Geekscape http://www.geekscape.net podcasts, news, features Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:27:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=282 podcasts, news, features Geekscape no podcasts, news, features Geekscape http://www.geekscape.net/_wp_/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://www.geekscape.net TV-G Watch The First Trailer For ‘Creed’! http://www.geekscape.net/creed-official-trailer http://www.geekscape.net/creed-official-trailer#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:57:31 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89381 The official trailer for ‘Creed’ is finally here released! The film stars Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed (who died before he was born). With the help of his father’s old rival, Rocky Balboa, he will try to make his way to a title shot.

I’m really digging this trailer a lot. It really showcases Michael B. Jordan and leaves Sly as an ancillary role as his trainer. Also lets hope history doesn’t repeat itself, last time Rocky trained a boxer it ended in a street fight with Tommy Morri err… I mean Tommy Gunn!

Take a look at the trailer below, and let us know what you think!

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Geekscape Games Reviews ‘Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation’ http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-games-reviews-hyperdimension-neptunia-rebirth-3-v-generation http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-games-reviews-hyperdimension-neptunia-rebirth-3-v-generation#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:50:47 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89363 When I heard that Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory was getting the remake treatment in the form of a third Re;Birth game, I was curious to see how that would turn out. After all, part of the purpose of creating the remakes in the first place was to improve on the first two games by designing them with the game play mechanics of the third title. So when it came to recreating Neptune’s most recent canonical adventure in Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Generation, the game takes chances with tweaks to the game play mechanics, more plans to create, new story scenes, and larger environments. While it’s reassuring that the game is more than a copy paste job, not all of these updates are for the better.

Our return to Gamindustri is met with complete apathy from our CPU heroines. After enjoying years of peace after the events of the previous games, Neptune and the others have spent their time playing video games all day while neglecting their work, (which hits a little too close to home.) As word of restless citizens forming an organization that seeks to create a world without CPU’s spreads, Nep is finally forced to create some goodwill by getting off her butt and working for the people. As we’ve learned many times over however, work sucks, which is proven since Nep’s questing results in her getting transported to an alternate universe based on gaming in the late 80’s. Now stranded without her CPU powers, Planeptune’s goddess must help Plutia, this dimension’s constantly sleepy, (and secretly sadistic,) goddess of Planeptune, and the alternate versions of Noire, Blanc and Vert, while restoring her strength, fighting off the mysterious Seven Sages who look to rid Gamindustri of the goddesses, and building up enough energy to return home.

Hyperdimension Neptunia 3 Screen 5It wouldn’t be Neptunia without endless gaming references.

For those who thought the second game was had toned down the humor too much compared to the constantly lighthearted story of the first game, V Generation takes the narrative back to its roots along with its original protagonist. Rarely serious, the story serves as a parody of the game industry from the NES days, with bits and pieces of modern gaming mixed in. One of the highlights of the dialogue aside from the constant fourth wall breaking and gaming reverences galore, (does anyone else remember Fighting Vipers?), is to see how events such as the rise of Sony, the fall of Nintendo, and Xbox’s oversees struggles play out. These scenes are an interesting love letter to those who have been following the industry for so long, acting as a reward for playing in its own right. With that in mind, the experience would be even more enjoyable if more of it was voiced. It seemed like the dialogue here was only displayed through text more often than its predecessors, which was a bit disappointing.

Exploration is essentially the same as its always been, choosing which country you want to go to by selecting it on an overworld map. In addition to obtaining missions through the guild, shopping for items, or talking to the citizens of Gamindustri like in past games, a news based broadcast called the Nepstation debuts to break up the action at the start of every chapter. Usually delivering a humorous retelling of past events, selling bulk items, or offering in game trivia, I found this to be a small, yet memorable addition to the map. Once in a dungeon, the leader of the party plays an even larger role, with unlockable leader abilities that boost the whole party. Special challenges increase stats or award Plans as they are achieved as well, so actions like running or jumping a certain amount, attacking enemies in the field to initiate battles, or even accomplishments in battle like taking damage or landing a certain amount of hits all lead to these boosts, giving players an extra reason to rotate their party and its leaders.

Hyperdimension Neptunia 3 Screen 4Nearly every action, (or non-action,) will boost your stats.

Game play wise, battles are largely unchanged, but the way special attacks are handled was altered into a different beast,  resembling something more similar to what was featured in the original version of the second game. In this full range turn based battle system, characters move in real time while they position themselves to center as many enemies as they can in their attack range. Each weapon and ability has its own attack area, making positioning vital to achieving victory, (no pun intended.) Broken down into three types of attacks, Rush builds up the EX/SP meter faster with multi hit moves, (we’ll talk more about the meter soon,) Power does more damage, and Break weakens enemy shields, allowing more damage per hit when completely broken. Starting with three attacks for every turn, unlocking EX attacks that trigger based on how full your SP bar is, and using items to synthesize extra attack slots now give each character the opportunity to use five attacks each round.

While this all sounds almost exactly like the previous games, the biggest change comes with the removal of the EX meter and integrating it into the SP meter. In the past, the SP meter was used to pay for special attacks, and was replenished by attacking, using items or leaving the area to recover it in full. The EX meter on the other hand, was a separate bar that was shared by the party. It could only be filled by attacking, and could be used to allow EX attacks, (as mentioned above,) or pay for EXE Drives, ultimate abilities that served as the quickest way to defeat bosses. While this system was admittedly easy to exploit and abused to breeze through tough fights, the new system makes it much harder to do so.

Hyperdimension Neptunia 3 Screen 3The flashiest attacks now come with a huge price.

