July 18, 2014

New Captain America and Thor FanArt Frenzy!


Despite the recent nature of Marvel's major character shakeups (with Falcon replacing Steve Rogers as Captain America and an undetermined female character taking over the mantle of Thor), the announcements have already captured the imaginations of comic fans all over. It might not be on the level of the recent Batgirl fanart just yet, but plenty of artwork featuring the new Cap and Thor designs is beginning to pour in. That means it's FanArt Frenzy time!

This striking Thor piece is from DeviantArt user TheRedKid.

July 17, 2014

A Look Back at Grumpy Jii-san's Anime Reviews

"Because an old man can watch cartoons too."

I can't tell you why, but I recently thought back to Grumpy Jii-san: a somewhat older gentleman with an almost Santa Claus-like beard that stops to review anime while hiking through the Arizona mountains. It might seem like an unlikely premise for a Youtube channel, but trust me when I say that it's absolutely awesome. Let's look through a handful of examples!

Here's a look at Jojo's Bizarre Adventure on freakin' LaserDisc.

July 16, 2014

Weekly Want - Revoltech TMNT, SDCC Exclusives, & More!

Revoltech Raphael

Toys and collectibles, am I right? I often want them. For your viewing pleasure, here are a small handful of notable examples from the past week:

Third party toy maker Keith's Fantasy Club is venturing into the world of the Brave series with Captain Shark from The Brave of Gold Goldran. Images of the mold in full color just hit Facebook, and it's looking quite lovely. The face sculpt looks a bit too "mean" for my tastes but this is still a toy I'd love to own. Named "Sencho Barbossa" for legal reasons, the $90 release is expected to hit "in-stock" status on various sites fairly soon.

If you're unfamiliar with the character, here's a bit of Captain Shark in action:

Ultron's Avengers: Age of Ultron Design Looks Solid

Yep, that's Ultron alright.

For the two of you that somehow missed it: Entertainment Weekly's upcoming issue is a San Diego Comic-Con Preview that features a striking Avengers: Age of Ultron cover, complete with our first official look at the film's Ultron design. You can check out the full cover image via EW's Twitter.

For me, this is another case of not expecting to see so much so soon, but I suppose it makes sense. SDCC 2014 is next week, and the movie itself is only 10 months away at this point. Where does the time go?

As far as reveals go, this feels like a big one. The cover manages to give the basic gist of the design, and I think it captures Ultron well. A big part of the character's comic history has been a constant string of upgrades, so landing on one defining look can be tricky. The following example doesn't even scratch the surface:

From Kurt Busiek and George Perez's Ultron Unlimited arc, as collected in Avengers Assemble Vol. 2

July 15, 2014

Angry Birds Transformers Toys: I'm Totally Buying A Starsqueel

So Angry. So Birds.

Right around this time last month, we learned that Angry Birds: Transformers would indeed be headed our way. Now, TF fansite Transformers At The Moon has uncovered some trademark applications revealing four character names. So far, we have Optimus Red, Megahog, Bumblebird, and Starsqueel.

If there are indeed toys of these characters — and the applications suggest there likely will be — I'm totally buying a Starsqueel. I don't care how much it costs. I don't even care what it looks like. I'm buying it.

You wanna know why I'm buying it? Because it's named freakin' STARSQUEEL, that's why!

Whoever came up with that name has an open invitation to be my BFF.

That's it for this one, I s'pose. Hit me up on Twitter & Facebook until the next post rolls around!

Awesome LEGO Mega Blastoise is Awesome


ZaziNombies LEGO Creations has created a rather beautiful LEGO build of Mega Blastoise from Pokemon X & Y. It's quite an accurate representation, even down to the shading! Check it out:

Final Fantasy Has Always Had Great Music


Like many, one of my favorite elements of the Final Fantasy franchise has always been its music. I'm enamored with the soundtrack to FFVI in particular. That was the first game soundtrack I truly fell in love with, and as such, it's the one I revisit most often.

When I see others talking about FF music, it's often from VI or beyond. It seems the earlier titles are sometimes pushed aside. I'm not sure what inspired it, but I recently listened to music from the original game for the first time in quite a while. I must say, it made for a lovely journey through nostalgia. I was struck by how well a lot of the tracks have held up. Just check out the Chaos Temple's score:

July 14, 2014

Captain Falcon Looks Great So Far in the New Super Smash Bros.

As handsome a devil as you'll ever see.

Everyone reading this likely already knows that Nintendo has just confirmed Lucina, Robin, and Captain Falcon for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U. I'm unfortunately not as familiar with the Fire Emblem cast, so Captain Falcon does a bit more for me in the excitement department. If you haven't checked out the reveal trailer somehow, it's definitely worth watching:

Transformers: The Movie's "Dare" is a Great Fit For Asura's Wrath

asura's wrath gameplay
This is his happy face.

In a recent edition of "Boss Rage," Youtube gamer Maximilian took on the DLC Evil Ryu and Oni battle from Asura's Wrath. As the fight with Oni drew to a close, he threw Stan Bush and Vince DiCola's "Dare" from the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack over the action. Despite its synth-fueled 1980's cheesiness, the song actually manages to fit the game quite well:

No "start at..." codes are working, so skip to 8:50 for the song.

Evo 2014 Fighting Game Tournament Day 3: Highlights & Wrap-Up

evo 2014 rose street fighter
Rose from Ultra Street Fighter IV.

July 13th brought us the final day of the Evo 2014 fighting game tournament. With the grand finals for BlazBlue, Killer Instinct, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Ultra Street Fighter all lined up, it goes without saying that there was an absolute barrage of intense matches on display. Here are a few key highlights:

The day kicked off with the BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma finals. Garireo (with Litchi) ultimately defeated Dogura (with Azrael) after a difficult climb out of the losers bracket. If fighting games have taught us anything, it's to never give up!