Sunday, January 27, 2013

Webcomic Showcase

I have been an avid fan of webcomics for the past several years. While though my variety in taste regarding webcomic genre I tend to gravitate toward comedy oriented comics with frequent updates. I've even tried my hand at writing for a webcomic before. If you've never read a webcomic I'll go over some of the basis for the webcomic world.

The first basis for any webcomic is posting frequency. Webcomics post as often as the artist and/or publisher gets the finished (sometimes unfinished) product live on their website. Most webcomics make a promise or guarantee to their readers that they will publish X times per week or on specific days. Unfortunately this often results in some terrible cases of "filler" content. Filler content is when the artist/publisher makes some form of obnoxious short quip. An example of a webcomic with a LOT of filler is School Bites. School Bites is a webcomic about a vampire teenager who eats cupcakes and has a human boyfriend. While the plot itself is questionable the artist often uses a mass amount of filler about her cat. I find it distasteful as, if I wanted to get to know the artist and what is happening in their life, there is usually a blog of sorts below the comic to keep up with artists, writers, and publishers alike.

What you want in a webcomic is frequent and consistent updates with little to no filler. The best webcomic in my opinion for multiple categories is Least I Could Do. The focus here is on filler and lack thereof and Least I Could Do not only updates daily but does so without any clear filler. The only thing that could be considered filler from this webcomic is the Least I Could Do Beginnings which offer a glimpse at the childhood of the protagonist Rayne Summers.

Least I Could Do is easily the best webcomic on the internet for multiple reasons however I shall simply summarize that while though the adult humor is more than a little thick the plot and soft moments that Least I Could Do provides makes this a must read.

Good plot is as equally important to the webcomic selection as the posting consistency or frequency. One such comic is Amya, which has very good posting frequency but even better plot. Plot helps drive the development of characters, it helps them grow, it helps them mold into who they become throughout the life of the webcomic. A comic with really great plot can even overcome being riddled with filler such is the case with Flipside, which follows the stories protagonist Maytag and her girlfriend, friends, enemies, and love interests. The character development not just of Maytag but of all of the characters of Flipside are what shoots this to number one on my list in terms of plot line.

The best webcomic in my opinion in terms of plot, frequency, and overall content is Goblins. Goblins is the story of a group of goblins that decide that they're tired of being hack meat for low level adventurers and choose to be adventurers themselves. The story follows the humorous misadventures that they find themselves tangled up in constantly. As of late we've been following a rather exciting plot offshoot involving an entertaining trio. If you're looking for a solid, entertaining, and sometimes bloody webcomic then I recommend Goblins as a primary selection choice.

Finally I would like to talk about one of my favorite webcomics, Manly Guys Doing Manly Things. Rather than get into how great I feel the plot is, how nice the artwork is, and everything else I'll just leave you with several of my favorite strips. You should at the very least read these strips here: The Saga of Jared Kowalski, the worst Pokemon Trainer ever.

"But mom.... There's wild Pokemon in the tall grass!"

Friday, January 18, 2013

Facebook Game Apps: Galaxy Legion

I'm one of the biggest critics when it comes to Facebook game applications so for me to find one that I actually enjoy playing is a rare feat. One of my absolute favorite games on Facebook is called Galaxy Legion. I actively play this game daily and am part of a large network of other players however... the thing that I like most about this game is that you don't have to add anyone to play! Let me say that one more time, you do not have to add a single person in order to play the game.

There are a few main focal points to this game. You want to improve your ship, acquire more and better planets, Legions (Guilds of players), there is PvP, and NPCing. There are other aspects of the game as well but those are the main points. Another great thing about this game is the fact that if you don't like how it's going then you can simply reset from the Help section and start over again! Some players do this after acquiring limited items that you can only get X amount of times and selling them for Complex Tech Parts (a very valuable in game commodity) on the Galaxy Legion Forum Trading Post Section. This is one way to get very rich in the game and then you can use your acquired wealth to purchase planets and other in game valuables.

