Monday, December 27, 2010

Runaways Teenage Wasteland

Type: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Marvel
Writer/Artist: Vaughan, Alphona, Myazawa

Teenage super hero groups are a dime a dozen and they all seem to have the same issue: we are super hero kids with big responsibilities.  They are always living in a shadow, trying to earn their own way, while having big hormonal relationships.  It's like Gossip Girl and Star Search having a baby with the Justice League.  That is probably why the Runaway series is so brilliant.

In the Runaway series: Teenage Wasteland, the six renegade reluctant heroes have to make a living, while their evil parents try to track them down.  The charm of this story comes in how fresh and reluctant all the heroes are, and how they don't hide their true selves.  Alex tries his best to be a mature leader of the team, but even the reader can tell that he didn't sign up for such a life as this.  Meanwhile, Molly is the innocent little girl trying to have fun, Gert hides her feminine qualities behind a sarcastic exterior, Chase is rushing into things and Karolina is trying to understand her alien identity.  Alex and Nico are the proverbial Cyclops and Jean of the team, trying to understand their feelings for each other, but staying strong to protect the others.  What this results in is a glorious story that rebels from the casual "we are teenagers who have to fight crime" and focuses it on the personal struggle of being a teenager with the weight of a responsibility on your shoulders.  Plus, the kids speak all the things we wish heroes would really speak, "Your costume is retarded," "Why are you dressed like a slut?"  "That's the dumbest idea I have ever heard."

The art is very teenager friendly.  Simple lines and digital coloring make this a very clean read.  There's a slight hint of Japanese influence, but it's all Marvel.  Every color, line and text is perfect for the reader.

If you are a teenager who recently escaped the fallout explosion of puberty, it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.  Maybe your parents aren't a league of evil super villains, but you are holding onto a lot of responsibilities.  That's why I constantly search for the truth in the Gospel where Jesus urges us to work with him and in return he will help carry the heavy burden on our shoulders.  If there was anything Jesus had a heart for was helping people too exasperated to help themselves.  Oh sure, you are a super hero to those around you, but you can't fight forever by yourself.  Sometimes you need someone to lift the burden around you.

+ Great teenager dialogue
+ Gripping character struggles
+ Fun and easy read

-- They haven't pwned any major villain yet


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Sports Guides For Beginners (Humor)

NFL Throw

Near the end of the year, family and friends come together to shove breading impolitely into a large fowl and watch what can only be called "the game."  This is a tradition followed for centuries, where guests will come into your festive house and ask, "Is the game on?"  For those of you lost in this art, the game refers to a competitive North American trial of two city states wrestling for a ball on a regulated field.  This is called "the game" and it must be "on" at the time that the guests arrive.

The game = Football (thumbs up)
The game = Marathon of the Wiggles (thumbs down)

The game is on = a screen showing the game (thumbs up)
The game is on = a black screen or a screen showing a marathon of the Wiggles (thumbs down)

Once it has been confirmed that the game is "the game" and it is, in fact, "on", then you can move into the partaking of the game.  There are three specific rules for making sure the game is watched correctly. 1)supporting the correct game squadron, 2) yelling the right game phrases, 3) using the game as a right of immunity.  Let's investigate this further.

1.  The game must consist of a squadron that is geographically relevant to a city-state that is near said owner of home or the squadron must be better in achievement then squadron that is geographically relevant.  In no case, is the guest allowed to have two teams of favor.  In the religious world, we call this monotheism.  The owner of home is allowed to have more than one squadron of appreciation, but those squadrons are not competing in "the game" for that evening.

Team of favor by locationality = Buffalo Bills (thumbs up)
Team of favor by locationality= Africa (thumbs down)

Team of favor by achievement = New York Jets (thumbs up)
Team of favor by achievement = Buffalo Bills (thumbs down)

2) Once the game is on and the squadron is chosen by location or achievement, the ritual of morale building and aggressive education must commence.  Honored veterans have been part of this ritual for centuries, leaving the beginner to feel a little inadequate for this process.  But understanding the morale building and aggressive education ritual of watching "the game" is of utmost important.  Here is a guide.

Morale Building:
Touchdown!  Touchdown!--Translation: "Squadron has achieved numerical progression!  Squadron has achieved numerical progression!"

Get him!  Get him!--Translation: "Perhaps by physical contact, you will accomplish your top priority in this competition!"

