Geek Wish-List: Geek U

Hello again everybody, I hope you’re ready for the new semester. I know this week’s going to be a busy one, with everyone running around trying to figure out new schedules. But don’t fret, I’m here with your weekly Geek Wish-List to help you along.

This week I thought I’d share my Wish-List of geek related things I hope will happen at the University of Utah this semester. I wish for more community events, ongoing LAN-parties, more movie screenings, and more group game-parties, like Smash Bros and or 3DS games. I also hope for club tournaments and more special events, like The Geekwave’s Minecraft Event.

Since the U teamed up with TESPA, there’s been a huge spike in geek activity.  There are diverting events and fun things happening at the U. Last year, we had the Crimson LAN Event, LoL Crimson League, and even a private viewing of the new Star Wars movie. I hope for more events like those.

What I’m talking about is access to things like this year’s new movie screenings, of which there are a whole lot. I’d also like to see more LAN-style parties other than LoL. And, speaking of different kinds of LAN parties, I think it would be really cool to get big groups together to play games similar to the Universities Crimson Gamers’ Society, only bigger, with more food.

Image from www.jtc-roosendaal.nl

Moving on. I also wish TESPA continues to sponsor different tournaments, but with greater variety. I want to see a Smash Bros tournament, Call of Duty or Halo tournament, and possibly, a tournament of random Steam games that will test gaming capabilities in all genres.

As I mentioned, my biggest tournament wish is, a Steam tournament. For my fellow PC-gamers, I’m also a console-gamer, so hold the hate train. We’ve all seen different mini-game style Steam games, like Duck Game and Speed Runner. But I think tournaments where each round of play was a different kind of Steam ‘mini-game style’ would be really fun. This kind of tournament would not only test raw skill, but also gamer adaptability to different controls and strategies.

by www.flickr.com

STEAM | www.flickr.com

Finally, about ‘special events’ at the U. Past events include a Halo 5 release party, Holly Hearth Christmas Hearthstone Event, and the Blizzcon 2015 Streaming Party.  I look forward to more future events like these. The Geekwave will be hosting a Minecraft event at the City Creek Microsoft Store January 23rd. I don’t know what other kind of events are being planned, but I’m here hoping we get some sweet new gaming gear or event swag.

by www.technobuffalo.com

Image from www.technobuffalo.com

I’ve finished this week’s list, at long last. Next week, it’s my wish-list for a hassle free way to get people together to game, online, LAN or otherwise. I’ll see you all here next week.

Geek Wish-List: eSports for 2016

Hello everybody, apologies for the late post. Those technical issues finally caught up with me. It’s now 2016, and like I said last year, I want to talk about games I hope will enter the world of eSports. With the new year upon us, preparation for this year’s championships have already begun. From LoLto Counterstrike, people are training for a chance to take home the trophy. WIth many already training hard and building the community with newer teams by having advanced players by being able to buy lol account in order to train the newer ones. It’s safe to say that eSports have grown more than enough to gives some other franchises some attention.

The games I hope to see get more attention in the world of eSports this year include the new Blizzard game, Overwatch, Halo Wars 2, and the newest DOOM.

The most realistic game to enter the eSports line-up is Overwatch. A Blizzard creator, and MOBA-style gameplay make the game a
no-brainier for eSports fans. I hope Blizzcon hosts the first Overwatch world-championship in 2016.

Siliconangle.com

Image from Siliconangle.com

Next, I want to see a new RTS take the stage in eSports, and I think, Halo Wars 2 would bring new flavor to the arena. But I also believe changes are needed. There are two factions fighting in Halo Wars, and within each there are three sub-factions. Following RTS tradition, a third set of sub-factions would result in a more satisfying outcome. The Flood or Forerunners could easily fill the gap.

Giantbomb.com

Halo Wars 2. Image from Giantbomb.com

And finally, my big wish for eSports this year. In 2016, we are supposed to get the newest DOOM game. Indeed, DOOM is to return with shiny new graphics, depending on how well its multiplayer function works. The DOOM series is labeled as an ‘arena-style shooter’, which screams eSports. I can see DOOM being played in an eSports bar, and someone says, “Dude, so and so is on fire—oops, spoke too soon, he was just impaled.” (insert Frozen meme here)

Gamesradar.com

Image from Gamesradar.com

I’m now done with my weekly rant, and sorry for being late. Winter semester starts next week, and I’m so excited for the next round of geek-related stuff at the U. I will officially start the semester with my Wish-list for the geek community at the U. It’s gonna be a good year guys, I can feel it.