Planets come in a wide variety of shapes, types, and sizes. The more valuable ones being larger with higher production values. Planets can produce one of three different resources; Minerals, Artifacts, and Research. Of the three possibilities Artifacts are indisputably the most valuable of the three as you can receive essentially free stat points to help improve your ship. Planets can be improved by general means to 15x Mega Rich in any of the given production. In order to help put into perspective the value of these resource types you should consider the following:

15x Mega Rich Very Large or Massive Mineral production planets are worth approximately 1,200 Complex Tech Parts,
15x Mega Rich Very Massive  or Colossal Research production planets are worth approximately 3,500 Complex Tech Parts, and
15x Mega Rich Very Massive or Colossal Artifact production planets are worth approximately 15,000+ Complex Tech Parts.

The larger the size of the planet the more structures you can place on it, thus generating more resource production or additional attack, defense, and/or cloaking structures. Of all the different variations it is indisputable about the most valuable naturally occurring planets are Dyson planets. Dyson planets are extremely rare but do exist and can produce on their own without any augmentation incredibly high amounts of production (I.E. 44x Mega Rich Artifact Production). If you're on the hunt for a planet it is definitely for Dyson planets.

You use the resources gathered from your planetary production to better your ship. When you start the game you get your choice of species from six starter species, the rest you unlock later after completing various energy intensive missions. The ship design you can use from the beginning is based on the species selection that you've started with however more ship designs will become available to you as you progress through the game which only adds to the appeal of playing.

You can join your ship up with other ships and form Legions. Players can contribute collectively towards their Legion base and participate in Legion battles, as well as enhance their base to produce resources which can be collected daily. Legions also offer bonuses to attack, defense, and stealth for planets you control. Experienced players in a Legion often offer detailed strategy, tips, and even free artifacts to newer players.

PvPing and NPCing coincide within the same basic battle system and contribute to a large portion of game play. Elite and Boss NPC units should be shared with your Legion as most allow 3-12 players to join in and add collective damage to the NPC and share the loot drops. All NPCs give experience as does every hit on another player. Focus on the PvP aspect of the game allows you to gather badges. Badges can be traded in for artifacts that buff specific stats, modules for your ship, planetary structures, and to lock enemy bases. 

You can earn badges by disabling other players (Red Badge per disable),
raiding other players (Can only be done after enemy ship is disabled, Yellow Badge), 
hacking an enemy player (Blue Badge, can be done when your cloaking is higher than your enemy scan), 
invading an enemy (Green Badge per invasion), 
attacking enemy bases during base battles (Silver Badge, amount varies based on damage done), and
disabling specific NPC enemies (Dark Badge one per disable of these enemies)

Finally you can enhance your gaming experience by purchasing Galaxy Points with USD and other exchangeable currencies. The items vary and there are seasonal items that come and go with various events. It is through the GP Store that you can purchase items such as the Reality Transfuser which can unlock the Analyze option on a planet allowing you to analyze a planet to unlock a permanent event on the planet. This includes; Planetary Rings, Large Moons, Small Moons, and Advanced Civilization Ruins. This is definitely a game that once you get comfortable with you'll feel very well about paying a little cash to enhance your playing experience. The game is free and this is the only way for the developers to make money so be sure to show your support.

All in all Galaxy Legion is one of the single most well rounded gaming experiences I've had the pleasure of having in any of my years as an avid gamer. While though I'm not very big into most Facebook games I have definitely grown very fond of Galaxy Legion and the many facets that this game has to offer.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anti-Hero Favorites: Richard B Riddick

I couldn't resist the opportunity to write about one of my absolute favorite protagonists, Richard B. Riddick. Riddick is portrayed by Vin Diesel in the movies, videogames, animated films, and comic books. In the mediums in which allow voice over acting that is also done entirely by Vin Diesel. Riddick was born an Alpha Furyan on the planet Furya. Thought strangled at birth by the Necromonger Zhylaw, Riddick grew up being ignorant of the fact that he was among the last of Furyan's left alive in the galaxy as the Necromonger slew the rest to extinction.