Run!  C'mon! Run!--Translation: " Motivate momentum at greater will, goal achievement is catalyzed!"

Aggressive Education:
The ref was totally blind!--Translation: "I acquit the squadron's last strategy deemed misdemeanor, the guilt is on the judge!" 

"The guy was totally in bounds!"--Translation: "The bylaws of this competition are not being met by my standard of justice, please reevaluate his current stance on the issue."

"That play was terrible!"--Translation: "I wish my squadron no harm, but their integrity on the field of judgment lacks in the standard at which I set my expectation."

Learning how to speak either the translation or the vernacular is important to receiving the nutrients of the game.  Continued practice will ensure that you will be yelling, "Proceed, Squadron, proceed" at the right time.

3) Exercising the mandated rights of the game is of utmost important to the holiday ritual.  Failure to enter into the policies and articles of the game will result in a less than stellar expectation.
  • Partakers of the game have the right to refuse indoor and outdoor tasks by any taskmaster who deems them available to produce labor at the time of the game's entrance into visible media. Example: You do not have to set the thanksgiving table if the game is on!
  • Partakers of the game have the right to exercise liberal amounts of volume control regardless of the outside environment (baby sleeping, family having dinner).  Example: "Proceed, Squadron, Proceed!"
  •  Partakers of the game have the right to angrily knock over any obstacle (animal, vitamin or mineral) in the event that the game has caused undue mischief or depression, without threat of homeowner recourse or retaliation. Example: an ottoman being thrown at a window.

Once the game is deemed "the game", proven to be "on", the squadron is chosen, the vernacular is used and the rights are mandated, then it is possible for the visitors and the homeowner to fully partake into this ritual.  While other guests are opening gifts, impolitely filling a turkey with bread or trying to get a baby to sleep, you can rest assure that "the game" is meeting your most natural of holiday needs.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!!

 Christmas in the Mike household was very fruitful and I was glad to eat shrimp and bacon filled foods with my family, while mother commentates that the gifts weren't perfect.  This is a joyful time, where my grandma mixes it up a bit by making us answer a gift riddle that most prophets and dream interpreters would stumble over.  And who can forget the presents and gifts that will ensure 1) that I will not be naked for at least 2 weeks and 2) That I finally have enough socks to finish my life sized Napoleon army sock puppet recreation.  But perhaps the best thing about this yuletide season is knowing that Jesus will takeover the world one day and it started on a day like today.

The good news is I have three graphic novels for your review: Marvel's Siege, Young Avengers: Dark Reign and The Runaways.
There will be a slur of bigger and better games for review: Mass Effect 2 (PS3), Little Big Planet 2 and maybe even Wii Zumba.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mike's Top 6 Comic Series of 2010

 Blackest Night #1-8
Grant Morrison
This was a fresh approach to the DC super colossal event.  It was a straight forward world threat story about the black ring with no distracting subplots and random side stories popping up and never completing.  The team of Flash, Green Lantern, Mera and  The Atom get ample spotlight, showing that sometimes Batman and Superman can take a break. Technically, this comic starts from 2009, but I think it was the great start for DC using other parts of their artistic muscle.


New Avengers (Powerloss)

In the buildup to Siege, The New Avengers are being hunted by the Hood's caudry of goons.  Doctor Jonas Harrow builds a powers bomb that steals all the powers of Spiderman, Luke Cage, Spider Woman and the other Avengers.  It's a good conflict, pitting the team against every bad guy imaginable and having no way to defend themselves.

B +
The Mighty Avengers # 21-23

I love this team origin story because it gives the right limelight to some heroes that badly need the coverage.  Hank Pym sorely needed to be seen as a competent scientist and his exposure grows from here on.  In the story The Scarlet Witch recruits Hank Pym, Hercules, Jocasta, US Agent, Vision, Cassandra and Cho (boy genius) to fight off a global threat of evil magic.  The team is so fresh that anyone looking for a set of characters to fall in love will definitely be rewarded.


Justice Society of America: The Bad Seed
Bill Willingham

The JSA get a fresh makeover as Bill Willingham writes for this 5 issue run.  In this story, Obsidian gets turned into an egg, and a flurry of B-list villains overpower the JSA (Eclipso, The Dog Pound, Tapeworm...).  This story arc adds complete anarchy to the team in sheer numbers, which is what the JSA stories has thrived on.  The whole graphic novel is a mental assault which keeps you guessing till the very end.


