Lego’s “CLONE WARS” game is even better than the original SW Lego game. It perfectly captures the impromptu style of adventure the animated series is known for. Among the things that are noticeably improved over the original SW game is the music & visually impressive & creative boss fights. They involve multiple duels in different settings each with a unique twist. Surprisingly however one of the best things about this game is the inclusion of a Galactic Assault mode. It’s a seemingly simple yet challenging RTS battlefield where you have to take out enemy artillery with all sorts of weapons & vehicles at your disposable but in LEGO form which makes its twice as fun. This game is in many ways the runt of SW games. It may not be Battlefront or KOTR but as far as a Lego game is concerned this is among their very best. Grade A-
My Night with Marilyn.
By: Daniel Barroso
On Wednesday January 10th, my girlfriend and I went to the highly anticipated Marilyn Manson concert. It was highly anticipated because he was supposed to perform at the Arizona State fair in October, but due to some technical, and health issues Mr. Manson had to reschedule. What had happened is he had two giant prop guns that were hanging on the stage that were used as set pieces. What multiple media outlets have stated, and reported is that at one point he climbed unto one of the set pieces rode it like a horse, rocked it back and forth, jumped off, and continued to give his performance. However, during mid song, the set piece became lose, knocked him in the back off the head which caused Marilyn to fly off the stage, and hit the guard railing where he broke his ankle. In panic, the band continued to play for 15 minutes before the ambulance carried an unconscious Marilyn to the ER.
Following these events, the rest of the North American tour titled “The Heaven Upside Down Tour” named after his newest album was rescheduled (all tickets were honored at the rescheduled date for those who were still interested in seeing him. Due to the accident, the concert was also moved to a bigger venue so more tickets were sold). Phoenix was the first city on the rescheduled tour so you could tell fans were excited. With original tickets being honored, and additional tickets being sold, this was a sold-out show, and it was a packed house. The venue it got moved to was “The Van Buren” which is a new music venue that opened its doors August 2017. The Venue holds about 1,800-2,400 people which is not bad. It also features a “Mezzanine” level which allows for a better view of the stage and GA pit. If you’re there solely for the performance, and don’t really want to dance (since the venue also hosts EDM shows) or want to get shoved around while people try to get closer to the stage, then I would recommend paying the extra money so you can enjoy yourself and get the Mezzanine area since it is an elevated open concept balcony that leaves plenty of room to walk around, dance if you choose to, and last but not least it is also a seated section. For this show I would have been fine with either the Mezzanine, or the GA Pit. The GA area was not bad, it did just suck at certain points because I’m a guy who is 5’6 and I had trouble seeing the stage due to everyone around me being significantly taller. No one at this show was too rowdy which was a plus. I did get taken out of the element in certain points just since other attendees shoved me out of the way so they could get closer to the front. Just a few more complaints about the venue would be with such a big artist like this why put him in a venue that is so intimate? To be honest I feel like it was a disservice to both the fans, and the artist. At a place so small, I wouldn’t mind seeing someone like “The Pretty Reckless” since they’re still an Indy upcoming band.
After a bit of waiting around, and a few drinks in 9:15 PM hits, the pre-recorded intro starts, and we hear Marilyn say “Phoenix, fucking sing it!” the curtain drops and there he is in a motorized wheel chair with an upside down cross. At this point I thought that he was going to perform sitting down the hole time which I had no problem with, but the next song he talks to us a bit saying how he got fucked up from his stage antics, and once he’s done with story time he stands up to sing his next song. After that song he sits back down, and the band automatically plays into the next song. The band, and of course Marilyn were all fantastic even with Marilyn having to alternate between songs from standing to sitting since his foot was still in a half cast, and I can’t even begin to imagine how much pain he was in by putting pressure on hit foot. My complaint with the show is that maybe he jumped the gun, and should’ve waited until he fully healed to kick off the rest of his tour. Some song transitions did drag due to the fact that he had some costume changes, or there where set changes and the band had to clear out, and then come back on stage once the set pieces, or props were set in place. The set was a nice mix of all of his hits, and a few of the newer stuff from his new album. I will add that I felt robbed, and I say this because in the other cities before the accident they performed a total of 20 songs including the encore, while we only got 14 including the encore, and yes it may be a bit insensitive for me to complain about that but we had tickets to see this band perform, I was hoping to get the same courtesy/show they gave other cities, and once again is why I wish he waited to full recover. Overall it was a good time, and surprisingly his voice held out through the entire performance. Another reason why I’m going to rank this show a bit higher than other concerts is because Marilyn had three big things happen on this tour: 1) His longtime guitarist/bassist was accused of sexual misconduct so Marilyn fired him. 2) his very good friend, and one of the founding members Daisy Berkowitz passed away after a long tough battle with cancer. 3) Marilyn became injured and had to postpone the tour. Taking these things into consideration I will give this show 6 beautiful people out of 10 beautiful people.
