On the new episode of Gobbledygeek, Paul and AJ told you about all the things you should buy this Christmas season, and now here’s a comprehensive guide! (Including a few items that weren’t even mentioned on the show.)
Note: Most links and prices are from Amazon.
READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline
Hands down one of the best science fiction books I’ve read in recent memory. It’s like my admittedly overdeveloped nostalgia gland were milked and distilled onto the page. This book is my geeky, pop-culture DNA printed in ink. ~ Paul
When Batman: Arkham Asylum was released in 2009, it was nothing short of a revolution for superhero video games. Before, there had been a handful of great superhero games, but most of them had been arcade side-scrollers or team brawlers (Activision’s first Spider-Man game is a notable exception). Arkham Asylum, however, placed you so fully in Bruce Wayne’s combat boots that it actually felt as if you got to know the hero better just by pushing some buttons and toggling an analog stick. Not only did you battle some of the Dark Knight’s greatest villains, you also sneaked around in the shadows, stealthily taking out bad guys before they even noticed you were upon them. The mix of fighting-and-hiding was extremely addictive and felt like the reinvention of an entire genre.
At the time, it would have been ridiculous to look at Arkham Asylum and go, “Great game, but look at all that untapped potential!” After having played Arkham City, though, it’s a reasonable reaction. Almost everything that was great about the first game has been refined, perfected, and expanded to create the most immersive superhero game yet released. The most obvious example is the fact that you can actually explore the vastness of Arkham City itself. One of the joys of the original was exploring the asylum grounds, but now that a portion of Gotham has been cordoned off as one big looney bin, you can glide past skyscrapers and swing from building to building. Whenever you get frustrated with a side mission or tire of beating down thugs, you can revel in the simple pleasure of zipping around the city, an exhilarating experience in and of itself.
Well, after a few frustrating delays, Gobbledygeek episode 45, “Secret Origins,” is finally available for listening or download right here. To celebrate the show’s one-year anniversary, Paul and AJ decide to reach back into the dusty, cobweb-laced corners of their minds to bring us their Secret Origins: their first geek experiences, what led them to becoming full-fledged geeks, what made them into who they are today. Such memories as paper-and-dice role-playing, live-action role-playing, and chat room role-playing are brought up…wow, that’s a lot of role-playing. Never again question their geek credentials. Also, things like comic books, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, computers, and more. Plus you’ve got news; upcoming DVD releases; AJ’s takes on The Troll Hunter, Another Year, and How Do You Know; and Paul and AJ’s joint reviews of The Adjustment Bureau and Rango.
Next: we know we’ve got some listeners who don’t really “get” the comics portions of our show, so we shall endeavor to offer a comic book primer.
(Show notes for “Secret Origins.”)
Last night’s Gobbledygeek, “The Match in the Fireworks Shop,” is available for listening right here. After one of our trademark GobbledyGaffes(TM), Paul manages to call into the show and we get things rolling on our discussion of the future of the comics industry. Discussed are Comixology for both the iPad and the PC, why it can be more satisfying to trade wait, and somehow, some way, we get around to vehemently slamming Rob Liefeld. Again. And, uh, yeah, we do mention LeBron at some point. In the bonus hour, Paul and I continue our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with #s 80-71, which I’ll hopefully make a post about some time this weekend.
As for the links I promised: here’s Progressive Boink’s list of the 40 worst Rob Liefeld drawings (and they are excruciating) and here’s iFanboy’s article about comics on the iPad and the way o’ the future.
Oh, and this week we had music! I’m going to try to add a page so that you can listen to said music should the urge ever strike you. Because I know you’re all dying to get that 10-second news theme on your iPod.
Last night’s Gobbledygeek, “Father McCartney,” is available for listening right here. We discuss our favorite Paul McCartney songs, both with the Beatles and without, then move on to underrated/guilty pleasure bands, the True Blood season premiere (and all of the attendant homoerotic pandering), and why Macs are so much better than PC’s.
We also unveil a forthcoming feature: our Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. In the next several bonus hours, Paul and I will each list our favorites (and by “modern” we mean from the dawn of the 20th century on), then the top ten will be a main topic in a future show. Should take about five weeks, provided we don’t have to skip any.