Batman and Robin: Reborn
Grant Morrison
After the death of Batman's Bruce Wayne, Grant Morrison decided to take the story in the new direction.  Dick Grayson is portrayed as a struggling understudy, trying to fill the shoes of a perfectionist. Damian, the new Robin, plays the immature young sidekick who just doesn't understand the responsibility. In light of the threat of Professor Pyg and the Red Hood, both Dick and Damian power through it and show a new arc to the Batman series: we are not Bruce Wayne, but we can still be Batman and Robin.


Special Mention:

Detective Comics: Batwoman

Batwoman is in her own universe, fighting her own villains.  Greg Rucka spins a tale of a bold heroine with the fear tactics of Batman, but the exotic style all her own.  She battles a deranged Lewis Carol psychopath, named Alice, who wants to plant a bomb over Gotham.  Meanwhile, Batwoman's alternative lifestyle and relationship with her father come up as mini conflicts to the journey of the rising heroine.  In the Batwoman Annual, we learn that she has a twin sister that we thought was killed in a terrorism accident, but ends up being the deranged Alice.

B +


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

How To Write Like Nicholas Sparks (Humor)

Nicholas Sparks has declared himself the master of romance writing. I think its only fair to instruct promising writers on how to write such masterful works. I may not have captured his entire special technique, but you can get pretty darn close. We could only hope to be as gifted.

Notebook...formerly called College Ruled Loose Leaf of Love

Step 1: Make the center of attraction two good looking white people in somewhat bearable status.
(note: the white people must be of American or European descent, but not those weird Eastern Europe folk who sound weird)

Step 2: Use the plot device of opposites to stir up CONFLICT
rich or poor
religious or rebellious
free or slave
constipated or irritable
(Note: Use of ethnic opposites voids step one’s “white policy” and thus makes a different novel of the non-Sparks variety)

Step 3: Throw in an obstacle that makes the love difficult
terminal illness
rich parents (who are white)
religious differences (see step 2)

I'm so sad I missed the first song
Step 4: concoct a romantic scene that involves beach or grassy hill
frolicking through the sands (white sands)
Putting seashells around Miley Cyrus
Laying in a grassy overpass
Jamming a notebook into a bottle and putting it out to sea
Feeding grapes to each other on a beach

Step 5: Throw in monkey wrench in relationship that could split each other apart
Cheating boyfriend
Hateful attitude
Lack of beaches or grassy hills
Terminal illness makes partner unattractive (void of step one)
Boyfriend forgets to tell girl that he really met her just to get back at her police dad, but then redeems himself by being part of the 9/11 act of terrorism.

The relationship between the flower and the bicycle is breathtaking

Step 6: Sappy and profound realization of partner that makes the ensuing marriage work out
Love is eternal if love is happy
It can all work out if we work together
The butterflies in your tummy can fly to your heart and make you free
Abercrombie can lift us high on eagle’s wings
I’d rather die knowing you were white and in my arms than live a thousand non-white days without you

Step 7: Characters die as symbolic meaning (very rare and unique Sparkian plot device)
(note: Do not include in your story that at the point of decease the digestion systems releases. It’s a mood killer)

Extra: Big non-specific nouns as a title.

Example:Feather in a Trapper-Keeper
Maria Whiterson is a rich heiress living in California
She falls in love with a rebellious, poor train grifter named Swain Whitely
Their love is forbidden because Swain is poor (but still an attractive poor, which means he can afford Noxema)
Swain takes her to a grassy field where he puts seashells in the shape of Miley Cyrus’ body. She falls in love.
But then Maria gets a terminal disease.
So Swain makes the realization that he is only 1/4 of a man if he cannot have more than half of her.
She greatly appreciates the message and they finish their relationship by both dying (in a non messy way).


Monday, December 20, 2010

Verses that everyone thinks is in the Bible- Part I

“A loving God would never send anyone to Hell.”

This is a hope filled verse and technically its true. Why wouldn’t we want to canonize this statement and pin it to the Almighty Lord of love? We are his children after all. Plus, Hell is such an awful description that no religion trying to gain converts should associate with it. Even purgatory would be a better guess.

