Checking in on the Geek Culture - 09/15/16

Checking in on the Geek Culture - 09/15/16

"World of Warcraft: Legion" for PC
It’s sort of amazing that World of Warcraft launched almost 12 years ago and is still around. Though down from their peak subscriber count of over 11,000,000 players the player base for this massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) is still strong and the development team is still producing new content. A few weeks ago the game’s 6th expansion was released and there’s nothing like new content and new quests to get people to resubscribe (I admit, I’m guilty of that). Players return to the world of Azeroth to do battle with an invading army of demons; and this time Blizzard isn’t messing around when it comes to the story. World of Warcraft has struggled somewhat to tell a compelling story after the conclusion of its 2nd expansion pack ‘Wrath of the Lich King’ because that was the point where they diverged from the lore established from their previous real-time-strategy game series ‘Warcraft’. Legion brings some of the impact of the story back by introducing you to some familiar figures from the lore and then immediately killing them all to prove that the aforementioned demon invaders are for real. As someone who at one point invested thousands of hours into World of Warcraft I feel somewhat nervous treading the familiar ground of Azeroth for fear of what it means for the rest of my personal life; but I’m really enjoying myself so far. The focus on the narrative is a welcome refreshment from previous installations, and they have made a huge number of quality of life improvements to make you feel more like you’re a hero trying to push back a world-ending threat and not a peasant tilling the fields to earn your pay.

"Force of Will" Trading Card Game
Force of Will is a trading game a lot like Magic the Gathering but based more on the realm of faerie tales and with anime inspired artwork. It borrows many of the same elements of gameplay where different card types represent different effects (spells, creatures, weapons, resources) and the object of the game is still to reduce your opponent’s life points to zero. Force of Will is just starting to catch on in America and is developing a fanbase of those looking to combine their love of cute anime art with their love of collectible card battlers. If you’re a fan of either (or a fan of faerie tale mythology) it’s definitely worth checking out. The latest set, The Lapis Cluster, also was just released so you won’t be jumping right in the middle of anything you can be in on the ground floor.

"Bioshock: The Collection" for PS4 & Xbox One
“Is a man not entitled to swear of his brow?” asks Andrew Ryan from behind a desk of the dystopian city of Rapture; a city at the bottom of the sea. Bioshock is a series of first person shooters that explore the nature of humanity and some of the philosophies that drive us. Released originally on the previous generation of consoles this new collection features 1080p remasters of all 3 Bioshock games and all of their associated DLC (downloadable content). In addition to pretty tight and fast-paced gunplay the real appeal of the Bioshock games is their mind-bending story and the beautiful environments to explore. Rapture (the setting for Bioshock 1 & 2) is a paradise lost and it can sometimes be genuinely frightening to delve into its decaying beauty. Whereas Columbia (the setting of the 3rd game) is a garden among the clouds, glorious in its tranquility; soon shattered by class warfare and anarchy. There really is a lot to love about the Bioshock franchise’ alternative-history aesthetic and the soundtrack to each game perfectly fits the mood and creates some truly memorable moments: like in the first one where you are beset upon by knife wielding maniacs while ‘how much is that doggy in the window’ plays softly in the background: or in Bioshock Infinite where you are serenaded with a barbershop arrangement of the Beach Boys hit “God Only Knows”. Honestly, I would consider Bioshock Infinite to be the best game of the Xbox 360/PS3 era and am really looking forward to revisiting it in 1080p.

"Iron Giant" Signature Edition Blu Ray
Sometimes you just need to spend $50 on a Blu Ray because it’s worth it. The Iron Giant is quite possibly one of the greatest animated children’s movies of all time. Set in the state of Maine it follows a young boy who befriends a giant robot and the two of them learn and grow together. The government sees the robot as a threat; but the boy knows who the Iron Giant really is: Superman. And “super” is exactly what this latest collection on home video is. The Blu Ray remaster makes the film look better than ever, and the signature edition package comes with a really cool artbook, a figure, and a ton of bonus digital content. There is also a budget version of the release that just has the remastered video if you just want to check out the film: and if you haven’t yet I highly, highly recommend it. Be warned though; you’ll probably get the feels.

Copyright 2016 WCSH


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