team good guys, which consisted of Michael Douglas (Grumpy Original), Evangeline Lilly (ass-kicking instructor), Micheal Pena, David Dastmalchian, and I.T. (who make up the comedic technical support crew), and really well casted in my opinion, and though some of these were obviously only added for comedic effect, that effect is really appreciated in the second half of the movie.

As for the visuals – which I referred to as unusual, if you remember – were quite something. I can’t say that any other super hero movie has attempted to do what they managed to pull off – which is maybe the best argument for an Ant-Man movie? Anyhow, they somehow managed to blend serious action with simplistic silliness in a perfectly entertaining combo, which I really enjoy very, very much.

Final thoughts? I’d have to say not surprisingly, Marvel is probably the only studio that could have pulled off this title to begin with, but they did so much better than anticipated. I feel like any other studio would have taken a much campier route, which with a plot as absurd as this to begin with would have come out looking like someone’s extremely dorky third cousin who gets avoided at family reunions rather than the good natured, fun guy afternoon outing that it is.

 

Rocket Punch Radio Episode 21: Year Behind Year Ahead

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So, it turned out that 2015 was a pretty bang up year! The RPR pilots and crew reflect on this past year and spend a lot of time talking about the year ahead in movies! Talking points include Star Wars (again), Travel Advice, and unexpectedly great videogames of 2015. We also predict the future and let you know what movies are going to be great in the coming year. This extra long episode is our late gift to you, to chase those post holiday doldrums away!
The Rocket Punch Ultrabot can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

photo credit: New Year’s Day Display via photopin (license)