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Black Mirror’s “Striking Vipers” was amazing. Well, except for the fact that the episode didn’t have the balls to go all the way exploring these two men’s sexuality and relationship in favor of a more heterosexual viewpoint.

It gave fans all the subtext, all the LGBTQ+ specific leanings and even community jokes. But it refused to try to truly dissect and figure out the relationship between these men.

Let’s talk.

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Writer’s Note: This article got lost in the depths of our draft folder, but we’ve found the piece and are publishing it to give the (albeit late) review Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey deserves. 

Let’s start this review with the obvious, already overdone main point: Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is not a very good Assassin’s Creed game. Not a bad game, mind you, but a game almost wholly uninterested and unattached the the previous adventures and lore of older Assassin’s Creed stories.

Now, onto the review, shall we?

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is technically the twelfth installment of this sprawling series, releasing on October 5th and quickly becoming a hot topic among gamers. Some are upset about its departure from its roots and its leveling obstacles. Others marvel at its open world experience and RPG adventuring. But, trying to be as objective as possible, what is Odyssey?

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When Bryan Singer’s X-Men opened twenty years ago, few expected a mid-budget superhero team-up to spawn two direct sequels, spin-offs, a reboot, and three sequels to the reboot (not to mention re-energizing the superhero genre), but it did, but like all good things – or all things in general – it had to come to an end, but nothing then or now said it had to end with a flaccid, turgid, ultimately pointless entry like the much-delayed, less-than-anticipated Dark Phoenix. A second go-round in bringing Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s classic comic-book storyline to the big screen – Dark Phoenix drops the “mutant cure” storyline that undermined and ultimately neutered Brett Ratner’s -Men: The Last Stand thirteen years ago – replacing it with a woefully underwritten, under-motivated central arc, Jean Grey’s transformation from troubled mutant with telekinetic and psychokinetic powers, to a rage-filled superpowered, near godlike super-mutant, but repeatedly fails to make her – and by extension, Dark Phoenix: the Movie – intrinsically or organically compelling, let alone passably watchable. Another missed opportunity, another misfire isn’t how nostalgia-prone X-fans wanted to see the series end before the Disney Industrial Complex folds the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but that’s what Dark Phoenix delivers. (more…)

Joel Rodriguez is the creator and owner of Metal Ninja Studios, an indie comic book company. He is also the writer of The Dusk County Chronicles, a 24-page horror mini-anthology that asks the questions; “What if Toy Story was a slasher, or Peter Pan required a sacrifice to get into Neverland?” His interesting take on familiar children’s stories and classic horror films makes this anthology a must read.

The Dusk County Chronicles was a Kickstarter project, and after reading it, we at NerdBastards knew we had to interview the twisted writer behind this intriguing book. Joel agreed to answer some of our questions and give us some insight into his future projects.

So, turn down the lights and light a few candles as NerdBastards continues it’s series of interviews with indie comic creators.
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Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla reboot left moviegoers – and some, if not most, film critics – generally unfulfilled, wanting more, more action, more Godzilla, and more kaiju-on-kaiju action. Godzilla spent the majority of his self-titled movie’s running time offscreen, shown only tangentially as an after-thought. When he finally made it onscreen, it was only briefly. Even the climactic battle between Godzilla and a no-name pair of generic monsters disappointed. Godzilla won the crown and/or title, of course, but humanity lost, not just lives or property, but the claim of ownership or dominion over the earth and its resources (cue environmental/climate change theme). In the 2014 reboot, San Francisco took the brunt of Godzilla’s final battle. By the end, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands had lost their lives, but in the Godzilla-verse, the human cost of kaiju battles usually gets sidestepped or simply ignored. The spectacle is all, the human drama, if any, always a distant second. That, of course, isn’t so much a criticism as it is an observation that also holds true for the direct sequel, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, an unapologetically dazzling 200-million-dollar love letter to the Godzilla-verse that’s spanned more than sixty years (and counting). (more…)

After a tumultuous experience with all the other Marvel Defenders series getting cancelled despite all the promise they showed, Jessica Jones season 3 is the final outing we’ll see from the franchise. Even though fans adored Daredevil and Jessica Jones, were intrigued by Punisher and Luke Cage’s stories, and had lukewarm responses to Iron Fist, Disney cancelled all of it. Assumedly, it’s because of their upcoming Disney streaming service, but the axing was still brutal.

Even though Daredevil technically started the Defenders series, Jessica Jones has always been right alongside him, an equal poster child for the heroes protecting New York City.