While trying to strike a better balance is all well and good, I found that aspect to be the only advantage of the new, (old?), system. With the two meters combined, the SP meter is divided into four segments, which also act as the levels of the EX meter. Using EX attacks drains the meter, while each character gets their own instead of sharing it. Draining the bar at the wrong time will leave your characters stranded with their standard attacks while they rebuild their SP, so wasting it is a surefire way to crash and burn. The reason why this comes off as much more tedious is that leaving dungeons no longer replenishes the bar, forcing you to either use a ton of items, or grind out hits against weaker enemies until it fills. Considering how even transforming now costs a fifth of the bar on top of the EXE Drives and SP attack costs, you’ll find yourself spending more time than you want to fighting for the sake of having fully functional teammates again. But the absolute biggest flaw is that unlike past games, most of the single character EXE Drive attacks have to be unlocked, while the ones unlocked throughout the story are mostly double team moves. While powerful, these attacks use up 50% to 75% of the meter for BOTH characters, making half of your four person party essentially useless against bosses unless that attack was the finishing blow. Even if it is, guess what? More SP grinding!

Once you reach the late game chapters, you’ll be begging for the exploitable EX meter to return too, if for no other reason than to keep yourself from shattering your Vita in a blind rage. While Re;Birth 1 had its share of difficulty spikes, and Re;Birth 2 was a bit too easy for my tastes, this third game literally goes from one end of the spectrum to the other, sometimes in the same dungeon. There’s nothing more frustrating than blowing through all of the standard enemies in a dungeon with one turn KO’s, worried that you’re over-leveled, to getting one or two hit KO’d by bosses in those very same dungeons. I’m all for a challenge when it comes to my games, but I would also want it to build up over time. Re;Birth 3 doesn’t do this, making grinding, item hoarding, or blind luck a must to advance through the late game, a factor I didn’t encounter with its predecessors.

Hyperdimension Neptunia 3 Screen 1You’ll need those extra attack slots to survive the late game battles.

That’s not to say that Re;Birth 3 doesn’t have its fair share of improvements. Most prominently, the frame rate in battles and dungeon exploration has been improved to display a smooth, steady pace. Big attacks don’t chug along as noticably, and running through the maps are free of the slowdown that served as an annoyance in the prequels. Ironically, it’s with fixing another past complaint that the slowdown rears its ugly head again. Another long running issue is the amount of reused maps. While this game doesn’t do away with them, new dungeon designs constantly pop up while old ones are expanded with new or bigger rooms, with the ability to expand them further with the Remake system. In fact, while some are reskins, Re;Birth 3 contains more dungeons than any other games in the series by a large margin. However, when the bigger maps show up, so does the slowdown, biting off a bit more than the system can chew processing wise. The same is true with battles, since some feature many more enemies on screen at once. As you can probably guess, more enemies means more slowdown. That’s not to say we don’t appreciate the effort to expand the scope of Gamindustri, it’s just funny that these expansions undue the improvement to the more stable framerate.

Outside of these areas, Re;Birth 3 has also revamped some of its side content, including treasure hunting, creating plans, and the dreaded Stella’s Dungeon scout mini game. Instead of scanning the area for hidden items, each map hides at least one invisible Nep block. Mirroring the exploits of a certain plumber, hitting these blocks uncovers coins to buy items with, while weapons, armor or plans appear in rare instances.

Hyperdimension Neptunia 3 E3 Screen 1Iris Heart tends to terrify friends and foes alike.

Speaking of plans, there are so many more this time around, bringing the best out of the Remake System. Basically a form of synthesizing from other RPG’s, the Remake System creates everything from new weapons, items, armor, outfits and dungeons, to changing the menu voice, battle music, adding attacks, changing the difficulty, and unlocking solo EXE Drives amongst many other features. On top of the discs that can be burned to create custom perks for your character, and its clear how customizable this game can be, more so now than ever.

Lastly, the Stella mini game from Re;Birth 2 returns, but manages to actually be enjoyable rather than terrifying and tedious. By equipping her with her own armor, weapons and partners to boost her abilities, Stella now climbs the Neptral Tower as she collects items for the party and herself. If you send her farther than her abilities can sustain, she’ll be KO’d by monsters, losing her armor and partner along the way. What helps me maintain my sanity this time around is that good equipment is easily obtainable if you do lose, and partners are recovered in a snap as long as you can reach the floor they fainted on. But most importantly, each map only takes about an hour or two of real time to passively progress depending on how far you are, even in sleep mode. Unlike the dungeons that could take literally over a day at their worst, only to fail right at the end, I would eagerly turn on my Vita JUST to check on Stella’s progress. Considering how much the original was universally reviled, to the point where separate DLC was released to make it manageable, to say this change is for the better would be an understatement.

Hyperdimension Neptunia 3 Screen 2You’ll actually want to play Stella’s Dungeon this time around.

When my time with Re;Birth 3 drew to a close, I found myself with an enjoyable, more ambitious effort than the previous games, with some fundamental flaws that keep it from being as great as its predecessors. Victory players will appreciate the expanded story, new translation, improved plan system, new maps and bigger environments. Re;Birth newbies will still find the laugh out loud humor and addicting battle system intact with the third game, with further improvements to Stella’s Dungeon and treasure hunting. Unfortunately, difficulty spikes, a tedious change to the SP Meter, and a story that’s a bit drawn out hold it back. Still, this retro trip through an alternate Gamindustri is one worth taking, and continues Neptunia’s trend of being one of the best RPG series found on the Vita. Want a lighthearted, self aware romp through a video game about video games? You can’t go wrong with Nep! Now, bring on Victory II!

 

tl;dr:

+ Neptune is back with the same laugh out loud humor we’ve come to expect from the series.

+ The game runs smoother than before, with a more stable frame rate in most cases.

+ While some of the dungeons are still repeats, plenty of new maps compliment the old ones, which nearly received universal expansions.

+ Stella’s Dungeon is actually playable!

+ Both the Remake and battle systems feature many more options, and are expanded in ways to keep them as addicting as ever. With that said…

– The new SP/EX Meter mechanic renders EXE Drives nearly useless, forcing unnecessary item or battle grinding to replenish.

– The later portion of the game suddenly spikes in difficulty and suffers from poor pacing.