Geek Wish-List: Anime MC Redo

Hey guys, it’s Lee Neuschwander, and I hope most of you have seen the new Star Wars movie by now. However, if you are one of the brave few who have not seen the movie yet, we wish you the best of luck in continuing your fight against the ocean of spoilers; keep calm and may the Force be with you.

Last time I said I’d be talking about new Anime story ideas I would like to see in the next season of releases. Now, I really like Anime, so I could easily talk to you guys for four plus pages. For the sake of the Blog, I’ll keep it to the usual length. Sigh.

There is some really good Anime this season, but one that really struck me as being above the rest include Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, One Punch Man, and my personal favorite, Overlord. Each of these shows has main characters that break the standard for the Anime MC role. All in a good way.

Before we get into what’s on my Wish-List, I’ll explain why these shows are on my good side.

Iron-Blooded Orphans holds a special place in my heart as the Gundam series that brought back the cold-blooded, Mikazuki Augus, Anime’s main character who pilots the Gundam frame “Barbatos”. In the very first episode, we learn Mikazuki is an emotionless killer who will do whatever is asked of him from secondary character, Orga Itsuka.

Some might say having an emotionless MC is a bad thing, however, when it comes to the Gundam, an emotionless MC is a necessity to be considered good by the fan base. Iron-Blooded Orphans delivers exceptionally well on this, and gives us an MC that breaks away from the traditional Anime hero-mold in the most badass way.

gundam.wikia.com

gundam.wikia.com

Arguably, One Punch Man is the most popular Anime from the newest season of releases. For good reason. Anime is based off the concept that the MC is so ridiculously over-powered that no one can stand against him. Usually, we see how MC develops something that has become known as an ‘MC plot armor’ where no matter what happens, you know the MC will make it out alive.

As a result, those shows become somewhat stale because you know the hero makes it out alright. One Punch Man makes invulnerability the center-point by pushing far past the reasonable limit as to be ridiculous on purpose. It ends up working as a comedy element, which makes it even more entertaining in the process.

onepunchman.wikia.com

onepunchman.wikia.com

Finally, there’s Overlord, my personal favorite from the new batch. The main character is similarly overpowered, but with a twist. A twist that makes the main character, Lord Ains, not the good guy. Instead, you might say, the MC is the ‘villain’. In Overlord, Lord Ains is the overpowered evil overlord of the story and goes about reaching his goals by any means, peaceful or violently dark. I absolutely love this change in MC perspective because we get to see an Anime without a stereotypical hero who gets stronger facing off against villains. A villain already as strong as possible, broken in gamer terms who goes about doing what he wants to do instead of according to a preordained plot.  This show does a great job exploring a new angle of storytelling, but I would like to go a step further.

overlordmaruyama.wikia.com

overlordmaruyama.wikia.com

OK, here we are, finally at the Wish-List part. Now, having shown you guys the elements of these shows that relate to main characters and plot development, I want to talk about what I would like to see using some of these elements. Some ideas I would love to see implemented in Anime are stories told from the main antagonist’s perspective where the MC is actually the primary danger.

To explain further, imagine watching a battle take place where the hero is fighting against the monster or enemy, and then after the fight ends, instead of breaking back to the character development of the hero’s party, we get to see a similar dynamic from the main villain. So far, the only show I’ve seen where we get a look into the social circle of the bad guys was with Akame Ga Kill. In that show, they showed the side of the good guys with Night Raid, but they also showed relationships within the enemy ranks amid the Jaegers.

akamegakill.wikia.com

akamegakill.wikia.com

My second concept is a show were the MC is the main threat. Now, this doesn’t mean the MC is the villain necessarily, but the MC is the biggest danger the protagonists will face. To clarify, let’s say the story takes place like usual, and the MC is pushed to the point of defeat. Then the MC’s hidden powers awaken allowing him to easily defeat the enemy.

