Injustice DC Comics

Injustice: Gods Among Us – Late to the Game

The Justice League just became much more bad-ass.

I’ve always been quite the comic book fan, from the 90′s where I collected the Uncanny X-Men to all the Saturday morning cartoons like Spiderman and Batman. One of the reasons I started this blog was to geek out and share my slice of the geek fandom and meet some cool people along the way while doing so.

Intro aside, I love me some videogames.

Injustice isn’t perhaps the most original idea for a game. After all, we’ve seen superheroes all over the place in video games, from Marvel’s X-Men Legends to X-Men: Next Dimension (fighting game again!) and back to the overhead-RPG with Ultimate Alliance 1 & 2. Those are just a few standout Marvel titles from the recent generation – that doesn’t include the plethora of Wolverine titles, mobile brawlers or Batman: Arkham games. But why did I specifically point out Marvel’s games? Well…

To be honest, Marvel has always created better games. Their track record really captures what I enjoy most about Superhero games: lots of superheroes. I want to see all of them do what they do best, which is beat the snot out of everyone… in style! DC Comics never released any games that made me feel like I had the hero’s power at my fingertips. Injustice, however, made me a believer.

 

Injustice DC Comics

The game sports an impressive roster. Not shown, DLC Characters.

Quick Review

The game arrived in the mailbox far earlier than I had hoped, causing squeals of joy during a rather downtrodden series of events that happened eariler in the day. I popped it in and didn’t move from my seat for the next four hours.

Story

Injustice’s story follows a very familiar pattern with comic books: parallel universes. This catch-all is something that writers use all the time to take the story in any direction they would like. Kill off a character? Sure! Change their personality entirely? Why not! Overall, it’s a decent story based on the Injustice comic. Segments of story occur between character battles that you control. Something that the story mode is pretty bad about is the way in which your pre-decided character enters a battle- more often than not you’ll find two heroes chatting and tensions will get heated, your hero will stun one of the two while you begin a match with the other. Right after you defeat the first, the other will magically be up and ready to fight. It’s repetitive and a little lazy, but it works.

The game will give you an excuse to use a good range of characters to fight every character, so it serves as a great introduction for the players. After all,  this game was never really about telling an epic, unforgettable story.

Gameplay

The highlight of this game. Injustice plays like Mortal Kombat had a baby with Kick-Ass and the Justice League. (Maybe it was a really weird three-way?) Fights are brutal and spare no expense in intensity. You’ll be pounding, slashing and shooting all over the place and trying to line up a combo that incorporates one of the deadly environmental hazards into the mix. One thing that disappointed me was just how much damage these environmental effects have… at first. Once you’ve learned the stages, they become much easier to avoid. You also begin to learn how each character interacts

Graphics

Fantastic. Some people like to complain about out NeatherRealm’s character models look too “plastic” and “zombie-like”, but I thought they did a great job on this front. Raven, Cyborg, Batgirl and Aquaman really exceeded my expectations here, as did Solomon Grundy and Joker. It’s obvious that Ed Boone had his hands in this project, and thank god he did!

Geek Cred

You officially score points with both comic and videogame fans on this one. Old school or noob, you need to get ahold of this one (Even if you’re just here for the indies!)

injustice batman

Batman is, of course, brooding as ever.

DC Comics art

Doodles (to be made into posters!)

minimalist DC comics

Starting a minimalist/stylized DC comics series.

Just some doodles for now, but I plan on turning these into posters or 11×17 prints and taking them to some comic cons.  Of course they will be more polished and done up in illustrator, but here’s the sketch!

The first one is Raven, most notably from Cartoon Network’s “Teen Titans”. In all the comics, cartoons and especially in Injustice, she’s the supreme badass. Just had to start things off with her!

keto recipes

Keto Recipes Corner – F@$% Measurements!

One thing that grinds my gears on this ketogenic diet is the need for most dieters to go nuts about getting the precise amount of absolutely everything into their diet. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that certain medical conditions or perhaps athletic diets require much more nutrtional tracking. I’ll even say that if your doctor gave you specific instructions on what to eat, you should probably listen to them. But the Ketogenic diet should not be made so complicated. Eat < 25 carbs per day. Moderate amounts of protein. Lots of fat. Eat veggies. This is really all I need to know, and all I aim to do each and every day!

For those unfamiliar with Keto, you can find more on reddit’s r/keto section. They’re a great community of people on this diet, and you can find much better keto recipes information on there than what I will be sharing here.

Basically, these posts will be quick blurbs and recipes for the food I make. I won’t be going into Nutrition facts or exact measurements, we’re just going to be aiming for easy meals that fit our macros – High fat, moderate protein, low carb.

