San Diego Comic Con was full of some highly anticipated, upcoming games. Check out this preview of these titles:
Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds
Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
Ace Attorney 5
Ryse: Son of Rome
Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns
Yoshi’s New IslandPlease enter the url to a YouTube video.
When our favorites from childhood are “revamped”, “revived”, “updated” or whatever word the marketing team uses this time around, we are inclined to go into the reboot (if we go into it at all) with serious trepidation. We expect to be disappointed–it’s all the “same” material getting a makeover for a new audience. It’s someone else’s turn to play with our favorite toys, and as it turns out we don’t want anything to do with the new model.
This is how I felt when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was updated by Nickelodeon. My dreams had already been squashed by the “reboots”–both failed (Rainbow Brite never made it past the new prototypes) and smash successes (I’m sorry. I can’t handle the new My Little Pony) –of franchises that I fangirled over before fangirling was a thing. This was what I expected with TMNT–sad, strange new versions of my favorite turtles who would poop all over my fondest memories of Saturday morning cartoons.
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Imagine my surprise, when one Saturday morning I turned on the television and, half an hour later, found myself upset I hadn’t jumped on the new TMNT bandwagon as soon as the show was announced. Here’s why TMNT is getting it right:
1. The show hasn’t undergone a major redesign. Yes, the animation style is dramatically different, but the turtles are pretty much the same, and the world they live in is still gritty, underground New York and New York City scapes. Very VERY little about the show’s original aesthetic has changed, and where it has changed, there’s a reason for it. The newer animation often incorporates comic book or anime style elements, which add dashes of comedy to the show and separate it from the classic in a good way. Even Rob Paulsen, who was the original voice of Raphael, has returned as the new voice actor for Donatello. Which brings me to my second point–
2. The Voice Acting Cast is PHENOMENAL (and lacking in baby-face). In addition to Paulsen (who is famous for plenty of other voice acting gigs, including Animaniacs…), TMNT has Sean Astin (The Goonies, Lord of the Rings) playing Raphael, Jason Biggs (American Pie) playing Leonardo, and Greg Cipes (Teen Titans) rounding out the famous four as Michaelangelo. These men show that the producers were smart–they didn’t go for the newest voices in the biz, nor did they go for the most contemporary choices. What this team reveals is that the producers had us, the original target audience, in mind without clutching desperately to days gone by. Cipes is the arguable exception to this rule, although the shows that give his resume the most “star power” are still cartoons that the old guard tends to celebrate (Teen Titans, Clone Wars) as much as our classic faves.
3. The Writers know what they’re doing.
If 2012 TMNT were exactly like 1987 TMNT, then there’d be little to no point in creating a show again. Instead, the newest cartoon takes the whole TMNT universe, as it has unfolded since the 80s, into account when telling the newest version of our heroes’ story. The parts of the world that have changed (what little there is), incorporate elements of the storyline from graphic novels or comics rather than starting from scratch or perverting the original into some grotesque…erm…alien…version of things.
In fact, the commercials for the new “Booyaka” movie include Donatello proclaiming loudly to an alien villain, “At least we aren’t stupid ALIENS”, which I am firmly convinced is Nickelodeon’s way of giving Michael Bay a gigantic middle finger.
With a television show that is balancing the new and the old Ninja Turtles so perfectly, it’s a sentiment they deserve to express.
Revisit your childhood with new episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles every Thursday at 8.
There’s many reasons why I love the City of Brotherly Love. The place is filled with things to do and places to go from end to end, from museums and nightlife to education and history. The same city that houses the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall plays host to the Eagles, the Phillies, the Flyers and Sixers, not to mention a WizardWorld Comic Con every year. You’ll find the fiercest sports fans here, not to mention some of the fiercest geeks.
In the spirit of the man himself, Ben Franklin, over the last few years the Philadelphia geek scene has really started to grow. Since 2011 we’ve seen events like Philly Tech Week and the Philadelphia Science Festival take over springtime in the city as proof of that, highlighting the best that Philadelphia has to offer in science, technology, entrepreneurship and art. And with all of the projects going on the city year round, not just during these celebrations, it’s no wonder that someone somewhere thought that the best of Philly geekery should be honored. So the fine folks at Geekadelphia and the Academy of Natural Sciences put together the Philly Geek Awards, taking place this year on August 17th.