The twist is, their power isn’t controllable, and the MC then kills members of his/her own team. I feel this would be a great way to throw a new angle into the camaraderie we usually see between MC’s and their supporting characters. How would you feel if the hero you believed would save your world from the enemy starts killing the very people they swore to protect? Along similar lines would be one of the supporting characters, perhaps the love interest, knows s/he has the power to defeat the enemy, but knows they can’t control it and then, s/he manipulates the MC into using that power to complete their own agenda.

An example might be if Nyu from Elfen Lied was the MC instead of Kouta, being torn between allowing Lucy to save people, or not. Another could be, if Yuno from Future Diary could turn off her killer tendencies when helping Yuki. The resulting conflict would be a great source of complex character development I think Anime could use more of.

www.fanpop.com

www.fanpop.com

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I could go on and on with such ideas. Any one of them is a wish-list in itself. In saying that, I’ll end it here. If you want me to talk more about Anime-related stuff, please feel free to comment. Next week, I feel like talking about games I’d like to see get more activity in the competitive world of E-sports.

Darth Talon (WIP) By Aphrodite, DeviantArt.com

Geek Wish-List: STAR WARS Hopes & Dreams

THE GEEKWAVE AWAKENS

Hey, this is Lee Neuschwander, with this week’s “last hope” for all things Geek. Better late than never. It’s only 3 days until the new Star Wars movie hits theaters, and I know, all of you are as excited as I am. I’m here to talk about things I really want to see in the highly anticipated, The Force Awakens. First, I’ll talk about more realistic things I want to see, and then, we’ll head into the Wish-List.

Two of the biggest characters in the extended Star Wars universe have always been Han and Leia’s kids, Jacen and Jaina. I’d like to see a glimpse of the heroes from the extended universe that embody the Star Wars franchise. At the very least, I want Disney to reference these characters instead of completely writing them out of the Star Wars universe.

SoloTwins

Solo Twins, Jaina and Jacen (starwars.wikia.com)

My other hope is to see more legitimate lightsaber fights. Looking at the trailers for the past few months gives me the notion, that Finn’s lack of training and skills won’t provide satisfying force combat. Now, I know the Force in this universe is more legend than anything else, but I still hope Finn doesn’t splash around, like a magikarp when he faces off against Kylo Ren.

Finn from theguardian.com

Finn (theguardian.com)

The other two things I expect to see in the new movie are tons of droid shenanigans, and Stormtroopers who can’t hit shit. These are two things I’m confident won’t be left out of the movie. I want to make a point here, by saying a certain baseline must be met for a film to be a good Star Wars movie.

Two of the most important parts are, insanely inaccurate storm troopers and droid banter.

Now, the cannon stuff is out of the way, I’ll jump into the good stuff. In the past few years, I’ve really gotten into Star Wars lore. I’ve found that characters like Darth Talon and Boba Fett receive much more love from the Star Wars fans than other characters in the franchise. For example, just check out the staggering amount of Boba Fett and Darth Talon Cosplay.

darth talon by dleoblack

Darth Talon (dleoblack on deviantart.com)

I would love to see Darth Talon referenced somewhere in the next 3 movies. I don’t really care which movie it is, so long as I get to see Darth Talon on the big screen one of these days. For those of you who don’t know, Darth Talon is a Star Wars Legacy character. More specifically, Talon was one of The Hands who worked for Darth Krayt. She is depicted as a red Twi’lek with Sith tattoos given to her by Krayt.

Darth Talon also kidnapped, and then trained Cade Skywalker in the Dark Side of the Force before leaving the Sith. My point is, although Darth Talon doesn’t enter the story until 137 ABY, I would really like to see respect given to the extended universe, which is all but suspended in the new movies.

Well, I know this week’s rant was shorter than the last one, but with the new movie coming out on Friday, the Geekwave hype as been non-stop, 24-7. I hope you all have tickets ready, and will be joining us for the first viewings of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Seriously guys, I’m head to toe psyched right now.

Next week, I’m ‘gonna talk about show ideas I think are worth making. For starters, maybe an anime anti-hero will MC…

Geek Wish-List: Movie Sequels

What’s up, guys! It’s Lee Neuschwander again with your weekly dose of Geek Wish List. Last week, I mentioned how I was going to talk about some of the Geek related movies that need a sequel.