X-men Hope Trilogy
Messiah Complex – Messiah War – Second Coming
First off, there will be spoilers…in the early 90’s the X-men were their own universe of comics to crossover with; we had a group of books with Uncanny, X-Force, X-Factor, New Mutants, Excalibur and X-men. Sometimes all or most of the books would cross over and we would have some amazing story arcs with: X-tinction Agenda, X-Cutioner’s Song, Fatal Attractions, Age of Apocalypse, Onslaught Saga, and Operation: Zero Tolerance. Things kind of stopped after 2000’s the Twelve and Eve of Destruction as that era of X-men ended and we got Grant Morrison’s run in which the characters were still connected but the books were not. With this change we had seen the X-men go to Hollywood and then a new version would come about, black leather; and some story arcs would return like the love triangle between Scott Summers, Jean Grey-Summers, and Logan, but now a new player had entered Emma Frost, the White Queen.
With Grant Morrison’s run we did see some amazing things, but it almost felt as if these were a different set of X-men and their adventures were well far removed from the Marvel Universe. The Mutants were also getting to be more in numbers so they no longer felt like they were pitted with their backs to the wall, but in New X-men issue 115, that changed as Cassandra Nova destroyed the island of Genosha and a lot of Mutants were killed. So now that the number of Mutants had been scaled back and Grant Morrison left the comic it was time for the X-men to get Astonishing. Joss Whedon started a book called Astonishing X-men as part of the X-men ReLoad revamp. This got the X-men back into costumes, had them interact with more Marvel characters, and be heroic looking again (well worth a read as it is 25 issues, 1—24 and a Giant Size).
That successful relaunch and Brian Bendis’ launch of New Avengers meant a crossover had to happen…House of M. The core 8-issue series starts off with asking what should be done with the Scarlet Witch who was responsible for the Avengers Disassembled story. Was she going crazy like her father, Magneto? Then her family helps her escape to a fantasy world, House of M, where the Mutants were the dominant species and Magneto was the unquestioned ruler. By the end of the limited series the Scarlet Witch was tired of being used by everyone and casted a spell, “No More Mutants.” With that the number of Mutants in the Marvel universe was down to less than 200.
Something had to change for the X-men line of books. They were too separated and it had seemed that there were back on the extinction list…so there was a birth. Hope (literally) had entered the lives of the X-men in the Messiah Complex which united the X-books and had Cyclops lead the X-men in order to prevent the Marauders, Acolytes, Reavers, Purifiers, and Predator X from getting the newly born Mutant. As a fan reading this as it came out, I was super excited as I was reliving the X-men from my younger years and it was a grand story of life, death, and extinction. Of course there were twists and turns, but the big reveal that Bishop would be a bad guy and want to kill a Mutant was intense, then of course there were connections to Jean and the Phoenix, so anything to do with the Summers family has me excited.
