Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tales From The TARDIS: The Sea Of Death

To View The Video Log Version Click Here or Scroll Down!
Hello and Welcome to the Basement, This is Tales From The TARDIS

This week we begin the overlook of 'The Keys of Marinus", a six part adventure that first aired April 11 to May 16 in 1964. Now unlike 'Marco Polo', this whole adventure is intact and can be found on DVD.

Now every story has a beginning, and in this case, the beginning is called 'The Sea of Death'.

The Doctor and crew (Barbara, Ian and Susan) arrive on an island, where the beach is made of glass and the sea is acid... so basically they arrived in Atlantic City. Now would they find out the sea is filled with acid? Well one of Susan's shoes gets knocked into the water by Barbara, and it dissolves. So correction, they aren't in Atlantic City, they are in Ocean City. Susan goes to the TARDIS to get a new pair, but is followed by a strange creature... of course she is! Because if someone is going to be followed it's going to be Susan... oh and insert your own American Horror Story Rubber-Man joke here.

I'm going to jump a head slightly here, to keep some things together as Susan reaches the TARDIS, she finds footprints... and instead of telling the others, she chooses to investigate and follows the footprints to a structure in the distance. When she arrives she looks around, but as the creature in the rubber suit is about to attack her with a knife, a wall revolves, knocking it to who knows where. Also let me comment on Susan's attire, I love the vest, slacks long sleeve shirt combo on her. It just works for me. As Susan continues to explore, she is 'saved' from being attack again but a mysterious figure in dressed like a monk.

Anyway, The Doctor, Ian and Barbara come across four submarines (or torpedoes as Barbara called them), one holding an empty rubber suit with a tear in one leg, safe to say, that whoever was wearing said suit died when it was exposed to the acid. They go back to the TARDIS and see that Susan isn't there, they go to check out the structure, and split up to look for her... but thanks to the revolving walls, all three end up inside eventually. Once inside, Ian discovers one of the rubber suited creatures fighting with the monk and intervenes, pulling the creatures off the guy... and in a strange sequence, the creature ends up against a wall, a panel opens and ends up falling down a shaft down into a pool of acid. What a way to go!

The monk introduces himself to Ian as Arbitan, he says the creatures are called Voords and that he is the Keeper of the Conscience of Marinus , a computer that was developed over two millennia ago as a justice machine to keep law and order on the planet...   insert your own Law and Order joke here folks....Everyone is reunited as Arbitan explains that for seven hundred years, Marinus was kept things under control until a Voord named Yartek worked out how to resist it. Well it was bound to happen sooner later, but now the Conscience has been upgraded (probably to Windows 10) and is ready to be activated again... but there's a problem. When Arbitan saved the Conscience from the Voord, he separated the five keys that regulate it, he has one but the other four are on other locations on the planet. Ain't that just typical... you place your keys somewhere and when you need them, you need volunteers to get them back.

The Doctor flat out refuses and goes to leave for the TARDIS, but when he and the others arrive, the police box has a force field around it. Arbitan isn't going to take no for an answer, forcing the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan to do the task. They are given travel dials which are pre-set to take then to different parts of the Marimus and their quest begins... as they are teleported to their first destination, Arbitan is attacked and killed by a Voord... but that's not the end.... for the real cliff hanger is when our heroes reach their first destination, and Barbara is missing.... only her travel-dial is left... and it has blood on it!



This episode does what it sets out to, establishing the plot for the new adventure, explaining why our heroes can't jump back into the TARDIS and leave, and gives us an idea of who the villains are. As I said, I really like Susan's attire in this episode, but let's talk about the sets. Because of budget limitations of the time, the show was done a lot on a sound-stage, so the use of matte paintings and building of props to create an alien word really shows the effort and creativity needed at the time to bring things into reality.


Anyway, that will just about do it for this weeks episode, next week it's part two and the Velvet Web



Indiana Jones and the Fate Of Atlantis

Missed The Live Stream? Click Here!

The year is 1939...

A Mr. Smith has tasked Professor Henry 'Indiana' Jones Jr, with finding a lock to match a key he happens to have... but it's all apart of plot... for Mr. Smith is Klaus Kerner of the Third Reich and they are searching for the lost City of Atlantis! This my friends is how the adventure that is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis begins....

Release in 1992 (on floppy disk and later CD-ROM with audio) from Lucas Arts, this is one of my all time favorite computer games. I have a real soft spot for the classic Lucas Arts games like this, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max Hit The Road, the simple but effective point and click, puzzle games were things that quite grew on me... and something I remember how to play (as you can see in the replay video of a live stream covering the first third of the game over the period of two hours while going for the 'team path')

So what is it about this game from 24 years ago that makes it worth playing? Well for one it is an Indiana Jones adventure, it has the look and feel of something grand, even if the graphics don't really convey it, the story tells it wonderfully.