For as long as I can remember the geek community has always had mixed feelings about sequels to their most beloved movies. One of the biggest arguments concerns the Star Wars prequels vs Star Wars originals.

Star War Posters

Wallpaper created by Zoltan Simon

Others I’ve seen that got less than pleasant reviews have been the Jurassic Park sequels, The Matrix, Transformers, and a
hotly debated rash of Disney movies. Although I agree Disney should never have had made the Fox and Hound 2, dissing movie sequels is not my intent.

What I want to talk about are movies that deserve sequels, but didn’t get one due to a plethora of reasons. First, I think we’re all stocked to see Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory after such a long a wait. For once, it’s props to Disney on those two.

       incredibles2   findingdory

Posters by ComingSoon

Now, getting to business. Some sequels I would love to see, but are not limited to, Wreck It Ralph, Zombieland, and of course, Pacific Rim. As a series, these films never really closed-off, and I believe a sequel would do really well.

To me, Wreck It Ralph was the first animated film that took video games as the influential media they are. Video games aren’t just sources of entertainment anymore. They are characters and stories that we’ve grown up with. As children, they taught us so many things.

In my opinion, a Wreck It Ralph 2 movie would be cool because we might see more iconic video game characters that weren’t in the first movie. I could totally see a movie based on what might happen if Wreck It Ralph was made into a console game, and thus, had a link to every other game out there. How would animators describe how multiplayer games function with all the players in the same place. I think it would produce an interesting sequel that would improve the franchise.

wreck_it_ralph_poster

Poster from IGN

Moving away from animated movies, Zombieland was simply hilarious. I loved how the movie took the zombie apocalypse and made it into what some might call a ‘heartwarming’ comedy. The show itself never really ended. SPOILERS: The last scene was just them driving away from the park.

The characters in Zombieland were so well developed for this style of movie that I can’t help but think the series didn’t go as far as it could. The fact that one of the primary characters valued Twinkies above most everything else alone makes this movie special. We still don’t know half the rules for the zombie apocalypse, and that’s valuable information this geeky human being needs. I think a movie where the group runs into another band of survivors would be really funny. It would also fill the Zombieland-shaped hole I found in my heart last Halloween.

Zombieland

Poster from freemovieposters.net

At last, we come to the sequel I want to see the most, Pacific Rim 2. I know many of you say Pacific Rim 2 shouldn’t have bene made, so why dare to make a second? To that I have but one comment. If they made Sharknado 2, they can damn well make a Pacific Rim 2. Obviously quality of story and actors don’t determine if a sequel gets made.

The main reason I want to see a Pacific Rim sequel is that it was pure entertainment. Whose inner nine year-old wasn’t ripping like mad when Gipsy Danger started used a tanker ship like a baseball bat to beat the Kaiju. With so many movies out that have hidden messages or meanings behind them, I want a movie whose sole purpose is to entertain my inner nine year old.

To that end, I propose Pacific Rim 2: Jaeger vs Godzilla. In such a story, the last, most powerful Kaiju, is left frozen on earth. After the rift was sealed it wakes up. Something along those lines would be superb. But, Godzilla man, how amazing would that be.

pacific-rim-poster

Poster from Collider

Next week is Finals Week (cue horror music), but, I’ll still be here, talking about what I’d like to see in the new Star Wars movie that comes out on the 18th.  I can hardly wait. Until then, keep calm and Geek on, my friends.

 

Geek Wish-List: Re-directing the Limelight

A_long_time_ago copy

Hey guys, it’s Lee Neuschwander from The Geekwave, with another item for the Geek Wish-List.

Last week, we talked about what the fantasy genre lacks. This week on the List, it’s scenes from Star Wars The Old Republic that deserve more limelight.

If you missed last week, you can catch up HERE.

To set things off, I first need to say, compared to the classic 6th chapter, (now, almost 7th, can’t wait–20 more days, and counting!) the Star Wars universe grows unimaginably more complex. As I’m sure you all know, the first huge expansion to the Star Wars canon arrived in the form of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic where we joined Revan for Sith adventures and beyond.