The movies and videogames come in chronological order as Escape from Butcher Bay (Video Game), Dark Athena (Video Game),  Pitch Black (Movie), Dark Fury (Animated Film), and The Chronicles of Riddick (Movie). Each of which having a profound impact on developing the intrinsic character that is Richard B. Riddick. Despite the challenge that the video games pose I strongly recommend them to any fan of the series for their storylines which only help to expand on the already diverse universe. From the pits of Butcher Bay to the bowels of Crematoria there isn't an aspect of the Riddick universe that should be left untouched.

Some of the more interesting traits of Riddick are often the more bold. Riddicks eyeshine, despite the story he weaves was actually a gift from his bloodline to help protect him in the dark. To protect his hyper sensitive  eyesight he is forced to wear a pair of goggles. The specific goggles aren't important but they have to be to the same degree of protection as a welder would use. Thus one of Riddick's biggest strengths is also one of his biggest weaknesses.

Despite being a cold killer with a blatant disregard for lives of others, Riddick has proven to have a soft spot for children. Going so far as to risk his own life to save that of Kyra. The girl whom he first meets during the escapades of Pitch Black. Adding even more of the downright infamous string of quotes that we have gotten from the movies.

"How's it look?" - Johns, Pitch Black
"Looks clear." - Riddick, Pitch Black  
"You keep what you kill." - The Chronicles of Riddick

If you would like to purchase the games, movies, or animated films you can find them all very reasonably priced on

Escape from Butcher Bay (PC)
Dark Athena (Comes with Escape from Butcher Bay, Xbox 360)
Dark Athena (PC; include Escape from Butcher Bay)
Pitch Black - $2.99 New
Dark Fury - $4.55 New
The Chronicles of Riddick - $2.99 New
The Chronicles of Riddick Complete Trilogy - $14.99 New $1.30 Used

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Anti-Hero Favorites Ghost Rider

I can't resist loving the story of the Ghost Rider. The story of Johnny Blaze, stunt motorcyclist, who sold his soul to the arch-demon Mephisto to save his mentors life. The arch-demon fused Johnny's soul with that of Zarathos, a firey demon who's hellfire burned the flesh off of Johnny's bones leaving him as merely a flaming skull of hellfire.

The Ghost Rider rides a motorcycle that has a life of it's own, though the best representation of this takes place in the movies starring Nicholas Cage you can still see the life of his steed in the comics as well.

Traditionally speaking on the comic plotline, the above sequence not only never took place but never could have. After the tragedy befalling his mentor, Mephisto came to claim Johnny's soul only to be thwarted halfway through causing a half bind. This caused the demon Zarathos to only come out at night and only when evil was around. Given time Johnny was eventually able to wield the power of the rider even during the day when evil was not around.

The Ghost Rider has been severely slighted in terms of video games without a single game allowing you to step into the shoes of the Rider, giving you his demon powers to wreck havoc among the wicked souls that walk the earth. Despite several appearances not a single game really captures the raw power that the Rider actually has.

The demon powers that Johnny, and originating while Daniel Ketch (A different protagonist Ghost Rider for several years.) was the Rider, poses while as the Rider are extensive however he is most famous for his hellfire chains and Penance Stare. The latter being the most powerful weapon but most time costly. It is performed by the Rider looking into the eyes of the wicked, they relive as the pain they inflicted is brought onto them.

The reason why the Ghost Rider makes my list is because he hunts the wicked, sending souls to fulfill his contract with Mephisto. However, the Rider only hunts the wicked since their evil strengthens him but being half demon and wicked as the hellfire that burns off of him it would be impossible to coin him as a hero. It was reasoned that the Rider is potentially the most powerful character in the Marvel universe, rivaling the virtually indestructible Hulk.