There is a lot of replay value, with various dialog choices that have different reactions, plus there are three different paths, one a team path with Sophia Hapgood, one where Indy is solo and is heavy on the puzzles, and one where Indy gets into fights along the way. While each path starts and ends the same, the middle portion of the story varies.I personally prefer to Team Path, because Sophia and Indy have great chemistry as characters, and when you think about it, all the Indiana Jones films see him with a sidekick. Plus it means taking breaks for some side-conversation and getting insight on what to do.

Adding to the replay value is the 'random' factor, as if you play through the game once and play through it again with the exact same choices, some events happen slightly differently, such as herding the jungle rodent towards a snake (why did it have to be snakes) sees the rodent start off at a different point every time, the collection where the Lost Dialog of Plato is found varies not to mention the location (It could be in a wax cat, in a tipped over book case, behind a totem pole), what the shop keeper would wand in a trad for a Squab on a Stick and the combination of the Sun, Moon and World Stone can change.

And because of all these things, I think the game has aged very well and the same could be said for a lot of the Lucas Arts point and click games. It's why I hope at some point more of them get ported to Steam at some point, because these are games that should be experienced and enjoyed in this day and age.



Friday, April 29, 2016

This Week With The Superheroes April 29, 2015

Click here for the video log or scroll down! Your choice :)
Hello and Welcome to the Basement
And This Week With The Superheroes

First let me address something... when it comes to Women's Wrestling in the WWE... no one in their right mind gives a damn about Cameron being used, not when there is Asuka, Bayley, Emma, Paige, Becky, Sasha and Charlotte.

That said... I'm contemplating on if I want to hit the SJ Comic-Con & Toy Bonanza on Sunday... really weather is going to be the big factor here. Also factoring in is when do I want to see Captain America Civil War

But first BREAKING NEWS

Director Seth Grahame-Smith has stepped away from the "Flash" movie starring Ezra Miller over creative differences. His script will still be used, but apparently there is a lot of meddling going on over the tone and direction of the film. With the fall out over Batman V Superman and the reshoots that have been done for Suicide Squad, this does not surprise me. I'm more concerned over Ezra Miller being The Flash and looking like some dude hanging out at the local bordega

X:Men Apocalypse has a cameo by Wolverine in it... and while Bryan Singer says it's to set up the new direction for the franchise... I want to know... why the hell it was revealed now?! A movie has to have some surprises!

Chris Evans wants to keep playing Captain America... and I can't see Disney or Marvel being stupid enough to deny him that.... scratch that... In fact they would be incredibly stupid enough to say they want a new actor for the role (unless they go with Sam Wilson's Captain America)

Netflix has officially ordered the Punisher series as a spin-off of Daredevil and it will start Jon Bernthal... hopefully now his story won't get interrupted by elements that inspired the Teenage Murtan Ninja Turtles.

Marvel's Inhumans movie, scheduled for November 2018 has been pulled... not surprised, have you seen how badly things have been handled on Agents of SHIELD with the Inhumans?

There's a lot of controversy surrounding DC Comics and Eddie Berganza, the creep who has know track record of sexually harassing co-workers following the departure of Shelly Bond... and the question is this, why does this scum bag still have a job after having reports about his behavior hit the news every single year since 2010?

Anyway, let's get to this week's shows, Gotham was on hiatus this week...

The Flash - Back to Normal
Plot
: A meta-human named Griffin Grey kidnaps Harry, mistaking him for Earth-1 Harisson Wells, and demands a cure for his condition.
Rating: 3 out of 5 - Really a middle of the road episode, with Barry being down about having to give up his speed to save Wally West who is pestering Joe about arranging a meeting with The Flash, and Harry dealing with the repercussions of his single-minded approach that drove Jesse away. We saw Killer Frost get killed out in a totally dismissive manner, which makes for a rather high body count of the Earth-2 counterparts.

Agents of SHIELD - The Singularity
Plot
: The team reels from its losses as Hive continues to draw Inhumans to his side; agents Fitz and Simmons get a lead that could stop the maniacal Inhuman forever
Rating: 3 out of 5 - Another meh episode, we see Fitz and Simmons go undercover, and Evil Daisy in action, plus HiveWard is getting his spores into every Inhuman he comes across... but I feel like nothing was really accomplished here.

Arrow - Canary Cry
Plot
: The team struggles to deal with Laurel's death; Diggle is overwhelmed with guilt over choosing to believe that Andy had changed; Lance refuses to believe his daughter is gone
Rating: 1 out of 5 - What the hell was this? For an episode that as described was supposed to highlight the team dealing with Laurel's death... with got flashbacks that show her and Oliver together from before the start of the series, the police being pawns, and a wanna-be tarnishing the name of the Black Canary in an episode that was a mess

Legends of Tomorrow - Leviathan
Plot
: Rip takes the team to London in the year 2166, three months before his family is killed, as a final opportunity to take out Savage.
Rating: 4 out of 5 - Can always count on Legends of Tomorrow to be the best show of the week, and the final four episode of the season gets off to a strong start. Vandal Savage's debut was handled well, will be interesting if she is going to be like Scandal (who was a super villain) or Kassidy (who became a FBI profiler), or are they going in a totally different direction with the character. Also Savage is captured, and Ray Palmer reversed the polarity of his suit to become giant sized, which itself was all kinds of awesome! Sadly Kendra's conflict out of the nonsense return of Carter drags this episode down a bit

Any way that wraps up this week, tomorrow is Saturday, it'll be Tales From The TARDIS and the start of They Keys of Marinus
 


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dick Slater - Yay Or Nay For The Hall of Fame



For The V-Log Version Click Here!