With that piece of nostalgia in mind, know the Knights of the Old Republic series took place in c. 25,053 BBY, with the founding of the Galactic Republic. The BBY and ABY dating systems were created to date the expanded Star Wars universe. BBY stands for Before the Battle of Yavin and ABY stands for After the Battle of Yavin.

My biggest gripe is there is soooo much material not fully covered about this era. To cram everything in about the Old Republic, encompassing the entirety of the Galactic Civil War doesn’t do justice to what what most of us already know. The first 3 movies feature the Galactic Civil War in the course of 4 years. Just 4.

If you want the full picture, we can look at the entire movie timeline so far, starting with the first, Phantom Menace, which begins c. 32 BBY. All that glorious Star Wars universe compressed into 36 years of story, compared with 24,053 years of Old Republic history leaves lots of space to fill in the epic saga of Star Wars goodness.

This is why we urgently need media coverage on the battles before Star Wars The Old Republic MMO. Example, the Battle of Bothawui, with Jedi Master Belth Allusis. There were other battles, like the Battle of Sluis Van, and the Invasion of Begeren, but most simply recount one Sith victory after another. I say, we need more visuals on the first and second Battles of Bothawui.

Bothawui_3

Another View of Bothawui

To expand, the first Battle of Bothawui was supposed to be another Sith victory. But Darth Immern underestimated the Republic Navy, and was subsequently slaughtered by Republic cruisers during the first attack. I like to think it might have been because Darth Immern used an Astromech droid (MZ-12 from the MMO) to navigate his fleet.  But props for the win go to Admiral Greik and his combat droid  B-3G9.

After this fight, the Republic rallied its forces sensing the Empire could be defeated. Ancitcipating Sith revenge, the Republic built a super shield-generator, which later became a common characteristic in future Bothawui events. The second Battle of Bothawui is the Star Wars version of the Alamo.

Bothawui_2

First Battle of Bothawui

In this second Battle of Bothawui, Jedi Master Belth Allusis, a member of the Jedi High Council, chooses to stay behind with his forces. Defense Force of Bothawui, 1 Jedi Master, 84 Jedi Knights, 4,000 Republic soldiers, and an additional 4 Republic Special Forces squads square off against 50,000 Imperial troops.

The result was massacre. Republic forces held their ground for days before making Grand Moff Zellos call in reinforcements. Eventually, the Empire’s sheer numbers broke Master Allusis’s defenses. But in a final, epic stand, Allusis and few remaining soldiers take on the full might of the Empire. It is recorded, for each Republic soldier killed, ten Imperials died.

After Alluisis’s last stand, Grand Moff Zellos found his forces were too small to hold the shield-generator, and was forced to withdraw from Bothawui.

Bothawui

The last stand of the Heroes of Bothawui

The point I’m trying to make is, battles like Bothawui span the Star Wars universe, but we only see a fraction of the story. Tons of these struggles are in comics, but I’m ashamed to say, I haven’t spent enough time there to comment. We need more to connect the dots.

Other events, such as the Mandalorian Wars and The Alsakan Conflicts  were immensely pinnacle to Star Wars history. The Mandalorian Wars lead to the fragmentation of the Mandalorian clans, and The Alsakan Conflicts were seven wars that determined the capital of the Galactic Republic. These pivotal events don’t get enough coverage, particularly in cases like The Alsakan Conflicts where important details remain elusive.

Bottom line is, I would really like to see this little known Star Wars universe receive the limelight it deserves because such events are critical to the story we all love. Story arcs like the Jedi Civil War and The New Sith Wars don’t just happen, and the Star Wars community needs a deeper history than Darth Bane and Revan.

I hope you enjoyed this little rant about the Battle of Bothawui. More Importantly, I hope I’ve peaked your interest in the the expanded Star Wars  universe. Next week, I tackle the controversial realm of movie sequels we really need to see.

The Uruk-Hai by John Howe

Geek Wish List: What the Fantasy Genre Lacks

Minas Tirith, Tower of The Morning by John Howe. The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's World (MJF Books, 1992)

Minas Tirith, Tower of The Morning by John Howe. The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s World (MJF Books, 1992)

This is Lee Neuschwander on The Geekwave. Here, we only talk nerdgasmic stuff. Sadly, however, some things we simply can’t talk about because of time restrains. When people talk about (G)eek stuff, the longest conversations are best, where people talk about what kind of stuff we hope will happen in our favorite shows, books and video games.