After the baby had been secured by the good guys, she was taken into the future by Cable; which was very much reminiscent of Cable’s origins as well. There she was raised to be a soldier and fight on no matter what was happening, and this world was not a better place. Meanwhile whenever they could get a moment it was of course broken by Bishop hunting them down. The Messiah War finally had some reinforcements come by way of the clandestine X-Force team, which was very proactive in their missions. They now had to help out and face off against a horrendous future, Stryfe, and Apocalypse. Stryfe is a clone of Cable and is a tragic villain in the X-men storylines, but it was great to see him return and now knowing how sinister he would be this made the stakes that much higher. For once Apocalypse would be helpful and did something beneficial for Cable and Hope.
Now the time had come for Hope to return, the Second Coming. This story arc was now at a fever pitch…Cyclops, X-Force, Utopia all of it coming to a head and some people weren’t liking the way the X-men were separating themselves and their actions; even some of the X-men too. Hope and Cable had returned and this time they had to face off a coalition of the worst Humankind had to offer: Bastion, Stephen Lang, Bolivar Trask, William Stryker, Graydon Creed, and Cameron Hodge. This was HUGE as these were some of the best and longest running Human villains in the X-men comics and now they were together. This was the “be all, end all” of X-men comics for me. This story took place all over America as we desperately watch Cable and Hope go from the Mansion in Westchester County, NY to Utopia near San Francisco, CA.
The moments between characters was what drew me to this story, Cyclops and his interactions between Nightcrawler and Beast were some of the biggest as we saw their friendship be tested. Faith was a theme constant to this story. I remember going into the comic shop every week to get the newest issue in the story and it was well worth it, Marvel had brought out their best. This is the trilogy that brought the X-men back and on track. You can of course read the trades/hard covers for Messiah Complex, Messiah War, and Second Coming, but I’ve put together a map for you that will give you that experience but also some extra. Get to your favorite reading spot and enjoy a tour de force of a group of heroes that fight to survive in a world that hates and fears them. (NOTE the comics in italics are suggested as they are more of a character profile book)
Messiah Complex Reading Order
1 X-men: Messiah Complex (2007)
X-men: Messiah Complex Mutant Files
2 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 492
3 X-Factor (Vol 3) 25
4 New X-men (Vol 1) 44
5 X-men (Vol 1) 205
6 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 493
7 X-Factor (Vol 3) 26
8 New X-men (Vol 1) 45
9 X-men (Vol 1) 206
10 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 494
11 X-Factor (Vol 3) 27
12 New X-men (Vol 1) 46
13 X-men (Vol 1) 207
Aftermath (suggested readings)
Uncanny X-men 495 to 500, featuring the move to San Francisco, the X-men reforming, and building Cyclops’ vison of mutant paradise.
Cable (Vol 2, 2008) 1 to 5, showing Cable with baby Hope on the run from a vengeance seeking Bishop.
X-Force (Vol 3) 1 to 6, this is the team that was tasked with finding Hope, now they will also be a proactive team to take down threats to the Mutant race, permanently.
X-men the Lives and Times of Lucas Bishop 1 to 3, gives the readers an insight as to why Bishop is not a believer of Hope like the other X-men are.
Cable (Vol 2, 2008) 11 to 12, Wasteland Blues finally shows Hope asking the questions: who am I and why do people want to hurt me?
Messiah War Reading Order
1 X-Force/Cable: Messiah War
X-men Future History Messiah War Sourcebook
2 Cable (Vol 2) 13
3 X-Force (Vol 3) 14
4 Cable (Vol 2) 14
5 X-Force (Vol 3) 15
6 Cable (Vol 2) 15
7 X-Force (Vol 3) 16
Second Coming Reading Order
1 X-men Hope
2 X-men Second Coming Prepare
3 X-men Second Coming 1
4 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 523
5 New Mutants (Vol 3) 12
6 X-men Legacy 235
7 X-Force (Vol 3) 26
8 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 524
9 New Mutants (Vol 3) 13
10 X-men Legacy 236
11 X-Force (Vol 3) 27
12 Uncanny X-men (Vol 1) 525
13 New Mutants (Vol 3) 14
14 X-men Legacy 237
15 X-Force (Vol 3) 28
16 X-men Second Coming 2
17 Uncanny X-men Heroic Age 1
So make sure to visit Geek Elite Radio’s Facebook page or Twitter and let me know what you think of this trilogy and share your insights, as always…GEEK OUT!