Hello and welcome to the Basement...


This is Yay Or Nay For The Hall of Fame!

Yeah I changed the title to something more catchy... still the goal is the same, to go over the careers of various pro wrestling superstars of the past to see if they should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame at some point.

This week's case, 'The Rebel' Dick Slater

Many of you are going to ask... who?

Well the Rebel got his start in Florida thanks to the Graham family, getting broken in with Championship Wrestling From Florida, winning their version of the Tag Team Championships with Dusty Rhodes and other partners as well as the TV title, worked out in California... but he really made his mart in Georgia Championship Wrestling, spending most of the 70s and early 80s there, winning the Georgia Heavyweight title four time, and two versions of their tag titles with Cowboy Bob Orton, plus numerous other regional titles and was reported to be considered to become the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. So you see where his standing was during this period of time.

Following the buy out of Georgia Championship Wrestling by Jim Crockett, Slater bounced around from Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling to Bill Watt's Mid-South Wrestling, winning the United States Title and numerous other belts along the way, until finally hitting the WWE in 1986, where his biggest highlight was beating Iron Mike Sharpe as 'The Big Event', but was used primarily as enhancement  talented. After leaving, he had a cup of coffee with the AWA then headed back to the Mid-Atlantic where he would stay up through the mid 90s, being a staple of World Championship Wrestling, winning the United States and World Tag Team Titles before a back injury forced his career to close.

The Case For Dick Slater: This is real simple, with the exception of his time in the WWF and the stop in the AWA... Slater was a success and a major star everywhere, winning 25 championships at least once. Considering he was a corner stone of  different major territories (Flrodia, Georiga, Mid-Atlantic) and stayed relevant into the mid-90s is a testament to him as performer. In fact the only blemish on his career is his time with the WWF where signing every major star forced a lot of guys into lower positions on the card.

The Case Against Dick Slater: It's minor, but, noticeable, the fact that while he was considered  to be the NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and there was a lot of politics involved with who became the standard bearer of the NWA, but  he wasn't one to 'get along for the sake of going along', it's hard to mark this as a case against him. Obviously the next strike against him has to be that run in the WWF, Slater who did his best work as a heel, was used as a babyface and as cannon fodder for the established stars.

The Verdict: All things considered... I'd have to say a big yes for Slater going into the WWE Hall of Fame, particularly under the 'regional' stars quota for the next time the WWE runs a WrestleMania in the south... hell he could easily be considered for the class of 2017 since WrestleMania is in Orlando, Florida, and it was Florida where he Slater's career started.

Anyway, next week... I'll be going over the case for The Headbangers

Minions - Basement Matinee

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Hello and welcome to the Basement...


I was going to talk about Conor McGregor's latest drama... but then I saw that Minions was added to Netflix, and set aside time to watch it.


For those of you who may not know (and at this point, that's probably a very small amount of people), Minions is the prequel to the 'Despicable Me' films, released in 2015 through Universal Pictures.


The plot is that the Minions, the adorable little yellow scamps exist to serve the biggest villain they can find, but after years of being without a leader, Kevin, Bob and Stuart set out for find the 'perfect boss' for their tribe to serve, being drawn to Scarlett Overkill (voiced by Sandra Bullock) and earning a spot as her pawns in a bid to become Queen of England.
Considering the film had a Box Office return of $1.2 Billion, obviously a lot of you know about it, so I'll go straight into what I think of this movie.... and it's adorably evil... because you know they are doing 'evil', you're rooting for the Minions and they are the villains of the story.

The Minions want to work for bad guys, that's what they live for. However they do have a strange sense of right and wrong, mainly when it applies to who they are serving when things go wrong (in the case of Bob accidentally becoming King, he happily gives the throne to Scarlett) and only through circumstances when they are threaten do they go up against her.
 
Despite having a nearly strange language, The Minions are very expressive and you don't feel loss in the conversations they have with each other. This is thanks in combination to the animators as well as the voice talents of Pierre Coffin. Speaking of voice acting,Bullock does a solid job as Scarlett Overkill, but it's quite clear it's her playing the role, and I feel a more seasoned voice actress could've brought more to the role. On the flip side, Michael Keaton has a smaller role in the film as Walter Nelson, and I didn't know it was him until I saw the credits

Since the movie is set in the 1960s, a huge strength of the movie is the use of songs from that era, I popped when I heard The Spencer Davis Group's 'I'm A Man', plus songs from Donovan, The Turtles, The Kinks, The Who spread out through the film and through the credits sequence with a Revolution of Revolution by the Beatles.