The Philly Geek Awards are a spectacular, annual, one-night event celebrating Philadelphia’s vibrant community of geeks. From the artists and the innovators, the programmers and the scientists, the authors and the do-gooders – this ceremony honors the outstanding accomplishments of Philly’s best and brightest. The Geek Awards have been presented now for the past three years at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
It’s an awards show just like the huge ones you see on TV – black tie, red carpet (with a cocktail hour, of course) that will have the city’s premier geeks in their finest trappings featuring notable and local presenters and nominees. The only difference between this and the televised shows is that it’s smaller, more fun, and features subject matter that’sfar more interesting whether you’re a geek, a Philly person, or both. Not to mention getting to hang out at the Academy of Natural Sciences with your fellow geek ilk with some owls and a T-Rex skeleton is a pretty fun time before the show. But the best way to get a feel for what the event is really to watch last year’s recap video.
So now that you’re itching to go, tickets go on sale Monday, July 29th at 10AM for $25. This will get you entry to the show and the cocktail hour at the Academy. You better watch your clock and act fast when they go up, because the show has completely sold out two years in a row to a live audience of over 400. And being featured on FOX News, Philadelphia Daily News (front cover, 8/20/11), CBS Philly, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia CityPaper, The Philly Post (PhillyMag.com), Newsworks, Philadelphia Metro and more, it’s an event you don’t want to miss.
In the mean time, check out the Philly Geek Awards site for more info. And take a look at Geekadelphia to get Philly geek cultured and the cool things happening at the Academy of Natural Sciences while you’re at it.
Since I was out last week for SDCC (wrap-up video coming next week!), I figured I’d show you guys my other YouTube channel — Casual BS. It’s like a let’s play with all the boring nonsense cut out. If you like it, check out the full library at http://www.casual-bs.comPlease enter the url to a YouTube video.
Wow, that is a mouthful of a title.
Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox is the latest animated endeavor from DC Entertainment based on the Geoff Johns penned 2011 story Flashpoint set to release on July 30th. By good fortune and luck, I was able to watch it two weeks early (many thanks to the friend who “acquired” it), so how well did it adapt the story?
For those of you unfamiliar with Flashpoint, it is the precursor to the relaunch of the DC New52 Universe and sets the event in motion. As you might expect, this is a Flash-centric story with Barry Allen waking up in an altered timeline after changing time and saving his mother from Professor Zoom (or Reverse Flash, whatever you prefer). No good deed comes without consequences, as the ripples of this change result in a war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman. Without access to the Speed Force or his powers, thanks to a crafty Professor Zoom, Barry re-enacts the moment that gave him his powers in the first place in a dangerous attempt to right the universe.
It’s a well known fact that comic adaptations will leave things out here and there, and in some portions, Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox did this wonderfully, while in others erred. For example, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The base story remained the same: they were going to be married for “convenience” and then something happened that turned them against each other forever, but part of this sub plot is completely missing. Wonder Woman is also much more cutthroat and merciless, a change that was pretty amazing in my opinion. I won’t spoil anything for you in regards to the rest of the changes, in the hopes that you will check out the movie for yourself.
A much larger problem for me was the art behind the animation, agreeing with a fellow viewer about the lack of proper proportions and terrible mouths on the characters. Then, the second I curled my lip in distaste, the Flash would run and it was beautiful. BEAUTIFUL. Thankfully, I found ways to distract myself from staring at the characters’ lips and Aquaman’s grotesquely small head, namely by listening to the spot on star studded voice cast which included Cary Elwes, Nathan Fillion, Steve Blum, Justin Chambers, Kevin Conroy and more.
Those who loved the tie-ins rather than the main storyline will find plenty to love about the movie, as there are plenty of nods to characters that appeared because of Barry’s timeline tampering, including a 2 second appearance of the Canterbury Cricket. There’s even some fan service for those of us who loved Young Justice!
Overall, Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox is fun. You feel every one of those 75 minutes, but at least half of them fly by without you noticing. Let me know what you thought about it once you pick up your copy!! By the way, Amazon so far has it for the cheapest.