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Nikki was a born geek and bibliophile. Her mother always read her books when she was young and her father devoured any movie involving John Wayne. This is probably where Nikki's love of Westerns and reading came from. It's also probably where she picked up her nerdiness. From a young age, Nikki would read any book placed in front of her. She loved Star Wars and Star Trek as a child too and those obsessions carried over into adulthood. She saw Sailor Moon, Red Dwarf, and Highlander (to name a few shows) on TV and they got her more interested in anime. They also led her into the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Nikki is starting the Song of Ice and Fire series and can't wait to watch the HBO show based on the books. As a teen, Nikki became interested in video games (mainly Pokemon), but later liked Final Fantasy and other JRPGs. Recently, Nikki became hooked on World Of Warcraft. She even expanded out of JRPGs and began playing Fallout: New Vegas. She can also be found playing Minecraft (on peaceful, because Creepers are scary).
Nikki graduated from Cal Poly, SLO in 2010 with a BA in English and a minor in History. She someday hopes to go back and get her MA in English.
Posts by Nikki Day
This is a follow up to my last WoW post about the upcoming Female Panderan Models. A few weeks ago, Blizzard finally released the Female Panderan model and they look amazing! All the images are from World of Warcraft.
They aren’t just skinny pandas, they resemble the Male Panderan, but still retain that female quality. It isn’t quite a male with a bow on its head, but it isn’t that far off either. Some people might not like the models, but then they don’t have to play them. With the beta getting into full swing more people can play with both Panderan models and find any bugs that might occur. This way the designers can make the models even better. And in a complete turn around, the female models seem to have better animations than the male models, which get stuck in the frame pose from time to time. It is usually the female models that have the most issues, so it’s nice to see that Blizzard must have worked hard at making the female models even better this time around.
Green Lantern: Sinestro: Part 3
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin, & Tom Nguyen
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Doug Mahnke with David Baron
Variant Cover: Ethan van Sciver with Brian Miller
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Brian Cunningham
Issue three of the new Green Lantern starts with Hal and Sinestro exchanging words once again. Sinestro manages to “convince” Hal to come with him. It is very interesting to see the two interact after all that has happened between them. Sinestro is arrogant and overbearing whereas Hal tries to be the better person, but seems to doubt himself.
The scene switches to Oa, where the Guardians are up to something. It can’t be good since Ganthet agrees with them, which is something he never did before. They mention a third army and the dissolution of the Green Lantern Corps. After this revelation, it’s back to Hal and Sinestro making their way towards Sinestro’s home planet.
Sinestro tells Hal the plan he has, Hal will take a Green Lantern and place it inside the Yellow Central Battery. Hal is highly suspicious, but Sinestro just tells him to listen. As they wait for the right time, Sinestro sees a woman he used to know, Arsona. She attacks one of the Yellow Lanterns, but is thrown off. Sinestro breaks his own plan to save her. Hal goes to do his part of the plan, but it ends badly for him and ends on a huge cliffhanger.
I really liked this issue as it expanded on not only the interaction between Hal and Sinestro, but also the horrible plans that the Guardians have started. It was interesting to see Sinestro’s planet and what has happened to it since the Yellow Lanterns took over. Sinestro wants to save his people, but they are afraid of him and the Yellow Lanterns see him as a traitor.
The art continued to be great in this issue. There were some great close ups of faces and eyes. The drawings of all the different types of Yellow Lanterns were great. They each had a different look and it was really nice to see. And the final two pages are some of the best I’ve ever seen.
Green Lantern: Sinestro: Part 2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Doug Mahnke
Inks: Christian Alamy & Keith Champagne
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Cover: Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy with Nathan Eyring
Variant Cover: David Finch & Richard Friend with Peter Steigerwald
Assistant Editor: Darren Shan
Editor: Brian Cunningham
The second issue of Green Lantern picks up where the first issue left off, with Sinestro offering Hal Jordan a Green Lantern ring. However, nothing comes for free, as Hal learns. Sinestro controls Hal’s ring, he can turn it on or off and even dictate the level of power it has.
While arguing over the ring, Hal hears people in trouble and rushes to help, but even then Sinestro shows him who is in charge. However, Sinestro saves the day, much to Hal’s chagrin and shock.