On the whole, I did enjoy the film, but I do see why it has only a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, unlike the first two Despicable Me films, Minions was aimed more so at kids, and for some reason people think that's a bad thing. I don't, I found things about it that I enjoyed. The story flowed nicely, the music kick butt, and there is enough 'did I really see that' moments to justify re-watching it.

But of course these are just my opinions if your opinions on Minions, leave them in the comments section below.



Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lets Play Star Trek Online - What's Left Behind

Click here for the game play video!
Hello and welcome to the Basement...

This week the mission we're playing is 'What's Left Behind'...

Admiral Tuvok and 'Forever Ensign because there is no way in hell he'd become A' Captain Kim have been going over the strange device that we found on Vaadwaur prime at the end of last week's Mission (Takedown), and so we're going to meet up Voyager to lend a hand.

Before I give my thoughts on the mission itself, I want to point out that story line wise, this mission ties together two episodes of the Star Trek The Next Generation, the first being Conspiracy, from season 1, and Schisms, from season 5. These were two episodes that ended up having an ominous endings that was never followed up on, which allowed for the folks behind Star Trek Online to use these elements to build up on the Iconian mythos of using servant races to do their dirty work. The world building done in this game on concepts that were left to die in the shows is simply fantastic in my view.

So onto the mission itself, meeting up with and beaming over to Voyager, we are sent to Engineeringto figure out how to use the device to find who the Vaadwaur was communicating with... and it's basically trial and error to find the right 'settings'. From there, it's back to subspace and confronting the Elachi once more on one of their outposts. Good news is, we got Commander Jarok and the Lieset to provide support, plus the Doctor (The hologram, not the Time Lord) is apart of the team. There is some light space combat and decent ground combat to work through, nothing to strenuous.

But the biggest thing about this mission is that Sela returns (after having been abducted WAY back in Cutting The Cord). Sela reveals that everything is being manipulated by the Iconians and she has valuable information that will play a huge part in upcoming missions. Sela is such a cool character. The way she makes her entrance (crashing through the window and gunning down Elachi) is just incredibly cool. Believe me this won't be the last we see of our favorite daughter of Tasha Yar...

But next week... we have to deal with something with Harry Kim and a mission built around the Kobali way of reproducing...


The RAW View - April 25, 2016 - Payback Predictions & More!

To view the video log click here!
Hello and Welcome to the Basement,


This is the 'RAW View' for the April 25, 2016 episode of WWE's Monday Night RAW. Tonight was the go-home episode before Payback this Sunday, and 'intrigue' was attempted to be raised on a number of fronts so let's get to things that stood out to me.

First the announcement that Vince McMahon will be  making a decision over who is running things on-screen.... if it isn't a brand split or the return of neutral authority figures that try to keep everything fair, then it will be pointless. And don't tell me neutral or baby-face Authority figures don't work, cause they did for the better part of 50 years but they represent the promotion. If the highest on-screen authority figure is a villain then guess how that makes the promotion looks? It makes it look bad, and the WWE has been looking 'bad' for a long time with how it uses the McMahons as VILLAINS instead of folks trying to keep things fair and just within the WWE. Remember perception is reality, and the perception of the McMahons as a whole over the past 20 years has not exactly been positive.


There was an over blown video package for the done to death because the two schumcks can't have a match with anyone else, and I'm talking about Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. If you're fan of these two, fine, that's great, wonderful... I can't tolerate these two. Sami was moderately interesting if incredibly bland... and I never liked Owens. If you track these two careers, it's an endless cycle of them having matches that as far as I can tell, since 2003, have seen these two as partners or opponents. and it's extremely tiresome at this point, it's not like they have had 'great matches', or in the words of Jim Cornette, matches that drew in folks beyond the hardcore wrestling fans who were coming to shows anyway. And to prove my point: Beyond working with John Cena and having promos that cater to the Spoony's of the world because of being allowed to work with the biggest star in the company, Owens hasn't exactly light the world on the fire since then and he's had plenty of promo time and matches... then their is Sami who going back to the end of 2014 his entire run beyond being injured has been involved with Owens... so that's 14 months of time wasted with these two. 

Now lets get to the Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles deal... and we saw Anderson and Gallows defeat and attack The Usos, with Roman coming out and driving them off, followed by Anderson and Gallows go to AJ saying 'See! See! He jumped us!' to add to the speculation that the WWE is going to form the Bullet Club... or rather Balor Club considering the speculation that Finn Balor is getting called up, since thanks to the Quebecer Blubber Boy (that's Kevin Owens) tweeting 'See you soon' considering the speculation on if The Irishman was injured last week. Either way, AJ is too popular to turn heel, Roman is too hated to be kept a babyface, and putting Balor with Anderson and Gallows gives a heel faction that won't draw any heat because they are 'cool', so that leaves the smart thing as I said last week: Put Anderson and Gallows with Reigns, make this all a big set up to build the Roman Empire.