4 Reasons To Buy A Nintendo 3DS
By Zoey Smith
I’m not going to BS you: It’s 2017. The portable Nintendo Switch is an exciting product that’s really shaking up the world. Less than one year in, and the 1st party library is already good. The potential for 3rd party support is starting to look realistic. Pricing considerations & online shortcomings aside, owning a Switch is already proving to be a win for most people.
So that begs the question: why attention to Nintendo’s other aging, overpriced platform & games, failed gimmicks and laughable horsepower? That’s easy! The 3DS is an amazing system, and here’s why:
The 1st-Party Lineup
Every know-it-all with an opinion on the internet will tell you that a game console lives or dies by its software. And with few exceptions (read: Dreamcast), that loud mouthed guy is correct! Consoles with strong libraries do often attract the crowds they’re seeking, and if there’s anything Nintendo did incredibly right with the 3DS, it’s that they courted their fanbase with the plethora of obscenely polished experiences.
Nearly every major Nintendo franchise (even Metroid!) has had representation on the platform, and nearly all games released under Nintendo’s tentpole franchises have deserved the right to place in top-5 of every “Best of ___ series” list. 3DS library boast titles of such great design that they seriously rival by SNES-era Nintendo. It’s truly that good.
2) The Diverse Library
The 3DS is strikingly diverse, boasting a huge gamut of genres & styles. Almost every feasible genre that could work within the handheld’s limited technical scope is represented here (meaning games with mega-budget AAA- game design priorities are largely absent from the library, take that however you will). Platformers, RPGs, racing games, strategy games, action/arcade/adventure games, slice-of-life sims, retro hits, rhythm games, visual novels, dungeon crawlers, etc. etc. etc. etc. it’s all here. You have your simple, accessible games with insanely good hooks (Mario, Pokemon, Animal Crossing), you have your hardcore, systems-heavy games (Monster Hunter, Bravely Default, Xenoblade), & you got indie darlings & bizarre experiments (Shovel Knight, BoxBoy!, & Pocket Card Jokey), and hey, even a limited selection of SNES games are available on the New 3DS systems, if that interest you! Anybody will be able to find their poison with this system.
3) The 3D
BREATH FRIEND! Calm your flailing, enraged anatomical bits, and I’ll explain!
Yes, the 3D effect was a costly, unnecessary, superfluous “overhyped-tech-of-the-week” feature that adds little to most games and hamstrung system performance right out of the game (the 3D is responsible for console’s low 400×240 screen resolution).
BUT there are a few titles on the system that actually make use of the 3D’s knack for conveying space & distance. Unlike the obnoxious application of 3D tech by most forms of entertainment (SHIT FLYIN ATCHA BROH WHO DOGDE THEM BULLETS & EXPLOSIONS), the 3Ds produces a concave field of perception, allowing game worlds to feel like they occupy tangible space, like one is peering into a little world. Gaps, ledges, and falls in Mario 3D Land feel more like tangible the. The hostile caverns and industrial ruins of Samus Returns occupy a space that feel vast and deep. Projectile & enemies occupy space and portray distance in Kid Icarus: Uprising effectively.
That said, I cannot stress enough that the 3D is optional. Hell, a small population of people experience eye strain & motion sickness from 3D. Few games truly really take full advantage of the 3D, and majority titles feel underwhelming to look at in 3D. There’s a lot of value in creating games that use the perspective-enhancing 3D to give players a better sense of depth in a game’s virtual space, but the effect never provided an experience that fundamentally change who one looks at screens.
BUT WITH ALL THAT SAID… it’s still neat. Neat in the way a CRT produces a visual experience that is objectively different than that of a 4K/HDR OLED display. Neat enough for me to show it off to everyone that sees it, neat enough to warrant that New 3DS head-tracking tech, neat enough to warrant a spot on this list. Despite being a feature that Nintendo wrongly though would define the system, this interesting experiment in manipulating spatial-awareness occasionally make me pause in awe with certain games. Take that for what it’s worth.