I do recommend watching the movies starring Nicholas Cage if you haven't already. You can find both movies for good deals on

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Anti-Hero Favorites: Jackie Estacado

One of my absolute favorite Anti-Hero characters is Jackie Estacado, the protagonist from The Darkness and The Darkness II. Jackie Estacado is the single most twisted and dark individual I have ever had the experience of playing as a character in any video game. The video game is based on the comic book series The Darkness as well as its spinoff series the Witchblade.

I've only read a couple of the comics from either series however I am an avid fan of the video game. This game is Rated M for Mature and I strongly support this ESRB rating. This game is for adults only, it is by far the most graphic video game series I have ever witnessed. The gore is only one aspect of how graphic this video game is at its core. Other aspects of how graphic this game is would entail giving away too many spoilers but I will say that it takes the perversion of evil to new and untouched levels.

Jackie Estacado is the protagonist of the respective series. Jackie was an orphan but was adopted from a young age in a matter of speaking by Don Frankie Franchetti. Raised into the Franchetti mob family Jackie was exposed to drugs, sex, and violence from a very young age. Throughout his teens Jackie helped build the Franchetti family into the most powerful in the city. It all changed on Jackie's 21st birthday when his inner darkness culminated and he learned of his inheritance of the Brotherhood of Darkness. The Darkness was from the age of creation and the opposite of nature to the Angelus. The Darkness feeding on darkness and being from the void itself and the Angelus feeding on light and being from the light itself. The two entities have been in constant conflict since the creation, at times causing havoc upon the created. In a point of time the two entities forged a truce sealed with consummation and thus the Witchblade was born. The Darkness passes from that point through male hosts, killing the father when his first born son is consummated. The Darkness then lies dormant until his 21st birthday and then wreaks havoc on the world for several years until the consummation of a new host.

The Darkness incarnates itself in the form of two wicked serpents that the host can control through efforts of sheer will. Eventually however the host loses more control and little by little loses the ultimate internal conflict with the affliction becoming forever the slave to The Darkness. Besides the use of the serpent incarnates the host also has the ability to summon hordes of minions, vile wicked creatues, to do their bidding. In addition to these traits is also slight precognition, tentacles that allow for super strength lifting and evisceration, and nearly impenetrable body armor.

Jackie isn't just a cold stone killer however, he has a soft side for more than his share of women. In particular Jackie has a soft spot for Jenny Romano, his orphanage days companion. They have a strong and sincere relationship and connection until shortly after Jackie inherited The Darkness.

Ultimately, the power of The Darkness shall not be forsaken.

This series is not for the faint of heart, however if you feel the need to divulge your inner demons you can find The Darkness and The Darkness II for very reasonable prices.

The Darkness for Xbox 360
The Darkness for PS3

The Darkness II for Xbox 360
The Darkness II for PS3

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pokemon X and Pokemon Y Under the Spotlight

Pokemon X and Pokemon Y announcement trailer:

So Pokemon X and Pokemon Y official announcement has been released marking the beginning of the 6th generation of Pokemon. There are several key points to focus on with this groundbreaking new gen...

Pikachu will be in this game! Yup... that's right Pikachu! That's what you were hoping for and the entire reason you stopped by to read, right?

Right... so the focus is on the new style this game is taking as well as the new starter Pokemon. The game style itself is apparently to take upon that of Europe more specifically that of France. Now I'm not on board with the rumors circulating regarding European conflicts being a back light to this game and I'd like to remind everyone not to believe rumors just because a couple hundred people are talking about it. Lets just keep the focus on the Pokemon and check out our new starters.

We'll start off with the one everyone is talking about, Fenniken.

Fenniken is the Fire Type started, a fox Pokemon. While though we don't know what any of the evolutions look like speculation is definitely in favor of a more masculine Ninetails variation. Regardless of speculation for one of the first stage evolution Pokemon Fenniken is definitely one of the very best looking. Coupled this with the 3D graphics this game is hosting and you've got a very impressive package.

