Doctor Who Season 8 Bluray Release!

The 8th season isn’t even over yet, but the BBC has already announced plans to release it on DVD and Bluray on December 9, 2014.

If you haven’t been keeping up with Peter Capaldi’s new Doctor, then you are seriously missing out on some of the best Doctor Who material in some time. Capaldi brings a fantastic new take on the Doctor. So run to Amazon and preorder your copy, or else be standing in the store on release day to pick up your own.

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Temptation

Oh, temptation, you wicked beast!

Divert your wild and unbridled thoughts,

Send them posthaste into the nether.

Do not rile my buried desires,

Here things are best kept discreet.

The heart refuses to do thy bidding.

The mind, however vulnerable, resists

But is it enough when you so strongly insist?

 

 

The New WordPress Posting Format

I’d like to think I’m not alone in saying that the new posting format WordPress is trying to implement sucks. The layout is suppose to provide an improved posting experience, but what I find it to do is be confusing. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve selected to save a post as a draft so I can finish it later, only to have WordPress publish it to the blog as a finalized post. Ugh! Of course, the simpler and most likely solution is that I’m an idiot, which I haven’t ruled out. But for the record, I’m still blaming it on WordPress and their attempt to overhaul the UI on us.

So until they take away the old posting method completely, I’ll just be a lag-behind loser and continue to use what I’m most comfortable with. It’s familiar, easy on the eyes and like a nice, comfy recliner that’s been broken in to support my old, weary frame. Thanks for trying to keep it new and fresh, WordPress, but I’ll just stick with the old fashioned “bland” way of posting to my blog.

blogging format

Epic Island, from Backflip Studios

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While browsing the Apple App Store, I stumbled across a game for my smartphone called Epic Island. Epic Island is labeled as a rpg simulation experience, set in a fantasy world where you send adventurers on quests in dungeons. It’s a time management game, of sorts, ala Farmville and Hay Day, except, of course, fantasy rpg world setting. I’m probably not doing this great game from Backflip Studios justice, so let me try to explain.

Epic Island is a casual fantasy adventure simulation. You select a hero and start out on a single section of land surrounded by a fog. This is your “main hub” I suppose you could call it. Here you have your hero’s buildings such as a Castle (for storing treasure chests you can’t open just yet, and for receiving notifications & communicating with friends), a Blacksmith (for buying new armor, which rotates every so many hours, or forging your own out of more common gear to reach higher stats and levels), an Arena (where you can select a hero to battle against other players heroes for honor and special gear) and finally a Boasting Hall, where you can look at your achievements and collect rewards for reaching certain goals.)

Each hub, including this first starting zone, has 2 dungeons. Dungeons start at Level 1, but the more you fight the creatures within them, the higher their level will rise – just like your own – and more powerful monsters will appear. Reaching a dungeon level of 5 is considered completing a dungeon, but I’ve already gotten some up to as much as Level 7. The greater the dungeon level, the greater the reward possibilities inside the chests you get for completing each level. The only issue here is that most chests require you to use the special gems currency to open them. The special gems are the rewards you earn for completing achievements, or you can also buy them through the in-game app purchase. These gems are also how you build your army of heroes, of which there are 5.

As you level up your character and earn that gold, you’ll be able to unlock gateways to other lands. Once you move out of the starting zone, the land masses you find will have Titans. Titans are giant and powerful monsters that level up just like the dungeons, only they take longer. Titans may have millions of hit points that you must dwindle down – but unlike dungeons, Titans can be teamed up against. I know for a fact that up to at least 3 heroes can attack a Titan at one time. The only downside of Titans are that they take up a lot of time, and Epic Island is, underneath it all, a game about managing your time.

Each quest you go on or Titan you fight requires your hero be busy for a specified amount of time. For allowing your hero to perform each request, they’re rewarded with gold coins, common to epic gear, fame (xp) and faction points, once they’re high enough level to join a faction. Aside from Arenas, Factions are another multi-player aspect of the game. Every so many days, 2 new factions will go to war against one another. You must choose a side and as you complete missions, you’ll earn faction points that will contribute to the overall total of your factions power. A Pavilion is eventually unlocked where you can view the percentage of who is winning/losing and view your own personal faction points earned.

As a bonus, you can also use your earned faction points to buy special faction specific gear sets. Set pieces are sold individually but include a helm, chest piece, weapon and an off hand item, such as  shield or a magical tome. See! This game truly is epic in all that I’ve told you so far. Now, to reiterate, you don’t actually go out and do the fighting yourself, you simply decide what your hero will be doing for you, select it and send him or her out for “X” amount of time to do it for you.

So, we’ve got Arenas, which can earn you special rewards and are ranked. Faction battles, which can earn you special rewards, armor sets and potions as well. Dungeons that level themselves based on your use time so that you always have a challenge. Titans to distract you while you wait for something else to do. You can even upgrade your armor to a level of 30 using common and unused pieces of gear. It’s all very well thought out and designed that I’m just in awe that such a cool game exists.

I wasn’t aware of Backflip Studios before these last few days, but I’m willing to call them my new favorite developer for mobile gaming. They’ve also got a large library of games for you to choose from, from Backgammon to Video Poker, etc. It’s nice to see a little innovation every now and then, and Backflip Studios is bringing it to the front.