– While bigger dungeons and more enemies on screen is appreciated, these areas are when slowdown rears its ugly head once again.

– The story drags, with no clear goal or progression from about the half way point through right before the end of the game. Not to mention the villains aren’t all that threatening.

Final Score: 4/5

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Here’s The Awesome Comic-Con Poster For ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ http://www.geekscape.net/heres-the-awesome-comic-con-poster-for-fear-the-walking-dead http://www.geekscape.net/heres-the-awesome-comic-con-poster-for-fear-the-walking-dead#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 06:30:45 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89355 Briefly: So this poster is awesome.

AMC today debuted the official San Diego Comic-Con poster for this Summer’s anticipated The Walking Dead spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead. We’re bound to see this poster everywhere next week, as The Walking Dead typically has a huge presence at the convention.

We know the series is set in Los Angeles, and this poster features a pretty big LA landmark, along with the tagline ‘fear begins here’. The ominous footprints are what really make the image, however, as those are clearly not the steps of a regular, un-infected human.

Take a look at the image below, and let us know what you think! Fear The Walking Dead premieres later this Summer!

Fear

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Geekscape Mobile: ‘Pokémon Shuffle’ Headed To iOS, Android http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-mobile-pokemon-shuffle-headed-to-ios-android http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-mobile-pokemon-shuffle-headed-to-ios-android#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 05:45:26 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89351 Briefly: One of Nintendo’s first forays into free-to-play is 3DS hit Pokémon Shuffle. The game launched back in January, and since then, over 4.5 million players have downloaded the insanely addicting puzzler.

Today, Nintendo revealed that the game is set to take over the hearts, minds, and batteries of smartphone users everywhere when Pokémon Shuffle hits iOS and Android devices later this year. Just like the 3DS version, the game will be free-to-play (with in-app purchases, of course), though the mobile edition will also be ad-supported.

If you’re unfamiliar with the game, it plays pretty similar to Bejewelled or Candy Crush, except it’s way, way better. In the game, “your goal is to clear various stages by lining up the same Pokémon and clearing these matches from the puzzle area. Within each puzzle stage, you can deal damage to the wild Pokémon you face by lining up three of the same Pokémon to clear them. Battle and try to catch the Pokémon before you run out of moves.”

Take a look at the Pokémon Shuffle Mobile trailer below, and let us know if you’re excited!

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The ‘Amiibo Rap’ ‘Pokérap’ Parody Is Freaking Perfect http://www.geekscape.net/the-amiibo-rap-pokerap-parody-is-freaking-perfect http://www.geekscape.net/the-amiibo-rap-pokerap-parody-is-freaking-perfect#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 05:29:14 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89349 Briefly: As an avid Amiibo hunter, this video was too hilarious not to share.

Many readers will remember the famous Pokérap from the insanely popular anime series, and YouTube creator D-Piddy has taken the gotta-catch-’em-all mentality of many Amiibo collectors and created the perfect mix of the two.

Take a look below, and get ready to have the tune in your head forever. You’re welcome, and I’m sorry.

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New ‘Ant-Man’ Clip Shows The Suit In Action! http://www.geekscape.net/new-ant-man-clip-shows-the-suit-in-action http://www.geekscape.net/new-ant-man-clip-shows-the-suit-in-action#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 05:20:23 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89346 Briefly: Following the sweet international trailer from just last week, Marvel has just debuted the first official clip for next month’s Ant-Man.

I’ve been pretty on-the-fence on the film since its troubled production began, and especially following that less-than-stellar first trailer. It’s been a long time coming, however, and as the release approaches, the film’s ever improving marketing has definitely been raising my interest, and at this point I can’t wait to line-up on July 17th.

Today’s clip marks the first time that Paul Rudd uses the Ant-Man suit, and it’s pretty freaking awesome.

In the film, “Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world”

Take a look at the clip below, and be sure to let us know what you hope to see from the feature! Ant-Man hits theatres on July 17th!

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Geekscape Weekly TV Review http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-weekly-tv-review http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-weekly-tv-review#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 04:38:28 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=88551 Summer TV is now in full swing, with plenty of new offerings and some returning favorites. As the resident “you watch too much TV” guy, I’ve decided to entertain the idea of weekly reviews (after my failed attempt at a podcast) of everything television has to be offering over the Summer. This week, I’ll be covering ‘Ballers’, ‘True Detective’, ‘Halt and Catch Fire’, and ‘Mr. Robot’. I’ll be switching it up as new shows premiere, or as new ones gets my attention.

Ballers: S1E1 a “Pilot”

ballers.15.16 PM

At face value,  Ballers might seem like the love child between Entourage and Arli$$, but has more potential to takes us a little deeper than the aforementioned series, and bring something far more to the table. The pilot served mainly as a introduction to the characters, their faults, and the struggles within the life of being a NFL star, current or former. Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) is a former NFL player who had to retire early due to injury, who has been hired by Jim (Rob Corddry) as a financial manager at a top Miami financial firm. Jim openly admits that the only reason he hired Spencer was due to his access to his NFL friends, whom he sees as potential clientele. Overall, I enjoyed the pilot and I’m hoping for an even stronger second episode, maybe brining a sense of overall plot of the series so it can (hopefully) break away from any of the Entourage comparisons and be its own show.

Grade: C+

True Detective: S2E1 – “The Western Book of the Dead”

True Detective

The second installment of this anthology is here and boy does it have big steps to follow. This season, the story follows three officers portrayed by Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch, and a crime boss played by Vince Vaughn. I admit I had to re-watch the first half of the episode because I was so lost and confused at what was happening. The first episode plays out in mini story lines of each character and at the end there is a murder that will bind them all together. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve learned about each character so far.

Ani Bezzerides (McAdams) is into presumably weird sex play, weird enough to throw off her friends with benefits. Her father comes off as a hippie cult leader, her sister is moonlighting as a cam-girl. Let’s just say that she’s got some serious family issues.