The next Pokemon is the Grass Type Pokemon Chespin.

While though Chespin has been receiving a ton of criticism so far I feel it has a very clean art style and could turn into a very well rounded Pokemon in its evolutionary tract. Generation VI could prove to be the first generation that gives a good balanced starter line up with Chespin being potentially one of the best starter Grass Types to have ever been released. There are only six different starters so I can safely make that assumption and at the very least Chespin looks kinda cool.

Finally we have Froakie, the Water Type Pokemon.

Froakie has received the greatest amount of criticism but I'm still failing to understand why. It is a water type so naturally it is going to be styled for water affinity. In this case it's a frog, something I feel the franchise has long been lacking in terms of starter Pokemon. I'm fairly confident in assuming we're going to see it evolve into a Battletoad looking Pokemon as its final evolutionary stage with Water/Fighting Type attributes.

Another thing that has been receiving a ton of criticism has been that the game is geared for the sole use on the Nintendo 3DS. The moans and groans about how expensive they are I feel is unnecessary since you can pick them up fairly cheap on The Ninetendo 3DS is a solid piece of hardware that has long been lacking exclusive games to help drive sales and with the small exception of a few Mario games there hasn't really been a driving force within the market to actually go and purchase it until now since everything else worth playing on this medium is available as cross compatible with the Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, and Nintendo DS Lite.

Ultimately I feel as though a Pokemon game of this caliber is long over due and I'm interested in seeing what other Pokemon will be introduced in this generation, hopefully some of the Pokemon that have long been lacking love since Gen I and Gen II will finally get what they deserve in terms of prevolution and evolutionary stages.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Anti-Hero Favorites pt. 2

The Punisher has always been one of my all time favorite Anti-Heroes. Frank Castle, the man who became The Punisher has a back story that can rock the will of even the most hardened of inmates and critics alike. While though it has been portrayed through different variations a number of different ways the main factors stay the same. Frank Castle loses his wife and child to gang/mafia violence and is nearly murdered himself. Frank Castle returns as The Punisher and his sole purpose in life is to exact vengeance on the people responsible for killing his family.

In the original introduction of The Punisher, King Pin informs The Punisher that Spiderman was the one that killed off his family and essentially gains a free hit man to take the Spider out. By the end of the comic The Punisher learned the truth about Spiderman and instead turns on the King Pin for using him as a pawn.

Regardless of which rendition of The Punisher is your personal favorite...

...Frank Castle will always remain The Punisher.

The aspects of The Punisher that resonate deepest for me though are the aspects of him that are completely human. He has no super powers. He has no money. He is an alcoholic who so happens to be homicidal and depressed. He grieves nearly constantly for his family and it is a reoccurring theme to see him go out of his way to grieve as solitary as possible. Overall he is the most humanized, most realistic, of any Marvel (or otherwise) character that can go toe for toe with others who do have those perks and live to tell that tale.

The Punisher is by far one of the darkest characters of any genre of any media. I'm not saying this lightly either as any of you who know of Jackie Estacado know of how dark The Darkness can get. (Also, anyone who got that reference without having to google it should comment as such below so I can congratulate you on being right on par with my superior level of geekdom) The Punisher takes this to profound depths as he takes down some of the most powerful men in the world in the name of true justice. Some criminals can't be taken down legally, they will still need justice, they will still need The Punisher.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Anti-Hero Favorites

I've been a big fan of Anti-Heroes for most of my life but the epitome of those are The Punisher and Sephiroth. My admiration for these characters is too great to detail all in one post so today I'll focus my attention on Sephiroth.