There were a number of promos to hype other things for Payback, New Day hyping the Tag Titles with the Vaudevillians and Enzo & Cass that saw both teams come out and trash talk, with surprisingly no brawling.  Ambrose and Jericho had some 'last words' for their pending match... pretty much standard fair. Natalya had a tune-up match with Emma to show that she is ready for ther title match on Sunday while Charlotte was on commentary. The tribute video to Chyna was 'nice', if mellow, showing tweets and highlights of her WWE tenure. Damian Sandow was on RAW... and instead of getting squahed by Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler attacked the winner of the Andre The Giant Memoral Battle Royal. I wonder if the Colons promos are sponsored by the Puerto Rico Tourism Board. Maryse and Miz had a segment where they hyped up Miz's match with Cesaro, with Miz calling Maryse the 'Miz Section'... hey it's a good looking section thats for damn sure. Cesaro comes out, Miz does some bad impressions and a scuffle happens. John Cena announced that he will return on Memorial Day... thank goodness..."


One final note... the final three members of the 3 of Nations, Rusev, Del Rio and Sheamus all lost tonight... talk about a stable going out with a whimper.

Anyway on to my Predictions for Payback this Sunday
US Champion Kalisto vs Ryback - Kalisto
WWE Champion Roman Reigns vs AJ Styles - Styles, via DQ
IC Cham The Miz vs Cesaro - Cesaro
Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho -Ambrose
Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn -  Owens
Women's Champion Charlotte vs Natalya - Charlotte
Enzo Amore & Colin Cassidy vs The Vaudevillains - The Vaudevillians
Baron Cobin vs Dolph Ziggler - Baron Corbin



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why So Ratchet & Super Sketch Painter - Comics From The Basement

Click here for the video review!
Hello and Welcome to Comics From The Basement...

Earlier this month at Camden Comic Con, I picked up a number of comics and met several creators... a pair of whom was Suliman and Samad Onque. Suliman is one of these more charismatic person I've had the delight to meet. You can tell just by talking to the man that he was excited about talking about his creation, as well as his brother work, while Samad seemed more reserved and cerebral. And when talking to them briefly, and later reading their comics when I got home, it's so obvious how much their respective comics. I thought about reviewing them separately, but since both  are the writers and illustrators for their respective works, I figure why not do both at the same time.

So first, going to talk about Samad Onque's 'Why So Ratchet: An Urban Street Fable Featuring Ratchetman'

Plot:  Xavier Turner is meeting with his psychiatrist months after suddenly stopping attending their sessions...and he has a tale to tell... of a rebirth and awakening... but is it real... or just a dream?

Review: This is a psychological tale of a man who has a part of himself set free. Over the course of 20 pages, we see the main protagonist tell the tale of what happened to him and his other self, rescue a woman of a bit seedy nature from certain doom with a bit of a twist. It also serves as a solid look at the word 'ratchet' which has multiple definitions that are actually show cased within the story, in particular 'acting dysfunctional', 'being undistinguished' and 'having no class'.

The art work certainly matches the tone of story, with it being more cerebral in nature, the illustrations serve to enhance the story being told without being a distraction. In particular the aspect of if Xavier's story that he is telling being truth or not. I of course won't spoil it here... you'll have to check out the comic for yourself. That said, this is a self contained story, a nice one shot that sets up world of Xavier and his other-self perfectly.

Now onto Suliman Onque's 'Super Sketch Painter #1'

Plot: The final issue of 'Super Hero World', and 13 year-old Khalil Jenkins is excited to see what happens to his favorite hero, the incredible Hero Man! However...when the valiant hero is killed within the comic... it starts Khalil off on a journey to change the outcome and become a hero in his own right...

Review: In a day and age where characters are killed off with little to no-regard to the fans and readers... this comic represents something that all comic book fans would love to do. Who wouldn't want to go into 'Ultimatum' and save the Wasp from being eaten by The Blob? Or maybe save Panthra from being decapitated by Super-(CENSORED) Prime during Infinite Crisis...  I am getting myself off track... but the point is, there isn't a comic book fan alive that would not identify with the character of Khalil Jenkins. This particular issue introduces Khalil and his family, as well as starts off his origins to becoming 'Super Sketch Painter'... and it does everything right. It gives the readers a reason to care for the main protagonist, it lets every develop naturally (as a key part of Khalil's origin is encouragement form him father) .

The art work is very easy on the eyes and is easy to follow from panel to panel, plus there is a clear 'shift' from where it starts with Khalil in his room, looking more realistic, to where the comic ends with him battling a villain named Warcat... but this is only part one of the story... there is more... and this comic makes you want to read more. Again like a proper first issue should. Also, this comic takes place within the same universe as 'Why So Ratchet'... so I'm already wondering if there will be a crossover.