To clarify, I’m talking about the moment you and your friend are debating what epic or dramatic moment will be in the next episode of Walking Dead, or contesting probable time periods in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed.

We all have these wants, maybe even needs, in some cases, for things we think should happen in the (G)eek universe. This blog serves as my “Geek Wish List” if you will, and I hope it inspires one of you to make those ideas a reality. My fingers are seriously crossed.

To start us off, I’m going to talk a bit about one of the better known universes, Peter Jackson’s rendition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In the first three movies we see the Fellowship travel from the quiet Shire to the high elves of Rivendell, and finally, to the Orc-infested pits of  Mordor.

Along the way we meet humans, elves, dwarves, trolls, orcs, goblins, a Balrog, a Smeagal, spiders, ents, assorted wizards (the Istari), and of course, hobbits young and old. During such films we often learn about cities built and populated by races of legend. In this epic, however, we only see the last of the great eleven strongholds, in its decline. Never do we see a dwarven-city not long past its glory. This is my biggest wish for the Lord of the Rings.

To see a functioning or prosperous redoubt in Lord of the Rings that ISN’T human or hobbit. Something dwarven would be nice because no one has shown dwarfs in their prime. This could possibly be due to a racial predujice against dwarves or perhaps because everyone was so enthralled about the actions of humans and elves that they just forgot about the dwarves living underground. Books and video games shout War of the North and Shadows of Mordor, yet we only see glimpses from of old. Most of the time it’s a flashback.

The Haven of Morionde by Roger Garland. The Lost Road.

The Haven of Morionde by Roger Garland.The Lost Road. Tolkien’s World (MJF Books, 1992)

Turambar and Glorund, The Book of Lost Tales, Volume 2 By John Howe

Turambar and Glorund By John Howe. The Book of Lost Tales, Volume 2. Tolkien’s World. (MJF Books, 1992)

Throal, the Dwarf Kingdom by John Howe

Throal, the Dwarf Kingdom by John Howe. (Throwl – The Dwarf Kingdom An Earthdawn Sourcebook byFasa Corporation).

The best flashbacks show fabled cities with Celebrimbor, the elven-smith who forged the 13 rings of power, in Shadows of Mordor.  We catch glimpses of the great cities, but never for long enough.  I really want to see a game or movie that takes place during or before Sauron plunged Middle-earth into this long dark we hear so much about.

A story about the events leading up to the Great War of the Ring where man and elf fought together would be mind-blowingly epic! Maybe a chapter from The Book of Lost Tales or Tolkien’s Silmarillion. Imagine seeing the most ancient tales rise from legend to HD screen. Imagine. Back when the Great Mines of Moria didn’t reek of goblin, and Lord Elrond still had faith in the hearts of Man. A time when humans were united under a single great King. An Elessar.

I admit the battle shown in Fellowship of the Ring was awesome, but it was just a fight scene as prolog to set-up and explain events in the first film. I also concede that a lot of what happened before the War of the Ring can be found on the Internet. Even there, I still don’t see what the old cities looked like, or elaboration of the small dramas that led to the end.

John How's, The Fall of Gondolin

The Fall of Gondolin by John Howe

Bottom line, I want something that shows us what happened in the glory days of Middle-earth up to the present point in the story. Maybe that’s where I’ll find the awe, majesty, and sheer nerdgasm I experience watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Attack on Weathertop by Carol Emry Phenix

Attack on Weathertop by Carol Emry Phenix. Tolkien’s World (MJF Books, 1992). Weathertop is strategically important to Middle-earth. Elendil the Dúnedain of Arnor, built this watchtower where he installed the most powerful of Arnor’s three Palantíri. (Wikia)

Next week, I jump straight to the good stuff. The other high-budget geek-listed, involving the creative mess that is Star Wars the Old Republic. I delve into lore not covered in the games, like the Battle of Bothawui. And more discussion on choice events that deserve some limelight.