Ray Velcoro (Farrell) is a broken man trying to get custody of his son (who may not be his since the mother was raped 9 months before the kid was born), hates bullies and has a SERIOUS drinking problem.

Paul Woodrugh (Kitsch) has been accused of soliciting a BJ in exchange for not arresting a movie star, has a dark past that has left him literally scarred, and is probably suicidal exhibited by driving down the highway with the lights off going over 100mph.

Frank Semyon (Vaughn) is the crime boss with a “heart of gold”, lets see how long that lasts. Frank and Ray have a history together, and Ray is somewhat of a muscle man for him now.

I really think that we are going to get something different this season and its going to be great. I know last season i found myself caught up with the hidden meanings of the show and playing the “whodunnit” game. I will try not to get caught up with that this season.

Grade: B

Halt and Catch Fire: S2E4 – “Play With Friends”

halt and catch fire

Mutiny is still in disarray after the latest of Gordon’s blunders. They have to cut games and offer stocks instead of a paychecks resulting in fan favorite, YO-YO,  leaving the company. The the riff between Cameron and Donna gets wider after Cameron decides to scrap the online chat feature. Donna pleads with her to at least try it before she makes her final decision and after some reluctance, shoe does. Big mistake. Cameron decides to chat with one of the programmers about Donna and her marriage and kids, inadvertently sends the message to everyone, including Donna.

John is kicking ass and taking names! This guy is rising up from the ashes of his former life that has been burned along with the truck full of the Giant computers. Deciding he wants to feel useful and not fade away he decides to take on a role at Mutiny, going over their business plans and buy trying to regain the lost “White Whale” users with his southern charm.

Joe makes a power move at his new job, trying to configure servers for 24 hour access against the wishes of his employers (and without their consent). He manages to blackmail Gordon into doing it and in the same note Gordon decides to blackmail him back by setting up Mutiny with a sweetheart deal to host their games on the said servers. In reality Gordon is feeling useless and bored, he needs this to occupy his time and to feel need and important again. One thing for sure is that Gordon has put Mutiny in a collision course with Joe McMillian and his harebrained scheme, will it work out for them this time? Probably not.

After a long day of ups and downs and the ladies reconciling, Cameron decides to finally blow off some steam and join in the Mutiny dart gun fights, which sets in motion a revolutionary new idea. Cameron and her new beau come up with the blueprints for a whole new online gaming platform, first person shooters. Along with the beginnings of a massive online chatting platform, Mutiny seems to be headed down the right track. Side note, during the inspirational dart gun fight, one of Mutiny’s guys lets out a Wilhelm scream when he gets shot. I almost lost it.

Unfortunately it seems the number of viewers for this show is really low. Lee Pace might be a part of a new “brilliant but cancelled” tv show if the numbers keep up this way. Here’s hoping for some better DVR and App viewing numbers.

Grade: B+

Mr. Robot: S1E1 – “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov”

F-the-system-AD-640x480

For whatever reason, I’m not much of a fan of USA Network shows, with the exception being Monday Night Raw (which is not a show they produce). That being said, the ads for Mr. Robot kept intriguing me and I decided to watch the pilot. I’m sure glad I did, as I thoroughly enjoyed the show and the nuance of the main character Elliot (Rami Malek).

Elliot works as a cyber security technician for a tech, who also moonlights as a vigilante hacker. In the beginning we See Elliot track down the owner of an unassuming coffee shop with unusually high and top of the line internet bandwidth. After some digging around, he exposes him for the runner of an internet child pornography site and has taken control of his servers and locked him out of his own system. It leads you to believe that hes trying to extort money from the owner but in reality he was trying to stall time for the police to show and not give him time to try and shut it down. A taste of Elliot’s prowess over computers and his psyche on taking down those that do wrong. This leaves him conflicted when he has to do work for the E (-vil) Corp stopping a massive attack on their systems, where he uncovers a message left for him to do the “right thing”. After trying to track the group, he’s approached by a homeless Christian Slater who ends up being the leader of the hacker group. Mr. Robot lays out the plan to him, set up the CEO as the person being the attack and topple all their systems.

Grade: B

What have you enjoyed watching thus far this Summer? What are you still looking forward to? Sound out below!

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Vertigo Films Headed To New Line! http://www.geekscape.net/vertigo-comic-movies-move-to-new-line-cinema http://www.geekscape.net/vertigo-comic-movies-move-to-new-line-cinema#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 04:14:37 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89336 Briefly: In an interesting (and unexpected move), Deadline has just learned that Warner Bros. is moving its DC/Vertigo titles to New Line Cinema while it keeps busy with the upcoming tentpole films from its main DC lineup.

The lesser-known Vertigo titles are far riskier than the main DC titles, so it’s a smart move on Warner Bros. part. If the films flop they can avoid blame, and if they do well they can still take credit.

Currently. the most anticipated Vertigo film is Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. This is Joseph Gordon-Levitt pet project, who has been attached this for the past two years. Other Vertigo titles include Constatine, Preacher, and Lucifer, though we’ve heard nothing of film projects for those titles (though we can’t wait for AMC’s Preacher series).

What do you think of the move? Are you more excited for DC’s tentpole pictures? Or the less traditional Vertigo stuff? Sound out below!

 

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E3 2015: ‘Sword Art Online: Re Hollow Fragment’ Takes Fan Feedback To Heart http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-sword-art-online-re-hollow-fragment-takes-fan-feedback-to-heart http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-sword-art-online-re-hollow-fragment-takes-fan-feedback-to-heart#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 05:00:46 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89327 Back in August, when Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment released for the PS Vita, it was generally agreed that the game was serviceable for fans of the popular anime and manga series, but its slow battle speed, grind heavy game play, and poor translation ultimately kept it from being as great as it could have been. With that in mind, Namco Bandai has gone back to the drawing board with Sword Art Online: Re Hollow Fragment, taking fan feedback to make an improved version of the game. Joining many other popular Vita exclusives and jumping ship to the PS4, our hands on time showed that in this case, the move to consoles is like night and day.