Example I: Dante's Inferno

Here’s why this verse does not contend with Biblical scripture. Getting rid of Hell is not a rational answer. Jesus speaks about Hell more than any destination in the Gospels. He claims that Hell is like a nasty smelling trash dump (Gehanna). He claims that the body can suffer in Hell for not repenting of their lust. He directly reports that God will separate the lambs from the goats (the goats get the bad petting zoo). Hell is for that guy who spits at his brother in hatred or the guy who hordes too much money. Finally, in his pep talk, Jesus claims that the church will fight against the gates of Hell.

The apostles carry on this theology with Peter claiming that false prophets will get the worst level of Hell (Tartarus). John has a vision of the followers of the cult of the false prophet getting burned forever in a lake of sulfur.

In the Old Testament, Heaven and Hell are not quite developed in theology, but the followers fear the place of shades (Sheol).

Getting rid of Hell is not a biblical option.

Well that’s dumb! You think all God has to do is say, “no Hell” and suddenly the big fiery pit in the ground dries up. I mean, if God is so darn willing to save us all, why doesn’t he just crash the Hell party and kick everyone out.

Or perhaps you think God loves the idea of sending people to Hell.  He is like a cosmic grandma who catches her grandchildren sitting on the couch without the plastic covering.  She then wigs out and refuses to speak to you forever and puts poison in your macaroni when you come over for dinner..

Hell is not a place of suffering for those who have been really bad. You won’t go down there and see Hitler being tickle tortured, while Mussolini is being force fed black licorice. This is not just the land of child molesters and people who rip tags off of mattresses. Hell is a place for EVERYONE!

Before you light your pitchfork on fire, hear me out.

It happened in a garden. When Eve and Adam committed the first no-no before their Heavenly father, something new was created. A gigantic rift between God and his people. It was the first time in history that people could not knock on the Almighty’s door and just have some tea and conversation. The lack of obedience caused a new option: humanity in direct opposition with perfect nature. Darkness instead of light. Disorder instead of organization. Truth be told, Adam and Eve were the first ones to use the world incorrectly and it tipped the scales in favor of chaos. But wait….? Can’t God just make them say sorry and both laugh about it later. Isn’t Hell a bit of an overreaction?

Adam: Remember God when we ate fruit from that tree we were not supposed to eat?
God: (chuckles) Yea, you kids were crazy. It was a good thing I forgave you instead of freaking out.
Adam: Oh yea, you were quite miffed. I’m really glad you didn’t make that eternal torture chamber.

Favorite Hymn on the theology of Hell

It’s not that easy. We are talking a total breakdown of law causing a ripple effect through time. This is like the butterfly effect on crack! The presence of sin on day one has been a shock wave through us like a spiritual cancer. This is not saying sorry to Ms. Fogarty for peeing on her flowers. We can forgive each other easily and not care about it because easy forgiveness doesn’t cost anything. Even if the forgiveness is emotionally difficult it can still be done between humans.  This divine forgiveness costs something. Like a criminal who breaks the law, a good judge must do something about it or be forced to make an exception against greater nature. When God’s children break from perfection, an orderly and organized God must do something about it. That fate is Hell: the place of chaos, the place of disorder, the opposite of God's intentions. The other option would be to repeal free will and use us all like puppets. That option was on the table, but God was not a big fan of it.

Angel 1: So I am thinking we can make your creations come with pull strings and marionettes so they are easier to control.
God: How about we let them go crazy and choose wrong versus right?
Angel 1: Ha ha ha ha ha…oh man you are such a kidder…wait what?

More modern illustration on Hell

But here’s the truth. God doesn’t want to do the inevitable. Just because his children gave him the spiritual middle finger doesn’t mean God has to be the mean judge. In fact, this is exactly why Jesus was sent. Jesus downgraded his Heaven flesh for a full on skin suit and played human for 33 years. He had a three year Earth ministry and got a retirement cross for all his troubles. But before you go into cross assassination conspiracies, Jesus claims to have willfully walked on death row. His reason, to switch places with us in Hell. If forgiveness costs something, Jesus decided to be the thing that it costs.  He became the Adam and Eve punishment that we were supposed to get. It sounds crazy, right?