Sinestro and Hal fly away, discussing how the public on Earth view Green Lantern and how the people on Korgar saw Sinestro. Suddenly a Yellow Lantern, Gorgor, attacks them, saying that Sinestro has “betrayed the Yellow Light”. After Gorgor’s defeat, Sinestro explains why he needs Hal. Sinestro wants to destroy the Yellow Lanterns that enslaved Korgar.
The story is starting to pick up as the two men make their way to Korgar. It’s strange to see Hal and Sinestro interact, considering they hate each other so much and have no respect for the other. It’ll be interesting to see how they get along on Korgar, when they have to work together.
The art in this issue is amazing. Some of the wide shots are breathtaking, even if it’s just of Hal trying to kill Sinestro. And the close ups have great detail; facial expressions, the way the clothes fit on a person, and more. I can’t wait to see how the artist handles more of the alien species we are sure to run across in future issues.
There is one new web series you should check out in the New Year: Standard Action. It’s based on Dungeons and Dragons and other fantasy RPGs, but incorporates all kinds of pop culture. In D&D terms a “standard action” is an action that allows you to do something, i.e. attack or cast a spell. Standard Action was created by Joanna Gaskall and is shot in Vancouver. It has a small main cast, with many guest actors as the series goes on.
The cast stars Joanna Gaskall as Edda, an Elven Barbarian, Daniel Johnston as Martin, a Druid allergic to trees and who won’t heal, Edwin Perez as Fernando, an eternally optimistic half-Halfling Bard, and Tara Pratt as Wendy who prefers to be called Gwenevere and is more concerned with her looks and reputation than most other things. The series’ first four episodes are to introduce the characters to the viewers and to each other. The show then moves onto a quest to save Wendy’s and Fernando’s friends which morphs into saving the area.
Standard Action has 13 episodes (plus episode 6.5), which are all short and easily watchable in one day. The production value of the episodes are excellent. Everything from the costumes, makeup and setting are very well put together and believable. The writing is some of the funniest I’ve heard in a long time, web series or not. The dialogue is snappy and clever. There are many references to D&D, modern music, and more. If you don’t play D&D or any other type of fantasy RPGs, then some of the jokes might not make sense to you, but I don’t think that will detract from any enjoyment of the show. Each of the characters has a distinctive voice, all the while mocking (in a lovingly way) the tropes of their characters.
Speaking of characters, for a short web series the characters start off well developed and continue to evolve as the show goes on. They don’t get along at first and fumble their way through to the end, but at the end the group comes together to defeat the villain.
There were a few issues I had. First, in a few episodes the visual (mouth movements and prop sounds) didn’t match up to the audio. Secondly, I had some video stuttering where the audio kept going while the visuals were frozen. However, I am willing to blame those two things on Youtube, my internet connection, and my choice in watching it in 1080p. Perhaps with a better connection or a smaller size, those issues would not occur. My other minor problems was that sometimes the actor’s dialogue was hard to hear and the music got a little loud. Those are minor like I said and can be overlooked.
If you’d like to watch Standard Action you can watch it at the website http://watchstandardaction.com/ (which is linked above as well) which links to the videos at Youtube. Here’s the first episode to see if you want to watch the show:
When I first started reading the new DC 52, I assumed I was going to love the Batman and Superman comics the most because I loved the cartoons and movies containing of both iconic superheroes. However, what I didn’t expect when reading the new 52 was falling head over heels with the Green Lantern comics. I had heard of Green Lantern, but wasn’t aware of the history of the character, who the villains were or anything. Now, I know everything that Wikipedia can tell me, I am buying any Green Lantern comic I can find, and am largely caught up on the comic.
From what I’ve been able to find out, the continuity of Green Lantern #1 is largely untouched. Hal Jordon has had his ring taken away from him by the Guardians (the leaders of the Green Lantern Corps, who seem to be having their own issues) and is trying to make it through without his superpowers. It isn’t going well. He can’t pay his rent, he gets arrested, he can’t fly planes, he can’t buy a car, and his on-and-off again girlfriend is mad at him.
Hal’s arch-nemesis, Sinestro, is doing fine. He’s been released from his prison, become a Green Lantern once more, and even plans to (possibly) save his home world from his old Corp, the Yellow Lantern Corps. However, he can’t do it alone. So Sinestro goes to Hal, either for help, to taunt the ex-Green Lantern, or to annoy the Guardians (who Sinestro hates with a passion).
This first issue doesn’t have a lot of action; it’s like other number ones, just setting things up for later issues. However, it seems to be setting up things for other Green Lantern comics: such as the issues within the Guardians. If you hadn’t been following Green Lantern before, then this issue might be a little confusing, but it doesn’t rely on complete knowledge of the Green Lantern mythos.