 

Sword Art Online HF PS4 E3 Screen 1

If you missed our review of the original game, Hollow Fragment picks up at the end of the first half of the anime, branching off into its own “what if” scenario as Kirito and his friends continue to climb the 100 floors of Aincrad. Still stuck within an MMORPG where players who die in the game die in real life, the group must fight to survive long enough to complete the game, which will set all of the survivors free.

With the ability to team up with characters from the show, (some of which haven’t appeared yet at this point in the story,) level up abilities and weapon skills and build relationships with those around you, each floor has its own set of challenges and bosses before you can proceed to the top. The second part of the game is the game exclusive Hollow Area, where the meat of the game lies. Here, players can explore its huge environments with a friend through co-op play, or pair up with another CPU teammate to tackle its challenges. Featuring over 100 hours of game play if you were to complete everything this massive game offers, that time is likely going to be cut down thanks to the sped up battles.

While playing, it was instantly noticeable how much faster the game moved. In what felt like it was close to twice the speed, each one of Kirito’s attacks took much less time to cast and execute. Considering the game plays similar to what you’d expect from KOTOR or the original Dragon Age, the real time turn based combat never felt plodding like it did before. Naturally, this change applied to your teammate as well, forcing you to stay on your toes with a larger sense of urgency, especially when taking the praise mechanic into account. Trying to send the appropriate message to your partner to boost their morale mid fight was as important as ever, while managing your aggro, skills and health to take down tough enemies.

Sword Art Online HF PS4 E3 Screen 2

Thankfully for us, the game play wasn’t the only feature to get a boost from the new hardware. After being reformatted for big screen HD gaming, the world of Sword Art looks much more vibrant with its brighter colors and smoother frame rate. While cycling through the battle banter, the new translation was immediately noticeable, replacing the awkward wording and sentence structure with something that resembles functional English! It’s obvious that the localization team and developers learned from our complaints of the original, which will hopefully leave us with a more enjoyable SAO experience.

From what we’ve seen so far, Sword Art Online: Re Hollow Fragment seems to improve on the Vita version in nearly every way. If you missed out on the original or want an excuse to run through the game again, this is looking like your best chance to experience the definitive version of the game. With a second game, Lost Song, also launching this year, it’s clear to see why this is a good time to be a Sword Art fan.

Look for both games for PS4, with Lost Song returning to the Vita this fall.

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E3 2015: ‘Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel’ Is The Crossover Fighter We Never Expected! http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-nitroplus-blasterz-heroines-infinite-duel-is-the-crossover-fighter-we-never-expected http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-nitroplus-blasterz-heroines-infinite-duel-is-the-crossover-fighter-we-never-expected#comments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 05:00:12 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89322 Typically, when you think of crossover fighting games, you think of some of the biggest games the genre has seen. From Marvel vs. Capcom to Street Fighter X Tekken and even Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, (okay, maybe not that last one,) pitting characters from different universes is always a huge selling point for fans of multiple franchises. Someone at Examu, the developers behind the Arcana Heart series of fighters, must have felt the same way, and are now teaming with the visual novel developer, Nitroplus, to create a fighting game spanning their multiple universes. The only problem is… I honestly have no idea who these characters are! Still, all that matters is whether or not it plays well, and so far, Nitroplus Blasterz is shaping up to be another great fighting game in Examu’s growing catalog.

Nitroplus Blasterz E3 Screen 3

Boasting an easy to pick up and play combo system, each character that I played with in Nitroplus Blasterz had their own unique gimmicks to help them stand out. Some use guns, many use swords, and one even grew flesh and destroyed everyone in her path Tetsuo style, each of which draw their move set from their source material. Some may be more recognizable than others to Western audiences, but characters like Saber from the popular Fate/Zero are sure to help bridge the gap between those who are new to these series’. With the promise of more characters that have a bigger presence in the West, including the popular Super Sonico, (who was regulated to a support character role in the arcade version,) we’ll look forward to seeing how the roster increases as we get closer to release.

Naturally, their individual traits mean nothing if the game itself isn’t fun to play. Thankfully, this isn’t the case with Nitroplus. Using the face buttons to link together attacks is easy to do, so if you know how to push buttons in succession, you’ll like like a pro in little time. That’s not to imply that the game is too easy, because your standard mechanics like special moves, air dashing, guard breaks, and other intermediate to advanced techniques are all here, topped off by some gorgeous looking over the top super moves. At its most chaotic, summoning combo extending support characters allows up to six characters on screen at once! Fights can get crowded and hectic, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Nitroplus Blasterz E3 Screen 2

Basically featuring everything you’d expect from a 2D anime style fighter, Nitroplus Blasterz is looking like a game to watch for fighting game aficionados. Releasing on both PS4 and PS3 this fall and featuring online cross play support between the two versions, there’s no reason not to log on and throw down with friends as your favorite heroines.

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Geekscape Movie Reviews: Ted 2 http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-movie-reviews-ted-2 http://www.geekscape.net/geekscape-movie-reviews-ted-2#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 15:48:37 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89294 Animation guru, Seth MacFarlane, proved once and for all with his 2012 comedy hit, Ted, that he was capable of transitioning to a big screen director. And while his sophomore effort, A Million Ways to Die in the West, was an absolute disappointment, MacFarland attempts to get back to his comfort zone with the highly anticipated sequel, Ted 2. Regrettably, though, MacFarlane will have to continue trying to top his original work.

A few years have passed and John (Mark Wahlberg) has divorced while Ted’s ties the knot with his grocery store check-out co-worker, Tami-Lynn (Jessica Barth). With a shaky marriage brewing between the Teddy bear and his foul-mouthed wife, they decide that having a child is the only way to reconcile. However, in order to adopt a child (due to Tami-Lynn’s drug-destroyed ovaries), Ted must prove that he’s a person in a court of law. So they enlist the help of a novice trial lawyer named Samantha Jackson (Amanda Seyfried) and take on the almighty powers that be.