Satan: What the crap? What are you doing here, Jesus?
Jesus: I’m trading places with those who are supposed to go here.
Satan: Ha! Did you get into the cat’s medicine? No one should want that.
Jesus: What can I say? I’m a sucker for the flesh walkers. Don’t worry, I’ll be out of your hair in three days.

You see, we do have a loving God and he does not want anyone to go to Hell. Anyone who would go to such great lengths to send Jesus to Earth to die in our stead, is either a sick person by far or strictly engaged in seeing us thrive. I could go on and on about Jesus’ crucifixion and its importance for us sinners, but I will leave you with this: someone love’s you enough to stop the inevitable from happening.

P.S. I made this article very light and quite humorous, but I understand the seriousness of this place.  My point was not to belittle Hell with humor, but to raise up God's loving agenda through Jesus.  A lot of articles make people feel very little and caged when talking about Hell.  My intent was to invite the viewer in to God's whole plan.  That is a topic of great joy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Neon Trees-- Habits

Artist Neon Trees
Label: Mercury Records
Album: Habits
Sounds Like: A lot of Christian pop (Newsboys, Sanctus Real...etc) but with much more amorous themes.

Too rocky to be a pop star, but too melodramatic and hipster to be an alternative song.  Neon Trees are a mix of Top 40's Pop with the jazzy bits of a rock album.  They are in a purgatory that they share with Maroon 5 and Avril Lavigne.

The album Habits is like an insincere apology letter.  The lyrics of singer/songwriter Tyler Glenn focus on his different experiences with loving the opposite sex.  He apologizes for being a bit too naughty in his youth in Sins of my Youth, but then invites another girl to take a leap of faith and swallow his heart in Animal.  1983 calls out a foxy flame for being such a tease and making him feel like a baby again, while Glenn serenades another beauty to give her whole body to him in Your Surrender.  I'm not sure if the band knows what they want in a girl, but it seems like their hormones are all over the map.  We can be sure that self control is not evident in the song In the Next Room as the singer confesses his infatuation for yet another diva.  While Glenn's relationships are in a state of chaos, the music seems very straight forward.  It's alternative pop, with some honey vocals that make the music sound sincere.  Only one song deviates with a techno beat that I am sure will be played in some club somewhere.

Habits is a great effort to serenade women, but musically it is nothing the Christian pop artists haven't mastered already.  The vocals, the lyrics and the music are of high quality, and the upbeat songs are worth singing in a van full of teenagers, but the band still hasn't reached their potential.

What Does It Mean?
It's easy to call this band a bunch of immature hormonal teens, but Glenn's lyrics may have tripped over a greater truth.  The song Your Surrender is about trusting someone enough to let them in totally.  It shows that relationships without trust and commitment are weak.  It's the same trust that God wants the world to feel toward him.  He desires the same intimate relationship and closeness.  In the song Love and Affection it's amazing how Glenn discovers the importance of being loved.  We were not made to be independent and alone, but for love from others. Love may be reduced to physical in today's popular entertainment, but I think we all agree that we need it.

You make love to everything you touch
It's a reaction, sexual attraction
You play me like I'm made of strings
I'm the violin, a melody, I want your lips to sing
In The Next Room 

+ Fun up beats
+ Some deep lyrics if you dig

-- Is it alternative?  Is it pop?
-- Some of the love messages are immature and boyish


Friday, December 17, 2010

Brittany's Top 5 Albums of 2010


Artist: My Chemical Romance
Genre: Punk/heavy metal
Album: Danger Days: The lives of fabulous killjoys

I think this album is voted #1 on the top 5 albums of 2010 because they totally changed their style of music and made it a more energetic and bubbly. They also made tons of fans realize the meaning of their music and changed many lives.

Artist: Chris Tomlin
Genre: Praise and Worship
Album: And if our God is for us…

I think this album is voted # 2 on the top 5 albums of 2010 because this artist shares the trials of the world and that there is hope in Jesus and all we need to do is believe. It also expresses how we are nothing and that we should be sent to hell but he loves us and sent his son so we can be saved and have everlasting life.

Artist: Tokio Hotel
Genre: Heavy Metal
Album: Best Of

I think this album is voted #3 on the top 5 albums of 2010 because they have really awesome music in numerous different languages and because their former language is German, which makes their music reflect their culture which in time teaches us how music can be used to express one’s culture and style of music.