For instance, take this meatza (or “Meat pizza” for you non-keto believers!) I… well, tried to make.

keto recipes

This was after a day of being in the fridge, but it was just as delicious!

I took the base recipe from Caveman Keto’s website (another great keto recipes hub!) – but I don’t have a cast iron skillet. Instead, I fried it on the oven-top and let the ground beef get about halfway done (but not before mixing in an egg and some italian seasonings.) Once that was finished, I threw on some pepperoni, minced tomatoes and jalapeno/chili peppers. For the traditionalists out there, you can also use tomato sauce… Just watch those carbs!

Once the ground beef looked nice and done, there was a LOT of grease in the pan. I don’t particularly like grease, since it makes food rather soggy and it’s not very palatteable to me. I dabbed what I could and said “fuck it” to the rest. Keto-ers need fat anyway! Proceed to dumping obscene amounts of cheese on top.

Once this was melted, I turned off the oven and hacked away with a pizza cutter. And, oh my god, it was delicious. I topped it off with some Frank’s Red Hot “Ketchup Style” hot sauce, which doesn’t have more than a carb or two but packs a TON of flavor.

keto recipes

Label says < 1 carb. So there’s probably, like, 0.8.

Overall, it turned out more like a Meatza casserole than anything resembling a pizza. But I will say that this is definitely one of my favorite meals now, just because it’s so easy to make. For extra nutrition, I’ll probably mix spinach into the ground beef next time. I doubt it will change the deliciousness at all!

Quick f@$%ing ingredients: 

-Ground beef, enough to cover the bottom of a pan
-An egg or two, depending on how large your skillet is.
-1/2 Can of minced tomatoes or tomato sauce
-Italian/Garlic seasoning
-Pepperoni of some sort
-Jalapeno peppers (fresh or jarred, I just always have a jar on hand)
-A metric ton of shredded cheese (I use packaged and just leave  wiggle room for carbs when I make this)
-Some parmesan cheese, hot sauce or pepper flakes depending on your pizza tastes.

Let me know how yours turns out either here or on Twitter! Until next time.

gangnam style

New Year’s Resolutions, Ketogenic Diets and Website Updates

Boy, am I glad to be at the start of a new year. So much has changed for the better already, and a lot of that has to do with what I want to squeeze out of life this year. 2013 was a year of “just stay alive”. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go. School took up a fair amount of time (as it is now, I still spend roughly 10+ hours a week studying and programming for my C# class) and I rarely made time for friends. I focused on work and school and being stressed about all of the above. It was a confusing year for me because, while I made progress in 2012, I basically just maintained a lifestyle for 2013. No real improvements, no real disappointments.

Overall, I spent the year being far too satisfied with the bare minimum, and being worried about almost everything. This year, I’ve made some steps to prevent that from happening again. Below is a list of things I’ve done (or will do) to make this year infinitely more successful than anything experienced in 2013.

Getting on that Keto sh*t

Somewhere around June of 2013, I discovered the beauty of the Ketogenic diet, known by adapt-ees as simply “Keto”. This diet promises to make you lose cray-cray amounts of weight by eating lots of fat, moderate protein, and only 20g of carbs a day. That’s right, a diet where you eat lots of FAT. Being a long-time bacon addict, I charged ahead and never looked back… until I did. I was raised on carbs – they’re cheap and incredibly tasty! Pizza, pastas, Chinese food, rice… You name it, I love it. After a year of hating myself for my “on again, off again” relationship with Keto, I decided that 2014 would be my year to kick carbs in their tasty, stuipid ass. (Asses? Get back to me about carbohydrate ass quantity.) I’ve been back on the diet since January 2nd and fully intend on making it through the year — bacon-wrapped asparagus in hand!

Of course I’ll be sharing all of my favorite recipes based on my discoveries as well. There’s a few recipes that are just too great NOT to share! If you are on Keto or would like to keep in touch for motivation, leave a comment on this journal or contact me somehow.

Gaming Once Again

The roomie and I pitched in on a used PS3, probably the thing I’ve been pouring the most time into lately. I’ve been playing through the Atelier series (namely Totori at the moment, trying too decide if I want to continue buying), Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted, inFamous, Final Fantasy 13-2, Time and Eternity and Devil May Cry. You know, among the many others.

I’d really like to find someone to play DC Universe Online with, by the way. I had a friend for questing on PC, but currently don’t know anyone who regularly plays on Sony’s platform. Same with Counter Strike: Global Offensive on Steam. The bottom line? I need to know more gamers. Chop chop, internet! I need to make some reviews!