4) Nintendo’s Continued Support of the System
Yes, to the dismay of many wishing for the Switch to supplant its aged counterpart, Nintendo will continue to support the 3DS up until the end of 2018.
“WAT”, you say again.
Calm the fuck down, we’re talking about video games, not geopolitical conflict. Save that anger for shit that matters, kids, you’ll live longer.
Still with me? Hey, did you know that Nintendo recently had a 3DS sales boom, thanks to Pokemon Go (somehow) driving up sales for 3DS unit sales & Pokemon-related 3DS games. Yea, that happened, and about 4-5 million additional 3DS consoles were sold in 2016.
Reality may be strange, but the thought of getting more 3DS games is pretty cool. The 3DS is pretty cheap to develop games for given the aged tech, so it’s likely we’ll see the release a few more polished titles before all is said and done. It’s unlikely that we’ll get another grand-slam title like the late Samus Returns or Pokemon Sun & Moon, but any first party effort by Nintendo at least merits some attention. That, and given the likelihood that a majority of 3DS titles won’t be ported to the Switch (at least not for a long time), and you have an attractive proposition to invest in this awesome system.
Checking out platforms at the end of their lifespans is always a thrill; the system-defining games have already dropped, crowds have discovered their niche titles of choice, the hardware has been mastered, and developers are keenly aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the system. The 3DS is the prime example of this, offering a library so strong that honestly it may rank as one of Nintendo’s best consoles. Probably in their top-5, to be honest. –
If you’re one of the many that has yet to give the system a look, do so. It’s a great system that houses seriously great games. Also, the 3D is neat.
GER member Daniel had the incredible opportunity to conduct an email interview with the one and only, Kyle Hebert (pronounced Ay-Bear). Hebert is an American voice actor and podcaster. He is best known as the voice of Gohan, and the Narrator in the Funimation dub of the Dragon Ball series. What helped him get his big start in this field was being a DJ/host for Radio Disney. Kyle states that he always wanted to get involved in voice acting ever since he was a kid. He credits Mel Blanc as one of his biggest influences, who voiced for many Hanna-Barbera shows. You can read more about our interview with him below.
Geek Elite Radio -1) To start things off, you have played a few versions of Gohan, from a high schooler to full on dad, husband, and striving scholar. Which one of these would you say was your favorite to play and why?
Kyle: My introduction as high school Gohan was my first big voice gig, first big character, first big show, and everything dominoed from there. I have fond memories of being the awkward high schooler who also hammed it up as The Great Saiyaman.
Geek Elite Radio -2) I know you have done both American and Japanese cartoons. Is the recording process different and if so, can you elaborate? Which one do you prefer to do the most and why?
Kyle: With cartoons, the voice recording is done before the animation. The cast tends to record all together, which is the most fun, doing scene-by-scene like a radio play. Each actor has a music stand for the script and mic. It’s wonderful to get to play off each other’s performance, watch others do their thing, etc. Only downside is you have to wait months to even years for the final animation to come out.
With anime, the animation is done and voice recording is done one actor at a time, due the technical restrictions of having to match lip flaps. We preview each line of dialog in the original language to watch for inflections, how loud or soft to make the delivery. It’s also cool to get to see the final product on the screen. Recording solo means you lack context and don’t get to see/hear the big picture as it comes together. It’s a bit of like being in a vacuum. It’s just you, the director, and the engineer. Once in a blue moon, the client might be present to help the director.
Geek Elite Radio -3) Your journey on the show started as The Ox King, and also the Narrator in Dragon Ball Z. Were you approached to voice for Gohan, or did you have to audition like everyone else? If you had to audition for the role, how did that process go?