My Recommendation:  Both comics are great reads, and the Onque brothers are both very talented, but their styles and approaches are quite different (with Samad's tale being more 'grounded',  and looking like it would fit in with more grim styled tales like say Frank Miller's run on Daredevil, and Suliman's story being more fantastical would probably fit in with the likes of the Silver-age DC Universe). So obviously I'm recommending you all check them out.

In fact I'll tell you where you can get them, head over to www.slimsuliart.com and click where it says On-Q comics on the right hand side of the site.

Next Week... I think I'll go over something that involves Gods, Monsters and Wonder Woman



First Impressions: BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend



Hello and Welcome to The Basement... 


Taokaka is stealing the spotlight!
This is First Impressions, my 'review' series of video games that I do every so often... this time out, it's regarding  BlazBlue: Chronophantasma Extend, the third PC port (via Steam) of the hit 2D Fighter series. The first game in the series, (Calamity Trigger) was released in arcades way back in 2008... though I think that was only in Japan, cause good luck finding an arcade in the United States these days! If you want to see game-play footage from a live stream I did is at the bottom of this post!


Taokaka... is quite odd in victory...
Considering this is a fighting game, obviously the first thing to talk about is the controls and responsiveness... and while I've dabbled with fighting games from time to time, there are some universal concepts and commands that comes with these games: up to jump, down to duck, double forward to dash, and various buttons for punches and kicks.. Still I was going into this game blind, having last played the previous BlazBlue title (Continuum Shift Extend) in February of last year, so my skills were rather rusty. Thankfully, my best character was still on the roaster (That being Taokaka) and I managed to blunder my way through several battles in Arcade mode on the games default settings, which is more of a testament to the games controls being very responsive, and with 'practice' one could easily manhandle the game on it's default settings.
Got 'em in the corner!

So onto how does the game looks... well it looks gorgeous. As a 2D fighter, the amount of detail a game has in the background is plus without it being a distraction. The characters themselves are all rather colorful, if some of the human female characters look rather impractical with attire and proportions. But that's pretty standard with fighting games, and also one of the best things about them. Anyway as you can see, everything is laid out in a traditional format, with the Health Bars at the top and the 'power meters' down at the bottom of the screen.
Game has a rather large roster!

Onto the sound, and one of the great things about the BlazBlue series is the voice acting is very decent (if at times a bit repetitive, but I'm one to talk), the sound effects are solid with the impact they deliver. Then there is the music, which like a lot of songs for Anime adventure series, have a way of sounding epic and grand while not distracting the player. It blends in perfectly to the background, you know its there, you hear it, but it isn't drawing your attention away from the task at hand, which is playing the game and hoping for a win.
Carl's back... and as Harry Potter'y as ever

The game has a roster of 28 characters, so there is a lot of replay value for wanting to go through the story and arcade modes to see and unlock everything. Old favorites like Carl Clover, Noel Vermillion,and Bang Shishigami are back, plus new comers like Bullet, Azarel and Amane Nishiki help bring new challenges.

There is a score attack, online play and other secondary features that help keep this game at the forefront of 2D fighters on the PC until the next BlazBlue port comes around in a couple of years for Central Fiction

My recommendation: For $29.99 the price is pretty reasonable, because you are getting the complete game with all the DLC at once shot. So the value is there if you're looking for a 2D-Fighter from a 'franchise' for your PC collection.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tales From The TARDIS - "Assassin at Peking" & Pearl Mackie



 
 

Hello and Welcome to the Basement... and Tales From The TARDIS

Before we get started, at the time of this recording, it was revealed that Pearl Mackie will be joining  'Doctor Who' as the new lead companion.


And well... I have no real comments on her cause I don't know anything about her beyond that she is cute, she went to the Bristol Old Vic Theater School and has been performing in the National Theatre West End production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' (that's a great title) and was on the BBC 1 show 'Doctors'.... She is pretty much an 'unknown'... The only issue I see is that she will be more than likely playing yet another companion from the 'current day', continuing the 'Buffy' trend of the lady companions, hell the clip shown, giving her character's name as Bill, has her cracking jokes about the absurdity of the Daleks design... but I'll shall reserve judgement until she actually debuts as an on-screen character next year.

Anyway... enough about that....we have reached the end of Marco Polo everybody... 7 weeks of a story whose main redeeming factor was Tegan's cunning plans... so lets not waste time, lets get to the final episode of this story... Assassin at Peking!


We open where we left off with Tegana ready to kill Ian, Ping-Cho and his own man Kuiju when Ling Tau and a group of soldiers arrive. THEY kill Kuiju and Tegana talks his way out of trouble... cause no way the main villain is going to be taken out in the beginning of the final chapter. Anyway, Tegana was banking on Ian and Ping-Cho to be killed by these soldiers but the decision is to head off to meet with the Khan at Peking.

At the capital city, The Khan and The Doctor are playing backgammon, and the Doctor is on quite a winning streak... wining 34 elephants, four thousand white stallions, twenty-five tigers, Buddha's sacred tooth and the entire commerce coming out of Burma for a year... that's a nice haul. However the Doctor bets it all to win back the TARDIS but... loses. It was a gamble, but this episode is far from over.