Along with everything else, I’m going to be running some more updates on the site. It is much needed, and I want this baby to be in top readership-shape by the time all is said and done. Leave a comment for me if you have some good advice to offer! Until next time, hit me up on the Twitters!

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Payday Loans – Good or Bad?

I’ve always heard two sides to the payday loans story. On one hand, they’re a huge help if you’ve been struggling to make on-time payments with your bills or other financial commitments. On the other hand, you still owe all that accrued interest after the fact. It can also be quite intimidating to commit to the APR without really understanding what it’s all about. That’s why you should probably check out online services like MyPaydayLender.

My mother used to get herself into quite the pickle with payday loans, and I can’t help but think that if she had been a bit more prepared and informed, she would’ve approached them differently. The key is to know exactly what you’re getting into when you start your loan and sign that contract. When you go to a brick and mortar payday loan establishment, it can be pretty intimidating. You feel like you’re being judged before you even enter the building! That’s the beauty of having it done online. Judgement free borrowing with your best interest in mind. You know… if you find a good company.

And the truth is, you shouldn’t have to feel bad about borrowing. The fact is, it’s a really tough economy. Sure it’s always better to work on paying your own bills, but the fact is, you’re not always going to make it on time. I’ve never taken one out myself, but there are a few situations where I’ve considered it! If you want a good example of how it’s done correctly, visit this link: http://www.mypaydaylender.co.uk

Notice how all of the information is centrally located within the tabs. Their interactive widget also shows exactly what kind of interest you will be looking at, depending on how much you borrow. As consumers, it’s our right to know exactly what to price everything at. Before making your payday loan decisions, be sure to find calculators or interactive websites like this before borrowing.

PS Plus

Playstation Plus releases Big-Name Free Games for January 2014

This holiday season, I made the big switch from the Xbox 360 to the Playstation 3. I have to say, there are some real differences between the two (the biggest being how long I have to wait for the PS3 to download/install everything), but I have to say that Sony has really impressed me. The game selection is so much better, the amount of JRPG’s is phenomenal, and joining PS Plus has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Free games? Sign me up!

My first month of ownership yielded Borderlands 2, which I owned on the 360. I ended up buying the Mechromancer pack again because I LOVE being able to play through with Deathtrap, and elemental damage is my favorite way to play. Her outfits also make things a lot more fun!

This month, according to the famous Playstation Blog, we’ll be getting our hands on Bioshock Infinite and the Devil May Cry remake… for FREE.

I was a day 1 buyer when Bioshock Infinite arrived on the shelves, so you know I was thrilled to hear about this. With the latest DLC released, it’s a no brainer that I’ll be giving this another playthrough. This is coming from someone who really doesn’t like first-person shooters, but this game offered so much more. (Kinda like Borderlands!)

Devil May Cry is a series that I never really got to sink my teeth into, but I certainly always wanted to give it a try. It has all of my favorite things – mouthy youngins, dual pistols and big-ass blades. And do I recall something about an axe-guitar?

Also on the list was Don’t Starve, a game that made huge waves over on Steam at about early/mid-2013. Unfortunately, that title was only made available on the PS4, so I won’t be expecting to play that anywhere else but Steam. still, though – if you haven’t done so, give it a try!

Anyway, it’s looking to be a great start to 2014. Expect more news from Playstation Plus in the following months. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised of what we see from them!

rgb cmyk tattoos

Etsy Art and Design – Cheap Prints

It seems I have been bitten by the Etsy art bug and will be uploading some designs there on a semi-regular basis. But then again, I say that about this blog all the time. With Etsy, there is a 20 cent charge per four months and the shame of not selling your work until you’ve received enough hits to be discovered by someone famous. Aaah, holidays!

As always, I’ll be needing some serious inspiration to keep this kind of project going. I’d love to make it a goal to put up two designs per month. This, however, would require both the time and money to post and create the designs. How can you help me clap up more etsy art? Buy a print! One print alone is enough to fund me for a few months on Etsy. The more I can put up, the more chances I have to find my niche market on the site and the better content I can provide to all you wonderful people.

I do plan on keeping my prices as reasonable as possible, and I’ll be selling individual standalone prints for somewhere around $10. Eventually I’ll tack on a “framed” option for everyone to buy a frame with their print as well. Ideally, I’d love to get a shopping cart set up here where you readers can get your hands/paws/hooves on your own copies without even needing to leave the site!

hipster art prints

Anyway, that’s my little self-promotional spiel on Etsy art.

On the work front, we’ve been given an entire week off of work for December. I’m going to be spending some good quality time with friends and family, then returning home at some point to just relax, make artwork and play around with Unity3d and my PS3. Perhaps getting the tattoos I designed pictured below:

rgb cmyk tattoos

Hailing my design heritage, these puppies would make nice tattoos. May or may not actually match true spot colors when they get inked, unfortunately.