If you’ve never tried Green Lantern before, now is the chance to pick it up. There are two other Green Lantern titles; Green Lantern Corps and Green Lantern: New Guardians (both of which I’ll be reviewing later) and there is a brand new Red Lanterns title, if you’d like to see a different side to the Lanterns.
Since it’s the Christmas season, and since Christmas is about sharing, I thought it would be nice to share two of my favorite Youtube channels with everyone. They are both focused (mainly) on gaming. Both channels have some swearing, so if you are sensitive to that, you should skip them. If you aren’t, you might like them! Give them a shot either way and see if they work for you.
First up is OMFGcata. It started out as a channel for commentary about the WoW Cataclysm Beta, but has since branched out into Minecraft, Skyrim, SWTOR Beta, Terraria, The Witcher 2 and more. The leading force behind the channel is Jesse Cox, a voice actor, but he has amassed other cohorts to enrich his channel. They include: Pride, Blondie, the whole Minecraft RPGMakers Crew, and many, many more.
Jesse has the habit of singing anything that comes into his head. He also has the habit of picking up anything he can in games (specifically Skyrim) and becoming overburdened. He plays through games how he normally would, if not filming, and not for fans, much to the annoyance of some viewers. Jesse does take suggestions and tips, but it never dictates his playthroughs.
The videos on OMFGcata are funny and entertaining, all one could ask for in a Youtube channel. Here’s a video of his latest Skyrim video:
The second channel is The Yogscast. It also started out with WoW videos, but has then branched out to encompass many other games including, Minecraft, Saints Row the Third, Heroes of Newerth, and more. The two main commentators are Simon and Lewis who fumble their way through many games. Occasionally accompanying them on adventures are Hannah (who has her own playthroughs on Yogscast 2), Peva, Tinman, Fumblemore, and many others.
They are best known for their Minecraft videos and especially their ongoing series, Shadow of Israphel, but many people found them because of WoW. Lewis and Simon used to make podcasts, but haven’t updated that in quite some time since they are very busy. Much like Jesse; Lewis and Simon tend to play games that they want to play, even when fans scream for more Minecraft.
Every video they make has something humorous happen, from Simon pushing Lewis into deep holes to the two men being scared by Creepers. Here’s their latest Advent Calendar video:
A few weeks ago, Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, held Blizzcon to showcase all of their games; WoW, Diablo III and Starcraft II. They started off the con with information about their new WoW expansion, Mists of Pandaria. They showed off a lot of new things such as the new playable race, Pandaren, a new class, Monk, new mobs to fight, and new locations to explore. One thing they didn’t show off was the female model for the Pandaren.
There was a picture of a Pandaren with a bow on it’s head, and many people wouldn’t mind that being the female model for the new race, but I don’t know if that will happen. Apparently the creator of the Pandaren has always drawn females as Red Pandas. People fear that female Pandaren will be slimmed down to fall in line with the other female races.
Blizzard has changed female (and male!) models before. In the Alpha version of WoW, Troll females were just as hunched over as males and seemed to have more facial choices. For whatever reason, Blizzard decided to change the model into what is now used today. The female Troll model has limited facial options and many Trolls tend to look the same. There’s a video of the Alpha Troll model here. Below is an image of the current female Troll model.
They also seemed to have slightly altered the Tauren female model from the Alpha version. It doesn’t seem to be a huge change, like with the Troll females, but it’s still an odd change as the Alpha Tauren female looked fine. Here’s a video of all the Alpha models, Troll and Tauren included. Below is an image of the current female Tauren model.
As I said before, Blizzard even changed male models for Blood Elves back before Burning Crusade was released. The Beta male models were slim and not as muscular as the other male members of the Horde (minus the Forsaken). There were some complaints that the Beta models looked “too gay” or “too pretty”, this might not have been why the change was made, but no one knows for sure.
The latest model change came back before Cataclysm was released. The Worgen male and female models went through a lot of changes; from looking, some would say, more wolf like to becoming more feral. The female model came under the most fire as they lost a little of the muscle they had and didn’t really seem to match the male Worgen model. Here’s a video of the Alpha models. And below are images of the Alpha and current models.
It’s all personal preference and personal opinion on whether you like the old models or the current models better. I’m just hoping that the female Pandaren aren’t going to be too different from the male version.