The real road to the end of his serial is when The Khan asks Marco about the history of the 'magic caravan', and Marco admits he was so desperate to buy his freedom that he stole the Police Box... and Khan is less then pleased and certainly isn't impressed, warning Marco that he doesn't regain his trust, he will be banished! You can probably guess where this going.

Anyway, when Tegana, Ian and Ping-Cho arrive, Tegana being the slick tongue devil he is convinces The Khan that Marco has defied the laws, by not straight confiscating the TARDIS and killing the Doctor and his companions when they tried to steal it back. At the same time, Ian and Ping-Cho tell Khan that Tegana is working for his enemies... and this puts doubt in his mind, declaring that it must be judged in the matter of the court!

One plot thread gets resolved, as Ping-Cho is spared from her arrange marriage, cause her groom to be died after drinking an elixir of life.... he must not have chosen wisely... two points to whoever gets that referenced. She is given the choice to return home, but Ping-Cho elects to remain in Peking. So happy days for Ping-cho!

However things aren't so good for the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan... they are imprisoned and know that someone has to stop Tegana. They figure he's going to kill The Khan to clear the way for his enemies. They proceed to escape by attacking their guard and soon meet up with Marco and they tell him what they think is going on. Seeing a chance to get back in the Khan's good graces and save his own backside... Marco rushes off. Yeah...I'm still sour on Marco Polo as a character.

When the group along with Marco arrives, Tegana has already single handily slain the Khan's guards, the Grand Vizier, and is about to kill the Khan himself. Marco engages him in a sword fight that I really wish we had footage off, as it sounds great but the stills leave much to be desired. Seeing that his mission has failed, Tegana kills himself with a spear rather than let the Khan's men have the pleasure of doing so. Got to say this for Tegana... he went out his way.

As the bodies are being carted out, Marco gives The Doctor the key to the TARDIS and tells them to  escape, which he and the other hurry to do. The Khan witnesses the TARDIS fading away as it takes off, and proceeds to forgive Marco and allows him to return to Venice as this serial comes to an end with Marco wondering where The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan are off too.

Reaching the end of this serial there are of course a few things that stand out... one being Tegana nearly succeeds in his mission and probably would've succeed... if this wasn't based on history... for another, Marco Polo comes across so badly... hell the second The Khan tells him what he needs to do, Marco is more than happy to 'do the right thing' without hesitation. It can certainly be argued that this serial was an episode or two to long,

Anyway... Next week... we begin our look at the The Keys of Marinus, and unlike Marco Polo, all six episodes are intact. So if you want to follow along, watch episode one this week!

Till next time my friends... have a good one!

Friday, April 22, 2016

This Week With The Superheroes - April 22, 2016



Hello and welcome to the Basement... and it's time for This Week With The Superheroes... and I got a  lot to go over....

So right off the bat, let me talk about Rita Repulsa... the lead villain of Might Morphing Power Rangers 1st season... she was a witch right? Probably more of sorceress, and she looked like one... mainly because it was stock footage from the Sentai Series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger and the character was called Witch Bandora... in you were to have a character look like an evil witch or a sorceress... the design for Bandora was pretty much it.

That's not Rita, that's Poison Ivy!
That said... the Power Rangers reboot movie casted Elizabeth Banks... back in February I said that if they got Barbara Goodson to do the voice over and if Banks costume was sorta that over-sized robe, over awesome top hat and had the wand, and if she's able to pull off the mannerisms seen in the Sentai with Witch Bandora... it could work... and that since it was a guarantee that none of that was going to happen... Frog It.... and that's basically what they did.... it's like someone took Uma Thurma's Poison Ivy costume from Batman and Robin, threw it in a blender with the Scorpina costume from the Power Rangers Season 1 along with the worth aspects of the Divatox costume from Power Rangers Turbo and well 'sexed it up'.

THAT'S RITA!
I'm sorry, but in no shape way or form is what they dressed Elizabeth Banks in Rita Repulsa, Witch

Bandora, or anything that looks like a Power Rangers or a Sentai lead villain! If this was a secondary character I could be okay with it, but the there has to be something over the top when it comes to the lead villains. It was one of the major problems with the first Power Rangers movie with Ivan ooze, he didn't look like a big bad. Look at Lord Zedd, Master Vile, King Mondo, Scorpius, Master Xandred, Queen Bansheera, Trakeena, Astromenia... THOSE are what Power Ranger Lead Villains SHOULD look like! Over the top and clearly threatening!

Ah well...

Speaking of what characters are supposed to look like... 

For those of you who may not know just by looking at me... I've got some Puerto Rican blood, but everyone says I look and 'am 'white'

Just try and tell me she doesn't look the part... I dare you!
So you can get an idea of how pissed off I am with the idiots taking issue with Scarlett Johansson begin casted as Motoko Kusanagi for the live-action adaptation of Ghost In The Shell. First off, seeing the one photo, seeing the original movie, reading the original manga... Scar-Jo looks the part, so I have no problem with it.... you know who else doesn't have a problem with it? Sam Yoshiba of Kodansha (the company that published the original Manga in 1989) His exact quote on the matter being "Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well cast, she has the cyber punk feel, and we NEVER imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place!"