Anyway, that should be all for now. I’d really appreciate it if you shared my Etsy site, which you can find here. Every purchase makes me a slightly less bitter person!

You can also follow me on Twitter for extra bonus points, or use my form if you’d like to work something out with me. Thanks for stopping by!

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Indie Games and Art. Re-Launching, Re-Designing, Re-Aligning.

Gaming and Design Smack-talk has Returned.

So admittedly, I’ve been way out of the picture lately. Not to catch up on the latest indie games (though Don’t Starve is bangin’) or to make some kickass art.  I’ve been far, far too busy for my own good. Admittedly, the only person I have to blame that on is myself. Getting an education in computer science and working full-time in web design does have that tendency on a person, but it’s no excuse for a workaholic. Work first, party later. But boy, have I been partying.

Aside from the typical definition of partying, I attended Cincinnati Comic Expo sometime in September. It was there that I met some of the area’s up-and-coming artists, along with a couple big names that visited as well. You can follow this link to check out what kind of stuff went down. I also attended a local Steampunk convention called Pandoracon, which had some really interesting bits and pieces. They even partnered with some furries in the area, which had their own con. Much inter-mingling was had between them, and everything worked out much better than I would have expected for two very small conventions.

I think if there’s one thing I took away from this experience, it’s to keep being social when it comes to being a nerd. The social stigma of nerds being locked away in a basement with Mountain Dew and a lifetime subscription to WoW is only part of the story, and it’s a dwindling one at that. Independent, or “indie” games and art have brought in a much wider audience of people. Steampunk brought fans of sci-fi and victorian era fiction into the same playing field. Almost every field of nerd ownership has found ways to inter-mingle with each other, and it’s a great time to be a part of this great culture.

Anyway, not to get all sentimental. It’s just a nice change from being an observer to being a participant!

So check it, I’m gonna be posting a lot more often and streaming more often. Tweeting more often. Improving this blog. We’re going to help indie games and developers become more well-recognized and bring some class to the table as well, and I hope you’ll help me!

Hipster Plays Indie Games

This post brought to you by Pabst Blue Ribbon, because I can’t write worth sh*t tonight.

Steam Early Access

Steam Launches Early Access. Best. Decision. Ever.

So I work as a corporate designer and marketing dude by day, and a game designer and marketing dude by night. (Okay, it’s not the most interesting lifestyle choice in the world, but I really dig it.)

Steam is probably my favorite thing to launch in the gaming world since the original Nintendo DS. They simply do everything so well, from their huge sales and promotions to their consistently innovative ideas. I also really appreciate their clean layout design and social media capacity. They have championed the field, unlike EA’s Origin which I predict to be a colossal failure (Or at least hope with all my gosh darn little heart.)

Anyway, Early Access is Steam’s latest attempt at getting developers and players alike to interact with each other about video games.

 

Steam Early Access

Taken from the Steam Early Access page. Did I mention how much I love their clean layouts?

As the developers release alphas and betas, members can purchase the game at a lower start-up price and play, test, and provide feedback to the developers. This is probably a scary concept for professional beta testers, but a great idea for those of us who really appreciate the art of gameplay. Developers really have a chance here to utilize constructive criticism and make their games the best they can be.

It’s amazing how much Steam dominates the game industry. But you know what? I’m okay with that, and you should be too. They keep gamers and developers talking. And honestly, it’s a conversation that should’ve been happening for years now.

A big thanks to you, Steam!

lolnope

On Hipster Logos and Design

 

lolnope

Why yes, Indie. You must be searching for original design. Good luck!

The typical hipster spends a lot of time making creative shit. Not like that’s a bad thing, not in the least! There’s just a distinct… I don’t know, constant vintage style that’s always applied to this genre of designer.

I totally get the style. Honestly, I’d be lying if I said that my own logos didn’t turn out that way. (Just look at mine!)

But shouldn’t a subculture that prides itself so heavily on originality try to be more… original? It’s a hot trend right now, so there’s no denying the more vintage, rustic style is definitely “in” right now. But I’ve kind of had it with the same hipster logos, and we’re all to blame for that!

I decided to inspire myself with some sources of great design – back from hundreds of years ago until now. Take a minute to have a look. Maybe you’ll find something.

Phraseology project – Awesome typography from scratch.
Dribbble – A great place to just… be inspired. By everything.
Juxtapoz – Original, newer artists. Great illustration inspiration.

Until next time, my friends.

Geek Tested, Hipster Approved.