Artist: Plain White T’s
Genre: Power Pop
Album: Wonders of the Younger

I think this album is voted #4 on the top 5 albums of 2010 because the music is very creative and can really speak to the listeners if they listen closely and with an open heart. This band also reflects the culture that they stand for and they are a really good band to listen to..

Artist: Radoslav Kvapil
Genre: Piano
Album: Anthology of Czech music volume 4

I think this album is voted #5 on the top 5 albums of 2010 because this artist expresses peace and is very relaxing. He plays the piano in a beautiful way and is great to enjoy. I think if people, who were commonly stressed, listened to some of these pieces they would fall into a peaceful state for at least a little while.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

If Movie Stars Could Tweet (Humor)

Movie: Taken
Who: Bryan Mills
Tweet: My daughter was taken by Albanian poo bags! Suxors!

Movie: Sixth Sense
Who: Dr. Malcom Crowe
Tweet: No one is replying to these. Am I dead?!

Movie: The Matrix
Who: Morpheus
Tweet: Note to self…read over inspirational quotes and profound messages for new kid.

Movie: Titanic
Who: Jack
Tweet: I’m on a boat! I’m on a boat…flippy floppies…

Movie: Batman Begins
Who: Bruce Wayne
Tweet 1pm: My parents were killed.
Tweet 3pm: My parents were killed.
Tweet 5pm: My parents were killed.

Movie: National Treasure
Who: Ben Gates
Tweet: Beautiful Saturday…think I am going to do my laundry, go to the store and infiltrate the Library of Congress in an attempt to steal Lincoln’s beard, which was put here by Thomas Jefferson after he hid the constitution in a Dr. Seuss book.

Movie: Alice in Wonderland
Who: Mad Hatter
Tweet: I cannot get the Barbie Girl song out of my head!

Movie: Momento
Who: Leonard
Tweet: I forgot what I was gonna write…lol

Movie: Twilight
Who: Edward Cullen
Tweet: I suck as an actor.

How Rob Zombie is like an iPod Touch (Humor)

1. They frequently tell you that they are going to die soon
2. They promise to give you more if you continue to touch them
3. They were huge early in their career but now they just seem annoying popping up everywhere
4. They both tend to think that they are the best thing to ever happen to cinema
5. Taking an old idea and making it more expensive–they mastered it (ipad, Halloween)
6. Both might end up in a ditch after the public is done with them
7. Both of them worship a very powerful creature capable of changing tides of influence every year.
8. Both are used to attract scantily clad women
9. Unless you cover them in thick plastic they will have scars and scratches all over them
10. They both turn off completely if you put them in the shower or try to clean them with water

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Christmas List 2010 (Humor)

Every year Walmart fills up to the brim with soccer moms willing to ghetto stomp any human to get the latest toy.  This has genuinely been the way America has celebrated the birth of baby Jesus.  Whether this was a red fuzzy monster that begged you to touch it or a wind up hamster that runs along a track, America has jumped all over this trend.  We here at Brave New Toy have caught on and want to share this with you.  Take a look at our categories and marvel at your choices.

Medal of Honor: Congress Edition

Tagline: All the heat of war, discussed by old men
Synopsis: You play a 77 year old representative of North Dakota whose only big accomplishment was repealing a soybean tax in the third district.  Now you have to sit through long congressional hearings as middle aged men decide the fate of our soldiers.  The level designs all involve the house of Congress, but you can download different wallpapers and skins.  In multiplayer mode you can get a server of 16 of your friends and vote on different zone sanctions.  It's addicting playing "Capture the Filibuster."

Review: The concept is very real, but I wish my character had brought a good magazine.

DC Vs. Archie

Tagline: It was bound to happen.
Synopsis: The heroes of the DC universe crossover to the Archieverse where they are caught in combat with Archie and his pals.  Suddenly, different members of the JLA are forced to fight different members of Archie comics.  Batman vs. Jughead, Deathstroke vs. Veronica, Aquaman vs. Pop Tate, Lex Luthor vs. Moose Mason.  The universe is at stake as Archie and Superman must work together to combine the worlds into Archie Earth- D.

Review: Very disappointed that Batman lost to Jughead.

The Ke$ha Biography: Pretendin' Ain't EZ
Tagline: The life of a girl with no life
Synopsis: You've heard this 16 year old sing about getting hot guys, having crazy booze parties and living the fulfilling life of a constant partier.  The first 3 pages of her book explain the crazy party life required by her CD contract and the other 207 pages just talks about her normal life as a farm girl who's voice sounds good with an auto tuner.  The Foreword is written by Satan.