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Travis Gibb is a indie comic book writer and creator who specializes in crime noir stories. He has had four successful Kickstarters so far, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. His latest project, Broke Down & 4 Dead Bodies #2 funded very quickly on Kickstarter, and is now up for a Spacie Award (A award recognizing ton talented creators on the Florida Space Coast).

Travis agreed to an interview with NerdBastards to share his experiences as a self published indie comics creator, his advice for Kickstarting a project, and his current and future projects.   (more…)

Are you a gamer? Perhaps you own a few consoles?

There’s nothing wrong with that. After all, gaming is a great way for us to relax and de-stress. Whoever says they’re a waste of time has no idea what they’re talking about!

The next time someone says that to you, tell them that there are actually many benefits to gaming. Sure, addiction is a possibility, but that doesn’t really apply to most of us.

Want to know about the positive effects of playing video games? If so, you’ve landed on the right page!

We’ll be going over some benefits below. Keep reading to learn more!

Different Types of Video Games

You probably know this already if you’re a gamer, but there are tons of different video games out there.

I’m talking about genres. For instance, there are action games, roleplaying games, puzzle games, sports games, and simulation games. Which one is your favorite?

Massively multiplayer online games, also known as MMOs, have also exploded in popularity over the past decade. Surely, you’ve heard of them before? You know, games like Diablo and World of Warcraft?

There are lots of sites out there that let you connect with other MMO players—LFG Destiny is one such example. 

What Are the Effects of Playing Video Games? 8 Benefits of Gaming

Let’s face it—excessive gaming can be harmful. But there are benefits to casual play. Here’s what you need to know.

1. It Can Slow Down Aging

The truth is, video games have the potential of slowing down aging. Play something regularly and your memory, reflexes, and processing speed can improve!

In one study, seniors who played Rise of Nations, a real-time strategy game had improved cognition, reasoning, and memory. 

2. It Can Improve Your Hand-Eye Coordination

What’s hand-eye coordination? It’s the ability to track hand movements with the eyes. You need it for many things such as reading and writing. It’s also important when it comes to playing your favorite sports!

According to one study, people who play action games regularly, such as first-person shooters, have better visuomotor control.

This really shouldn’t be surprising—after all, these games require them to react quickly and accurately to whatever’s happening on the screen!

3. It Can Help Fight Depression

As much as we’d hate to admit it, depression is a big problem—especially among teens. According to the NIMH, 3.2 million adolescents have had at least one depressive episode in the U.S.

It turns out, though, that playing video games can be somewhat of a cure. That’s right, tell that to your parents and they won’t be able to say no to your gaming!

In 2012, researchers conducted a study with a fantasy game that’s designed to be therapeutical. 

The result? Those who played the game were much more likely to recover from depression than those who received plain counseling.

4. It Can Help to Relieve Pain

Believe it or not but video games can actually help with pain. Think about it—it’s a great distraction. It’ll take your mind off whatever’s hurting you. 

Virtual reality games, in particular, are effective. In other words, it can be a great option for those with chronic illnesses.

In fact, some video games might be even more effective than medication—this is especially true for kids.

5. It Can Improve Focus

Playing video games can do a lot of things. For instance, it can improve your focus. 

In one study, changes in brain activity were detected in those who played League of Legends for one hour. 

What does that mean? It means that playing games, even if it’s just for a little bit, can boost your attention skills. More research is still needed at this point in time, though.

6. It Can Reduce Stress

Gaming is one of the greatest ways to relieve stress—it lets you escape the pressures of everyday life. After all, no one can tell you what to do in the game world!

Not all games have the same effect, though—some are better for stress than others. For example, cooperative games, such as MMOs, can give you a sense that you’re supported by many people. 

Casual games are fantastic for unwinding too! You know, ones like Candy Crush, Flappy Bird, and Tetris? Admit it—you’ve probably played some of those before. 

7. It Can Help You Stay Active

Not all video games involve sitting around. Some titles are designed to mimic low-impact exercises. I’m talking about games like Wii Fit and Wii Sports! Remember how popular they were when they first came out?

It might not be the same as going to the gym, but it’s much better than sitting on the couch for many hours!

In fact, many retirement homes offer these games to their residents—it’s a fun way to stay active, after all. Even physiotherapists use them as a form of rehabilitation!

8. It Can Help With Dyslexia

Have you ever heard of dyslexia? It’s a learning disorder that affects your ability to read and write. It can be quite frustrating, especially for children and teens.

As it turns out, however, playing video games can actually help with the condition!

How? By improving their reading skills. Does this surprise you? After all, most games do require some reading.

Gaming Isn’t Just Mindless Fun

As you can see, there are many positive effects of playing video games. Now you can argue back the next time someone tells you to put away your console!

Which video game has helped you? Let us know in the comments below!

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