While I love this game, I do understand that everyone has their own different paces they’d  To help you get a better idea of what I’ve been talking about, I’ve included a video from the publishers own website. Good stuff!

The Flash – Episode 1, “Pilot”

** SPOILERS AHEAD – The following blog post contains a semi-review of the pilot episode of The Flash. There are spoilers within this tiny text that you should steer clear of unless you’ve seen the episode already or don’t mind little things like that. **

Following in the footsteps of the CW hit Arrow, DC Comics character The Flash races onto the small screen. I admit, I’ve only seen a few minutes of the series premier of  Arrow, but it is in my Netflix queue. But the big question I’m wondering is (despite my lack of Arrow viewings), can The Flash make a splash with audiences? Or will it fall to the ratings gods like it’s 1990’s predecessor? Well, luckily, according to Wikipedia, we’ll have the original Flash, John Wesley Shipp (now playing Barry Allen’s dad) and Amanda Pays (eventually reprising her role as Dr. Tina McGee) to give us a bit of nostalgia for the old television fans.

In the pilot episode we get a fantastic story arc, from beginning to end, of what a superhero movie should be like. Let alone this was just the pilot for a new television series, this was a fantastic stand alone episode if one were needed. The fact that there are more to flashposterfollow is just an exciting bonus. If you can’t tell by now that I’m excited by this new series, well then open your eyes brothers and sisters! I have high hopes here and don’t want anyone bashing them, but I believe DC may have found their second platform for viewers. It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of their animated films and shorts, but with the creative forces behind Arrow and now The Flash, I think they could really make good on the land of television. Let’s face it, Marvel has them beat in the cinematic universe of characters and storytelling, but DC should learn to stick to their own strengths, which in this case, the CW Network seems to have struck gold with.

As for The Flash pilot episode, we’re introduced to Barry Allen as – possibly – the slowest and most bumbling man alive. His mother was killed in a freak accident in which his dad was accused of and is serving time in prison for. The detective on the case at that time, Detective West, and his family took Barry in and raised him as their own along with daughter, Iris West. Barry holds strong feelings for Iris, but she’s still looking at him like a brotherly figure and can’t see his big doe eyes when they talk. So you’ve got a bumbling young forensic CSI investigator who was raised by the detective that helped send his real father to prison for a murder he didn’t commit. That’s good television, folks!

But Barry does have a serious side, which brings us to why the Central City Police Department keeps him around. He’s very, very good at his job. Within seconds of checking out a crime scene (which he was late to) Barry is able to tell them 50% of what they need to know about the get away car. With help back at the station from the labs and some computer work, (in that super short tv time of crime scene investigation) he is able to narrow down their search for the bad guys to 4 farms that sell a particular chemical that he found in a trace of cow poop from the tire. It may sound silly, but just go with it, okay? It works in this particular scenario.

The show moves along pretty quickly (I will really try to refrain from speed puns), getting straight to the lightning storm that gives Mr. Allen his powers. It’s intensified by the fact it’s caused by a faulty particle accelerator that goes boom and rips open a hole in the space/time continuum thingy that unleashes globs of dark matter and other science-y stuff into the air. Barry just happens to get struck by a combination of this and tossed into a rack of various chemicals. I know, I know, if you’re a Flash fan, you know all this! What happens next, though, takes place nine months later when Barry comes out of a coma and has been signed over to S.T.A.R. Labs care.

The rest of the show moves along smoothly and at a awesome pace with very little downtime to get bored with. Barry’s introduced to his new powers, has to learn to adjust, meets his new allies/friends, and has a last quarter falling out with Detective West. This all comes full circle in the final few minutes when he finally confronts another meta-human that was given powers by the same storm as him. Barry’s mission is to seek out these other meta-humans who would do harm to his family, friends and city and stop them with the powers he’s been given. And in the meantime, he’s also interested in finding the true killer of his mother and setting his father free. This is portrayed in a very touching moment at the end when he visits his dad in prison. John Wesley Ship is fantastic in the few scenes he’s in and  I really hope my gut feeling is wrong about him (which is that they’re probably going to kill him off in the next few episodes.)

And now for the big secret season-long story arc I think we’ll be getting: Reverse Flash, or Professor Zoom. The yellow ball of whirling light that was responsible for Barry’s mom’s death. I’m torn here. Pictures were released today showing the actor playing him in costume. Now, to me it looks like Detective West’s new partner, Eddie Thrawn, who fans may recognize the name of as being the Professor Zoom from the comics. But is this too obvious? Maybe they’ll change it up a bit in the series and go their own way with this. There’s also the possibility of Doctor Harrison Wells. He’s obviously hiding something BIG as we saw in the last few seconds of the pilot episode. He’s got some series trust issues with the secrets he’s hiding. But could he be Professor Zoom? Judging from what the pictures looked like in the media today, it doesn’t look like him behind the mask, and it honestly only sort of looked like Thrawn. Of course, that could have just been a stuntman in the suit to throw everyone off.

So, while I’ve gushed about The Flash on The CW Network, all I can really do is beg you to watch it. Make it a hit just like Arrow has become. This is a great first episode and I think we have more goodness to look forward to. Set your DVR’s, watch it live on Tuesdays, write in and tell them how much you love it and post across the mighty internet that others should join in on the fandom. The Flash has returned and I’m all in this time, just like I was the last time.