Review: Ke$ha paints a beautiful portrait about how pretending to be a drunken and loose teenager is better than actually being one.

Spiderman Future: The Arthritis Years

Tagline: Spiderman fights crime with the help of Aleve
Synopsis: In the distant future, Spiderman has inflamed joints and no longer can do any of the things he could do as a teenager.  Instead he puts on his suit and smack talks his enemies.  Kingpin allegedly kidnapped Mary Jane who is an over the hill 300 pound actress doing cat food commercials.  Because of the pain killers he is taking, Spiderman can no longer use his spider sense accurately or shoot webbing.  He must team up with Daredevil who was put in a prison he can't escape (actually it's just his room, but Norman Osborn rearranged the furniture).  

Review: Meh, it's more entertaining than She Hulk.

Grand Theft Recession

Tagline: Thug life isn't easy, especially with our debt issues.
Synopsis: You play as a low level thug for the street gang "The Red Vipers."  Your boss tells you that you have to own the city of New Manhattan by robbing and doing drug deals.  The problem: no one has any money.  The game mirrors our sliding economy with a special economic physics engines.  Your low level street thug has to rob at least six homes to make enough money to buy part of a gun so he can threaten to carjack someone with a Pinto.  In later levels, you have to beat the clock by robbing businesses before they file chapter 11.  You run a drug and prostitute cartel that can only afford half a bottle of tainted Advil and a picture of Lady Gaga.  In the last level you have to run from Obama before he can pin the national debt on you and sink you into a fate worse than prison.

Review: Thirteen hours into this game and I can almost afford to fill up an M16 clip.

Call of Duty: Civil War Ops

Tagline: When Russians Cause Civil War, Abraham Lincoln Needs his Best Soldiers
Synopsis: The time period is 1680 and you play a Russian soldier who lives in America during the Civil War.  Abraham Lincoln has you strapped down in a chair and tortures you with Akimbo pistols.  He desperately wants to know what secret missions you have been performing with the Russians.  There is a plot that the South is using a missile silo that shoots out Native Americans.  Most of your missions are in Russia, torturing people and stopping the world from going into World War 0.5.  You have to go over to the North where you will battle undercover as a Russian terrorist.  In a stunning change of events, Stonewall Jackson turns on you and leads the North to believe that you are behind some terrorist plot.  In the stunning conclusion, you can call in air support to disable the missiles.  But really, who gives a rip?  You're just going to play it for 5 hours and go straight to multiplayer anyway.

Review: Some of this game might be historically inaccurate, but I am sure that Treyarch won't mind.

Other notable purchases:

High School Vampire Wizard Romance Adventures: They fly on brooms, make out with each other and whine in depressing tones...every girl's dream.

Praise Band 3 : It's a Christian version of the popular Rock Band game.  It's like having a poorly made evangelist in your house.

Gold's Jazzercise Kickboxing Weightloss Diet Cookbook (Wii): Finally a video game for hard working, on the go moms.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (Xbox360)

 Title:Need For Speed Hot Pursuit
Company: EA Games
Systems: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii

Need For Speed: Hot pursuit  is the sequel to Burnout: Paradise that crash-n-burners never got, but with police!  This is about all  that can be said to be good about this game.  With a lack of story line, zero encouragement to continue, and severe lack of things to DO, this game failed on my list.

There is no story.  You  choose whether you  want to  race as a cop or a racer, and can change whenever you  want.  With no alliances to either, there is no  objective except to beat the game and unlock achievements for your gamerscore.

For a racing game, the controls were very quick to pick  up, and  the game was very easy to play, but that is where the gameplay  "pros" end.

The issues however, are abundant.

1.  There are basically only two things you can do, and that is it. You can race, or you can chase. No exceptions.  Once you have raced the opening scene you have  accomplished all this game has to offer.
2. One of the biggest fads withing the racing game genre is modding cars.  With this game, you can't even OWN cars, let alone modify them to fit your style.
3. You  unlock cars/races by gaining "bounty."  But...cops getting a  "bounty"?!? Since when does THAT make sense? (Editor's note: It makes about as much sense as earning money in Call of Duty's Black Ops Multi-player)
4. The cars don't handle anything like their real counterparts.  They  have muscle cars with the best handling,  tuners with the highest acceleration...etc.  They put a lot of research into the car's history and making, but very little into how they actually drive, which was a big letdown for me, being a total gear-head.