Ted1

Ted 2‘s brightest moments occur when Seth MacFarlane sticks to his mantra of one-liners and merciless zingers regarding pop culture icons. The writer-director is massively effective when it comes to constructing these kinds of jokes. However, MacFarlane struggles to develop a cohesive and sensible story to help put his comedic prowess on display. He completely misses by continuing his blind loyalty to actor Giovanni Ribisi. After Ribisi’s character nearly spoiled the franchise’s first installment, there is absolutely no need to revive “Donny” in this sequel. While the blame deserves to land solely on MacFarlane’s shoulders, as Ribisi has proven that he’s a capable actor, Ted 2 suffers from an unforgivable second act that’s plagued by unnecessary subplots and an over-extended script that pushes the comedy far past its desirable limits.

Ted2

The third feature from Seth MacFarlane isn’t all doom and gloom, however. Just like the original, Mark Wahlberg gives a fully committed performance once again and demonstrates his natural ability for eliciting laughs. Yet, despite Wahlberg’s fine work in the film, trading Mila Kunis for Amanda Seyfriend is ultimately a bit of a loss. While Seyfriend is merely serviceable, Ted 2 uses a long list of cameos from Liam Neeson, Jay Leno and Tom Brady to keep the jokes fresh. But in the end, all of these shining bright spots become inevitably overshadowed by a flimsy story that provides a brittle foundation for the comedy.

Of course Ted 2 will make you laugh, much like anything MacFarlane has his hand in. Nevertheless, you’re honestly better off revisiting the first film or soaking in some classic Family Guy episodes. This latest effort from Seth MacFarlane is by no means a complete bombshell, but it’s definitely a long-winded affair that offers very little more than a solid barrage of first-half laughs and a steady stream of second-half yawns.

GRADE: 3/5

Check out other work from MCDAVE at his host site

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New International ‘Ant-Man’ Trailer Features A Ton Of New Footage! http://www.geekscape.net/new-international-ant-man-trailer-features-a-ton-of-new-footage http://www.geekscape.net/new-international-ant-man-trailer-features-a-ton-of-new-footage#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 07:13:47 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89284 Briefly: Marvel’s Ant-Man is now just a few weeks away from theatres, and the studio has began to turn its marketing machine up to 11. Following the new poster from just a few days back, a new international trailer has just debuted, featuring a ton of fresh, fresh footage, and a batch of new laughs to boot.

In the film, “Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world”

Take a look at the trailer below, and be sure to let us know what you hope to see from the feature! Ant-Man hits theatres on July 17th!

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E3 2015: ‘The Taken King’ Aims To Deliver A Bigger, Better ‘Destiny’ http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-the-taken-king-aims-to-deliver-a-bigger-better-destiny http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-the-taken-king-aims-to-deliver-a-bigger-better-destiny#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 06:45:03 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89320 It’s well documented that back when Destiny launched in September, the ambitious first person shooter looked to create a universe that grew as time went on, while connecting players in ways that hadn’t been seen on a console before. Yet, many reviewers and gamers alike felt like the game in its base state had under delivered on its promises, with repetitive missions and limited multiplayer functionality. As we approach the first year of the game’s life, its subsequent updates and add-ons have improved the game substantially, but Activision is hoping that The Taken King, Destiny‘s first full fledged expansion, will serve as the bridge between bringing back old players while recruiting new ones. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it might have enough content to do just that.

Destiny TTK E3 Screen 1

Hoping to feature a much stronger narrative compared to the main game, The Taken King revolves around Oryx, a god like being who looks to destroy the guardians with his army of Taken, reanimated and corrupted versions of the dead. On top of Taken versions of returning enemies, you’ll also have to square off with other Guardians who were killed in action, forcing you to go against enemies with your abilities.

Luckily for us Guardians who didn’t suck enough to get killed, the expansion will give us an extra advantage thanks to the new weapons and sub classes that are being added. With gear that now goes up to level 30, we’ll need to be armed to the teeth if we hope to take down Oryx. In addition, Titans, Hunters and Warloks each get new classes to expand their abilities. First, Sunbreakers will give Titans a flaming hammer that lets them take out surrounding enemies with ease. Nightstalkers allow Hunters to live up to their namesake, granting them an energy bow for long range kills. Lastly, the Stormcaller class brings rains down lightning on the Taken, courtesy of the Warlocks and their newfound ability to manipulate electricity. Then again, if all you want to do is shoot stuff, there will be two new weapon types for you to go to town with!

Destiny TTK E3 Screen 2

From the brief footage we saw of The Taken King in action, it’s not hard to see why this might be what converts doubters into faithful Guardians in no time. With a deeper story, more raids, stronger weapons and armor, sub classes that expand on the standard abilities, and new enemies to test your mettle, it’ll be interesting to see how the expansion changes the game when its released in September.

What are your thoughts on The Taken King so far? Sound off below, and check back in with us for more E3 coverage as its released!

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E3 2015: ‘Earth Defense Force’ Brings Out Our Inner Starship Trooper With Two New Games! http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-earth-defense-force-brings-out-our-inner-starship-trooper-with-two-new-games http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-earth-defense-force-brings-out-our-inner-starship-trooper-with-two-new-games#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 05:50:28 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89315 At Xseed’s booth on the E3 show floor, it was clear how hard they’re looking to push the Earth Defense Force series. As a title with a strong cult following in Japan, its handful of Western releases on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PS Vita filled a need for giant insect blasting, but with Earth Defense Force 2: Invaders From Planet Space on Vita, and Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair for PS4, it’s clear that the publisher is looking to push these games into the forefront of their line up. After spending some quality time with each game, it’s easy to see what all the excitement is about.