Kyle: I auditioned in person (most auditions nowadays are done at home and emailed). I was told to pick as many roles as I wanted to read for out of a three-ring binder. I actually was a fan of DBZ already and immediately recognized Gohan amongst the audition scripts. Gohan was the first character I read for, alongside other smaller roles, of which I’ve long forgotten since this was back in summer of 2000. After that initial audition, I was brought in to record bit parts and a couple months later, the high school arc of Gohan began recording and I was told I landed the part. A few months after that, I took over as the Narrator. Once Dragonball began recording after Z’s success, I took over as Ox King. I had heard about open auditions through my radio station job where I was a DJ on-air (Radio Disney). My show partner, Kara Edwards, also auditioned and ended up landing the role of Videl and Goten.
Geek Elite Radio -4) How do you feel about the recent trend of having celebrities being hired to do voice over work instead of actual voice actors that are skilled in this specific field?
Kyle: It’s a definite sore spot. I get that studios count on a bankable name to get people to watch/go to the movies…but with animation, there are so many people already trained and experienced that could deliver the goods. And we are WAY cheaper! Do you think a kid cares that its Eddie Murphy as Donkey on Shrek? Several veteran voice talent have been hired by studios to coach the celebs to act like they do. Talk about a slap in the face. The on camera folks flourish on camera, and generally, I wish they would stay on that side of the playground. Disney/Pixar tends to get celebs who are such good actors their performances translate well into the voiceover world. Others are hired to just be themselves (and get paid millions).
Geek Elite Radio -5) One of the biggest issues that voice actors face is that they are severely underpaid compared to on screen actors. Do you see this changing in the near future?
Kyle: Unfortunately, no. While voiceover has gotten a lot more attention and accolades in recent years thanks to social media, I think the old Hollywood model of “stars”/”celebrities” won’t be going away.
Geek Elite Radio -6) I know that you have played both villains and heroes. Which type of character do you enjoy playing more and why?
Kyle: Actors relish the opportunity to play characters that aren’t them. The further opposite they are, the bigger the challenge and the more fun can be had. Of course, villains can have more scenery to chew, which is a blast. But heroes are inspirational and many fans have opened up to me about how positively their lives are affected, and that is the real icing on the cake. Getting to make a difference in someone’s life.
Geek Elite Radio -7) If you had the opportunity to voice for any character from Marvel or DC comics who would it be?
Kyle: Huge Batman fan, but it’s a double edge sword. I think Kevin Conroy defined that role, and I wouldn’t want to be compared. I also don’t think I could do a better job.
Geek Elite Radio -8) The DBZ anime is known to have some intense power up sequences that involve a lot of yelling and energy. What do you do in order to protect your voice and prep for these types of scenes? Do you have a vocal warmup routine, drink hot tea, etc?
Kyle: I don’t have any warm up routine. But screaming for any length of time can take its toll. The old remedyhas been hot tea with lots of honey…but in recent years I found a much more effective method, at least for me. Chinese cough syrup (Nin Jiom Pa Po Koa) either in liquid or lozenge form really do a nice job of protecting the vocal cords.
Geek Elite Radio -9) With Dragon Ball Super being the continuation of Z, what is the thing you’re most looking forward to in the new series, and how do you feel about all of the character development that Gohan will be getting?
Kyle: I was initially disappointed with Gohan being relegated to the side in the early arcs of Dragonball Super. But with the current storyline in Japan, Gohan is finally relevant again. I have a feeling Gohan will have his day and more than make up for the squandered potential from the Buu Saga.
Geek Elite Radio -10) If you weren’t a voice actor what kind of career do you think you’d have?
Kyle: I love playing drums, so maybe be in some sort of rock/metal band. Also a huge movie buff, so maybe special effects, audio or behind the camera kind of stuff.
Geek Elite Radio -11) Last but not least, what sort of advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue professional voice acting?
Kyle: Voice acting is more about acting than it is about voice. Take classes/workshops and get training/experience when/where you can. On camera, on stage, online. Don’t take shortcuts. This takes 110% commitment and doesn’t happen overnight. Anything that comes easily or cheap can’t be appreciated. Working for something you want bad enough to go through the blood, sweat, and tears pays off so much more in the end. Don’t get into this for fame or fortune. Find your passion and follow it, and if you can make a living doing what you love, it doesn’t get any better.