But isn't it funny how only in America it's white washing... in Japan, where the story came from,the general feeling I've seen is that  they are fine with the casting and don't see it as 'white washing', they see it as 'Whose is the BEST actress for the role' and who is going to bring in more than just the America Okatus who is going to see it regardless?"

If people are complaining about Scar-Jo, then what about this?!
Case in point, the live action adaption of Attack on Titan... a cast of character that are mostly European based in the Manga and Anime... are all Asian in the film. Is that 'Yellow Washing' or is it casting the best folks for the role to sell it where the film is being released to get the audience beyond those who are going to see the film outright?"

So that said  I'm looking forward to seeing the live adaptation of Ghost in the Shell when it hits theaters in 2017

So that said, let's touch on some news...

The new Doctor Who companion is said to be revealed tomorrow, so I will have my thoughts on that  on Tales From The TARDIS tomorrow afternoon.

Be careful when you tell her to stick it...
Michael Keaton passed on the role of a villain in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming', rather disappointed but it's not a big loss. But hey Robert Downey Jr is going to be in it...

There is rumors that X-23 will be in Wolverine 3... for those who may not know, she is a clone of Wolverine... so technically he's daughter... so depending on how she is used, she could be spun-off to have her own movie.

Also Ben Affleck is said to have a huge hand in the making of his own solo-Batman film, so that could be very interesting as long as Zack Snyder is kept far... far... away!

Now, time to go over this week's shows, no Arrow this week that show is on hiatus.

Gotham: Wrath of the Villains: Pinewood
Plot: Barbara tries to make things right with Gordon; Hugo Strange disrupts Bruce and Alfred's attempt to track down Thomas Wayne's friend from Project Chimera.
Rating: 4 out of 5 - I wasn't too keen on seeing Barbara return... she's too much of a wild card, and I can't see them pushing Gordan and her back together. I like the furthering of the plot regarding Thomas Wayne's death... but it seems like elements of it was rushed, again, it seems like Gotham is playing catch up with all the other super-hero shows, with the new white haired Mr Freeze being sent out and Theo Galavan being revived as Azrael.

Gotham will be on hiatus until May 2

Supergirl: Better Angels- Season Final
Plot: An unexpected enemy forces Supergirl into a battle as she attempts to stop Non and Indigo from destroying all of humanity.
Rating: 3 out of 5 - I have some real mixed feelings on this... the show down with J'onn and Kara vs Nom and Indigo was really well done... hell Kara burning Nom's eyes out and J'onn breaking Indigo in half was bad ass.... but Mrs Danvers coming along to 'reach' Alex when she was under Nom's control was hokey as all hell... and Alex using Kara's pod to save her off-screen was just... bad... however the episode ended on a high note that should be tied in directly with the rumored Smallvile-universe crossover.

Agents of SHIELD - The Team
Plot: Agent Daisy Johnson brings the Secret Warriors together for a mission that will affect them all; knowledge of Hive's powers has S.H.I.E.L.D. mistrusting everyone.
Raiting: 3 out of 5 - Alright the Secret Warriors are getting some action... and it's so very freakin' underwhelming that it's down right depressing. However... I love evil Daisy... and it's perfect fan fiction material with her and 'Hive', plus the 'Thing From Another World' vibe the second half of the episode had was really cool. And we should be getting new episodes for the next four weeks under the tag line: Fallen Agent

The Flash - Versus Zoom
Plot: Barry wants to use a tachyon device to open the breaches in a plan to catch Zoom; Hunter Zoloman's past on Earth-2 is revealed.
Rating: 1 out of 5 - Good lord was this bad... from Vibe using Star Wars prequel references to justify him not using his powers... to Barry becoming obsessed with going back to Earth-2... to even bastardizing the name of Jay Garrick... to Zoom using time echos to have him be in two places at once... but... as a fan of the Justice Society of America... and someone who's perfect look for the Flash is the Jay Garrick style... this episode... sickened me! Greg Berlanti says to keep watching and they are not reinventing Jay... and I hope that's the case, cause this episode pissed me right the hell off.

Legends of Tomorrow - Last Refuge
Plot: A deadly assassin called the Pilgrim wants to wipe the Legends from the timeline by killing the heroes' younger selves before they become powerful.
Rating: 5 out of 5 - I love this show... really... I do... this was another great use of time travel and using it for character development (seeing Rory and Rip's younger selves, Jefferson's father), not to mention having the most bad ass moment of the week with all of our heroes ganging up on The Pilgrim. And we're in the home stretch for this series as well! And this episode was yet another example of using special effects to great impact on a budget.

So that will wrap up this week with the superheroes...  catch you tomorrow for the final chapter of Marco Polo on Tales From The TARDIS!

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