Starting with Earth Defense Force 2, this handheld title serves as a remake of what’s considered the game that established the series’ current game play mechanics. As a third person shooter with a wide variety of military grade, or sci-fi inspired weapons, players can choose their fully customizable soldiers, establishing their look and class before they go into battle. Ranging from the standard soldier, to explosive experts, and the thrilling Palewing, which adds a jet pack for flying over the battlefield, each set up forces you to approach missions differently.

Earth Defense Force 2 E3 Screen 1 Vita

But once you’re on the battlefield, the over-sized bugs that fill the cities can overwhelm you easily. Navigating the large, yet contained city was one of the highlights of my play through, being able to run through or fly over these buildings as you destroy dozens of alien insects. As the fights become more intense and buildings start to crumble, scrambling for health packs and power ups become just as vital as avoiding damage, since you’ll quickly get overwhelmed, even on normal difficulty. It’s hard to believe that higher difficulties exist, because surviving on the default settings was hard enough. If nothing else, we know we can expect a challenging and exciting shoot em up, using arcade inspired game play that’s perfect for on the go gaming.

When moving over to Earth Defense Force 4.1, most of what was great about the handheld version held true for this PS4 remake of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the fourth game. With more weapons, improved graphics and a bigger city supported by even more enemies, the boost in the presentation was instantly apparent. After trying out a variety of weapons, my PS4 play through had me settle with a beam based sniper rifle combined with the Palewing class, raining down satisfying punishment on my mutated enemies. In fact, it wasn’t until my overzealous style led me to shooting into a building at point blank range, killing myself with my own blast!

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地球防衛軍4.1_20140904012010

As one of the biggest surprises for me on the floor, these Earth Defense Force games were some of the most fun I had with a game at E3. Their simple to pick up and play, no nonsense mechanics made it easy to just jump in and start going to town on giant monsters, while managing to be punishing if you aren’t careful. It’s easy to see why the series has the following it does!

With each game launching in the fall, we’re eager to see how both titles progress. Check back with us for more on Earth Defense Force, and the rest of the games of E3 as news becomes available.

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E3 2015: Worlds Collide Once Again In ‘Project X Zone 2′ http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-worlds-collide-once-again-in-project-x-zone-2 http://www.geekscape.net/e3-2015-worlds-collide-once-again-in-project-x-zone-2#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 05:30:22 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89266 The original Project X Zone took us by surprise, becoming one of our favorite games of 2013. While Strategy RPG’s are usually the bane of my existence, PXZ‘s unique fighting game inspired battle system and its huge cast of characters from different Capcom, Sega and Namco Bandai worlds helped it leave a huge impression on me. After its sequel was announced and confirmed for a Western release a few months back, Project X Zone 2 promises a bigger cast from more of our favorite games, but after experiencing it at E3, we were relieved to find out that everything we loved about the game play of the first is still here.

Project X Zone 2 E3 Screen 2

Each party member in PXZ consists of a team of two, such as Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter, newcomers like Kazuma and Goro from Yakuza: Dead Souls, and even X and Zero from Mega Man X make their return, still serving as the closest we’ve got to a 3DS Mega  Man game. Seeing as the demo was in the early portions of the game, each team was restricted to three attacks per turn. Either a neutral attack, side attack or up attack triggered a different combo, acted out with some stylish, 2D sprite based animations. If you can link attacks against your opponents right before they touch the ground, your party delivers extra damage, rewarding you for your perfect timing. As you can probably tell, unlike most games in the genre, the battles are hardly passive.

With each attack delivered to and received by some of the biggest foes of each universe, (including Juri and Dural making their comebacks, with newcomers like Sigma on the front lines,) each unit builds their XP meter. This allows them to guard, become invulnerable for the turn, or counter attack, with the hopes of defeating the enemy during their own turn. By pulling off long string of combos and not overspending the meter, playing well will allow the meter to fill up passed 100%, which comes in handy when pulling off their ultimate attacks. As visually impressive as ever, it’s amazing watching so many iconic moves pulled off to do huge damage, especially when the old characters were given new moves to keep things fresh.

Project X Zone 2 E3 Screen 1

Overall, PXZ 2 is almost identical to the original, (which you can find out more about in our review,) but more of a good thing is never bad. Combining these updated teams and attacks with new support characters, (like Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil,) and it looks like we’ll have another addicting love letter to long time gaming fans.

Project X Zone 2 is set to launch this fall exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.

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Kari’s Manga Corner: ‘Seraph of the End’ http://www.geekscape.net/karis-manga-corner-seraph-of-the-end http://www.geekscape.net/karis-manga-corner-seraph-of-the-end#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:43:34 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89278 Vampire stories are pretty common nowadays. Many writers try to change it up or put a new spin on the genre. Seraph of the End takes place in a world where vampires have taken control. In a post-apocalyptic future, a mysterious illness kills everyone over the age of 12. Then the vampires appear and the remaining humans, mere children, flee underground. Young Yuichiro is determined to kill every vampire – they killed his sister and his best friend, and pushed humanity into the shadows. Will he be strong enough to fight back? Does humanity have any hope?

 seraph_of_the_end_by_suinomi-d82bgxs

I found this series rather interesting. It starts off with a young boy filled with just blind rage set to fight all vampires, but it expands when he meets a more organized force with the same mission. Yes, it is somewhat formulaic – unskilled youngster wants revenge, meets someone that teaches them how to fight and then the real battle begins. This version, however, still felt very intriguing. Seraph of the End has a similar vibe and art style to Blue Exorcist (which is an awesome series!).

If you like action, mystery, young people taking on the world and the supernatural, then check out Seraph of the End!

SeraphOfTheEnd-GN01

SERAPH OF THE END, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens ·

MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Available Now!

Download the free VIZ Manga App for Android and iOS devices at www.VIZ.com/apps.

To learn more about VIZ Manga, please visit www.vizmanga.com.