Sephiroth, The One Winged Angel. While though often seen throughout the Final Fantasy VII universe as a villain thanks to the addition of Crisis Core for the PSP we get to see him in a much different light. If you haven't gotten the chance to play the Crisis Core game and you have a PSP then I strongly recommend you go buy it right now. Crisis Core is the entire back story of Zack Fair, the man whom Cloud Strife spends the bulk of FF VII believing is his own life story. Cloud is still facing the turmoil of not having his own past in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, another addition to the Final Fantasy VII universe you should definitely go buy. After spending the game learning all about who Zack really was and falling for his downright uplifting personality we end up with the tragic depart depicted in Final Fantasy VII.

As moving as the Crisis Core game was it did delve into several other characters allowing an amazing opportunity to watch and experience first hand the relationship between Sephiroth and his peers, the relationship between Zack and Aerith, and Zack and Cloud after the subjugation of experiments at the hands of Professor Hojo of Shinra. Point is, that Crisis Core is a must play if only for the story. The game play itself is wonderful and does an even better job at putting players in the Final Fantasy VII universe than the original game itself did.

It was during Crisis Core that we begin to learn that Sephiroth began to go awry from Shinra only after his peers go astray. We get to see both Sephiroth's power and his self control in multiple instances and it is through this that helps show the human side of him. It is through this portion of the Final Fantasy VII universe that we finally see a distinction between Sephiroth the monster and Sephiroth the Soldier. This distinction is what allows Sephiroth to be an Anti-Hero instead of just a villain.

If you would like to buy Crisis Core you can pick it up at a great price on By clicking that link it will take you right to the game so you can pick it up. If you need a PSP you could also get that on or you could swing by Gamestop to get one.

The sheer overwhelming power of Sephiroth is by no means anything to sneer at which is an experience Cloud comes to terms with in the movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. It is through this story that we learn that no one really dies provided they are connected through the Lifestream and that Sephiroth can be reincarnate through his avatars. You can also find Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children on as well.

In Final Fantasy VII itself we learn that Sephiroth's ultimate goal is to use the planet as a vessel to travel the cosmos just as his mother, the alien Jenova herself, once did. His ultimate goal was to find a new planet to have a fresh start on, but to do so was to forsake everyone and everything in the current planet even the planet itself.

When put in perspective, Sephiroth's power is nearly limitless yet somehow he is managed to be defeated by Cloud! Cloud... the guy who has mental issues and can barely function in the company of others. That Cloud...

At least we have the infamous incident of Nibelheim to remind everyone that Sephiroth is a force to be reckoned with!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Digimon: A Glance Back at Childhood

I was always a huge fan of Digimon, and the first three seasons really hit a special place in my childhood memories. My favorite season by far was season three when the Digi-destined were instead Digi-tamers.

Coupled in was a clever marketing ploy to implement sales for the Digimon TCG. The TCG never did quite take off as it rightly should have. I would have loved to have gotten my hands on a foil Greymon or Wargreymon.

Nevertheless it was a very well balanced season. The cards aspect took some imagination to fill in the blanks as I imagined the kids had to do chores and small jobs to earn the money they needed to buy booster packs to get the simple power cards that they needed for when their Digimon were in battle. Since Konami never touched on that aspect I just used my imagination.

Even though I felt the season finale was a huge let down, coupled with my disappointment that we didn't get a sequel season to that aspect of the Digimon universe, I still felt it made up for its lacking points throughout the rest of the season. Some of the main key points that set this season apart from the other four seasons was the graphics which were by far the best up to that point and stronger lighting elements throughout the fight scenes than the proceeding two seasons.

Better dialogue overall compared to all other seasons as well as better characters and character development. I know it was heart touching when Sora was going through her dilemma about love and the meaning of her crest in the first season but season two lacked any real character development. The only character that developed at all in season two was the Digimon Emperor growing into Ken. At least season three had not just one or two people but a total of five major character developments. Rika, Henry, Takato, Jeri, and Impmon. While though there were plenty of other characters none of them actually developed any. They were still the exact same as they were when their characters were first introduced.

The fact that some characters had to go through character development before they could obtain new levels of power...

...simply added to the overall affect that this powerful season left you with.