This whole game has  the feel  of being slapped together real quick.  There is no substance to this game, except where you gamer score is concerned.

Art ideas:
The art style (along with the gameplay) of this release, almost mirrored the original Hot Pursuit  for the Playstation 1.  The road was an obvious loop of the same cracked pavement.  The landscape was better than the original, but with no free roam, there is no way to enjoy it.  One of the big things in arcade racers is having beautiful stage graphics when going fast.  While the textures are better than the PS1 and the tech city is light years ahead, it might not be enough to cover the slim campaign mode. 

Final Idea:
This game lacked any reason to go out and purchase it.  I wouldn't recommend this game to  anyone.  If they like the crashes and crazy speed, I would recommend Burnout. If they like the racing and the police chases, I would recommend NFS Carbon or Most Wanted.  If you really want to try it, go  for it, but you will  be bored within thirty minutes.

Spiritual Point:
One of the big points of this game is driving destructively:  Big crashes, wrecking cars (police and pedestrian), driving on the wrong side of the road, and doing other stupid crazy things.  Other than that, there is no plot to the game, and therefore no other moral dilemmas.

[Editor's Note-  Police are often viewed as obstacles toward freedom and the way to live right.  We forget sometimes that the Police's primary job is to stop all danger and threats.  In the same vein, God gets the same rap that the police get.  He has too many rules!  He requires too many laws!  How can anyone get to Heaven with a cop like God patrolling the universe?  But two things need to be taken into account 1) God's rules and laws (in respect to the 10 Commandments) are for safety and harmony between people.  2) The Bible is loaded with testimonies of failure in following these rules.  Many Bible heroes were just as sinful as you and me.  How did they keep God the cop from making an arrest?  The answer lies in Jesus.]

     Easy to pick up
     Online  play with friends

      Lack   of story
      Cars don't handle realistically
      Nothing to do




Friday, December 10, 2010

The Year's Top Video games 2010

Here's a chance for you guys to nominate what the best games were for this year.  Just leave your nominations in the comment area and we will enter them into the poll.  I've entered my two cents already and each category.


Best First Person Shooter
1. Call of Duty Black Ops

Best Video game news
1. Unveiling the Kinect

Best Open World Game
1. Just Cause 2

Best Music inspired game
1. Dance Central

Best Family Friendly Game
1.  Kirby Yarn

Most unneeded sequel
1. Tony Hawk Shred

Best Downloaded Game
1. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Most Annoying Game
1. UFC Undisputed 2010

Best Sports Game
1. Split/Second

Best Story
1. Alan Wake

Best Graphics
1. Alan Wake

Best Music
1. Guitar Hero: Warrior

Best Motion Game
1. Dance Central

Best Game of the Year
1. Assassins Creed: Brotherhood

Send in your picks

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Captain America 612

Captain America 612
Publisher: Marvel
Writer/ Artist: Brubaker, Guice, Djurdjevic

 Synopsis: Bucky Barnes does his time in jail, while Cap tries desperately to clear his name.  The Nazi forces are scheming an evil plan with Red Skull's daughter.

Characters and Plot: Good character advancement.  Bucky bares his soul to his condition in prison.  Steve Rogers uses his American values to fight for Bucky's innocence.  More loose ends are tied up as Falcon and Black Widow force Faustus to lend his abilities to helping free Bucky.  The ending is a good climax as the Redskull's daughter gets ready for havoc. 

Point: It's interesting seeing Steve Rogers act so pure and unskeptical to Bucky's case in the face of all the naivety of everyone around him.  His faith may seem simple and pure like new fallen snow, but his character represents the untainted values of an idealist.  If I went up to the average American and told them that I had faith that all the terrorist groups would regret their actions and turn themselves over to jail, they would laugh me out of the building.  But it's that kind of impossible thinking that makes God and Steve Rogers a lot alike.  They believe that good will win in the end and the truth will be the final factor.  But unlike Steve Rogers, God has the power to bring that reality to Earth.

+ Good character involvement
+ Good story

- More Bucky


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