 

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‘Perception’ Is Coming, And It Looks Phenomenal! http://www.geekscape.net/perception-is-coming-and-it-looks-phenomenal http://www.geekscape.net/perception-is-coming-and-it-looks-phenomenal#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 04:48:12 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89255 Briefly: I am so excited.

Last month, we featured a unique-as-hell looking game called Perception in our ‘Crowdfund This’ column. I also talked about the game extensively on Geekscape Games (probably more than once), and I’m happy to say that the game finished its Kickstarter campaign with $168,041 of its $150,000 goal.

That means the game is funded, and will definitely be released. Aw yiss.

Crafted by new studio The Deep End Games, which it turns out is made up of a lot of ex-Bioshock dev Irrational Games employees, the game is “a first-person narrative horror adventure that tells the story of Cassie, a blind heroine who uses her extraordinary hearing and razor-sharp wits to unravel the mysteries of an abandoned estate that haunts her dreams. The gameplay has Cassie using echolocation to see, which amounts to some extremely original mechanics, and potential for some absolutely gut-wrenching scares.”

The game’s campaign just finished, and the developers released the following thank-you note:

We are completely overwhelmed, overjoyed and humbled at the reception our game has received. This has been the most exciting, exhilarating month and we have you to thank.

 

We are so proud to be able to make this game thanks to you. Words cannot express the level of gratitude and sheer joy this has brought us, and we can’t wait to make this game and put it in your hands!

 

Moving forward, we will keep you all posted regarding what’s going on with Perception. We can’t wait to show you more footage, screen shots, excerpts and more.

A few weeks back, the developer announced that acclaimed comic writer Joshua Fialkov (check out my Emerald City Comic-Con interview with him here) was joining the team, which skyrocketed my already astronomical excitement for the title. Two new modes for the game have also just been revealed, ‘Silent Night’, and ‘Mode 7′. You can take a look at footage from each below, and let us know if you’re looking forward to the game!

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A Tribute To Patrick Macnee, Superstar And Gentleman http://www.geekscape.net/a-tribute-to-patrick-macnee-superstar-and-gentleman http://www.geekscape.net/a-tribute-to-patrick-macnee-superstar-and-gentleman#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 04:42:49 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89257 Part of old England died today when Patrick Macnee passed away. Macnee represented the classic aristocratic man, one who served his country in the Second World War, and later gave us performances that were always engaging, even if some of the productions themselves were or not.

Born in 1922 to parents who were fixtures of English high society, he enjoyed privilege as he came from aristocratic lineage, and was Eton-educated.

At the age of 20, he joined the Royal Navy during World War II, and went from an enlisted man to a sub-lieutenant within a year, patrolling the coast of the northern UK.

Battlestar

In the early 1950s, Macnee went to Canada, then the US, and appeared in various stage productions, eventually making his way into film. By the 1960s, he was well-known enough to be cast in The Avengers, not the Marvel comics, but rather a spy series with heavily mod stylings. It was an onscreen romp through a fantastical world of spies situated somewhere between the hallucinogenic Prisoner series and James Bond. While the original series paired Macnee’s character of Steed with a few different female leads, it was Diana Rigg who most people remember.

Later in the 1970s, when the show was resurrected, Macnee rejoined the series, but this time opposite Jennifer Lumley, who is now mostly remembered as the blonde 1960s-addled friend on Ab-Fab.

No matter whom he appeared with, Macnee was always the uber gentleman spy. Not a ladies man like Bond, trying to bed anything that moved, but rather a man’s man, who would do whatever was necessary to save anyone who needed saving.

NeverSayDie

He has been in many movies and TV shows, even appearing in one of the pivotal story lines in the original Battlestar Galactica. In doing so, he became the Sir Alec Guiness of the show for the time he was on, adding a level of acting that no one else was able to meet.

It is said that no matter what he was in, people on-set were drawn to him, that he made friends easily, and kept those friendships. In life, and on the screen, he gave us a hero to look up to, and a role model to be like. He will be missed, and the likes of him may not be seen for a long time.

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Watch A New Teaser For ‘Fear The Walking Dead’! http://www.geekscape.net/watch-a-new-teaser-for-fear-the-walking-dead http://www.geekscape.net/watch-a-new-teaser-for-fear-the-walking-dead#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 01:50:28 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89253 Briefly: We’re finally less than two months away from the highly anticipated premiere of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead, and today the network debuted a new, 30-second spot for the upcoming series.

In the video, an upset boy talks of ‘reports in five states’, and of people killing each other, and naturally… the adult tells him not to worry about it.

Are you looking forward to the series? I’m really excited to explore the beginning of the outbreak, and see just how the world becomes, well, the world from The Walking Dead.

Take a look at the teaser below, and let us know what you think! Fear The Walking Dead debuts this August!

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New ‘Heroes: Reborn’ Trailer Announces Premiere Date, Embraces Geekiness http://www.geekscape.net/new-heroes-reborn-trailer-announces-premiere-date-embraces-geekiness http://www.geekscape.net/new-heroes-reborn-trailer-announces-premiere-date-embraces-geekiness#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 17:21:53 +0000 http://www.geekscape.net/?p=89245 Heroes returns September 24th on NBC. Mark your calendars.

It seems Heroes is finally embracing its nerdy heritage more. When it aired, geek TV was a little different. Superman had his thing on Smallville, but all the super nerdy stuff was reserved for movies. But now, with Arrow and The Flash bringing blockbuster superheroes to primetime weekday nights, it seems Heroes is comfortable to finally go down that route. The new trailer shows that. It’s action-y and far more comic book-y than ever.

I don’t know if it was a good thing or a bad thing how much Heroes shied away from being full-geek.  It simultaneously made comic books “cool” while also avoiding the stuff that made it cool in the first place.

There was no iconography to ape. A cheerleader outfit, some black leather, maybe? There were no flashy costumes or anything of the like in the original Heroes, and I’m forever conflicted about how I feel.

But I do feel great that HIRO IS BACK. Hell yes!

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