Geek to Geek - S1E23 - JRPGs - “I’m pre-ordering games as he talks”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 July 2016, 10:00 am

Best of First-half of 2016
In this episode:
  • It’s #JRPGJuly, and you guys know by now that we are both huge fans of roleplaying games! But more than just any RPG, we adore JRPGs. In this episode, we discuss our history of why we prefer the unique genre to the more traditional Western RPG.
  • We discuss what a JRPG is (literally “Japanese Roleplaying Game”)
  • Common mechanics
  • Both of us cut our teeth on the genre with early Final Fantasy games, Pokemon games, and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars on SNES.
  • Additionally, we discuss our current favorites, the standouts from the past we just can’t get go of, and the ones we are most looking forward to in the future!
  • We even go on tangents about how JRPGs influenced our belief systems and personal philosophies! How’s that for geeky?
  • Plus, we talk about two upcoming spiritual successors to Chrono Trigger, and Beej gets so excited he preorders one of them while still recording.
  • (pre-order link)
  • Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Batman v Superman
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 July 2016, 10:00 am

I finally got around to watching this movie now that it's out of theaters and wow, I'm super glad I didn't spend the money and time on a theater trip for it.

I can't believe this is the movie they came up with from the Batman v Superman source material.  I see why everyone railed against it while it was in theaters.

I actually spent a solid two days after watching it sending texts to my friend as I deconstructed it in my mind and found more and more things wrong with the movie.

At this point I could either dive into all those points or just warn you away from this one.  I think I'll do the later since this movie doesn't deserve any more of my time than it's already gotten.  Be warned, Batman v Superman is bad.

Game of Thrones Season 6 Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 July 2016, 10:00 am

I've been meaning to write this since the Game of Thrones season wrapped up a few weeks ago.

I loved Season 6 of this show.  I think it's the best season so far.

Finally everything is paying off.  All these disparate plots, characters, and threads are finally starting to come together again after so much time pulling apart.

Episode nine had some of the best cinematography of any battle I've ever seen in TV or film.

And the season finale had so much payoff that it's unbelievable that was all in one episode.

I absolutely loved this season.  I don't want to write too much more because I would start to get into serious spoiler territory.  But, if you're a lapsed fan and you still haven't watched this season you really should.  It's totally worth it.

Bridge of Spies Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 July 2016, 10:00 am

I'm still catching up on movies that are on my list to be watched.  Bridge of Spies made it's way to the top so I gave it a shot.

It's a cold war drama that actually turned out to be pretty good.  It's a Spielberg movie starring Tom Hanks, so you basically know what you're getting in for before you even start.  But it's a cool period piece that looks at the early days of the Cold War.

It starts as a courtroom drama but turns into a movie about negotiation between world powers during the Cold War.  I feel like I learned more about the time and place thanks to this movie.  It was entertaining enough and held my attention throughout.

I can recommend it as a movie you should probably see once if the premise sounds interesting to you.  But it's not going to be one I come back to over and over again.

Drizzt Homeland
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 18 July 2016, 10:00 am

I've never read a Dungeons & Dragons novel before in my life but after watching a bunch of the D&D episodes of Acquisitions Incorporated they had a guest appearance of Drizzt and they all freaked out.  Since they're all people who's opinions I tend to like I thought I should check out the source material.

That brought me to the first Drizzt book, and there are many.  This one is called Homeland and it's set in the Underdark in the city where Dark Elves live that starts with the letter M but I'll never be able to spell it from memory.

It was a good fantasy book, but not a great one.  Nothing crazy or unpredictable happened but it also wasn't so formulaic that I was bored the whole time.  It really was a middle of the road fantasy novel.

But, it got me interested enough in the character of Drizzt that I'll pick up the next book.  I just hope that he gets out of the Underdark setting and gets to go explore more of the world.  I would love to find out what happens once he's out of his element.

Geek to Geek - S1E22 - Pokemon Go - “Eevee Candy From a White Van”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 July 2016, 10:00 am

Pokemon GO!
In this episode:
  • Pokemon Go launched this week, and like everyone else in the world, we  went crazy for it. However, despite our nerdlove for the app, there is a decided lack of documentation and tutorials, so we want to help other people make sense of what we’ve learned this week.
  • We discuss how the game works
  • We also take on the role of armchair developers and discuss what we think will make the app much more robust and likely to keep our attention.
  • Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Lumberjanes Issue 1 Thoughts
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 July 2016, 10:00 am

A friend recommended Lumberjanes to me and it was cheap to pick up the first issue digitally so I gave it a shot.

I like the premise enough.  A bunch of girls are at a summer camp and they seem to be involved in some paranormal goings on that no one else is aware of.  It's a cool premise.

The problem I had is that not enough actually happened in the first issue to get me invested.  They took the entire issue just to state the premise and then it ended.  There was no hook that made me go pick up the next one.

I'm always looking for more comic recommendations but this one just wasn't for me.  Maybe someday I'll give it another shot and dig in a few issues deep.

Pacific Rim Rewatch
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 July 2016, 10:00 am

I saw Pacific Rim once in theaters and I remembered liking it the first time but it didn't leave a huge impact on me.

Ever since then I've heard so many rave reviews from people about the movie like it was one of the best things ever.  So, I decided to give it a re-watch since that's what I've been working through in my movie list anyway.

And this time I actually liked it a lot more.  Knowing what to expect from it as a movie before watching it meant I could just enjoy it for the pure giant robot vs monster action it provided.  The story, plot, and characters don't need to be much when the story is actually about excuses to have cool battles between these goliaths.

I find myself much more interested in Pacific Rim 2 now and also much more likely to watch Pacific Rim again on a whim in the future.  It set out to be a certain type of movie and it achieved it perfectly.

Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 July 2016, 10:00 am

Apparently I've been on a movie kick lately.  My movie list of things to watch had built up so I'm swatting them down one by one.

Anyway, Zootopia is a fantastic movie.  I sat down to watch it by myself and by the 15 minute mark both my wife and my son had wandered by and got sucked in.  We all loved it!

The premise is that animals have evolved to live together peacefully and basically all act like humans do in real life.  It deals with themes of stereotyping in interesting ways but mostly it's a good movie because the main characters are really interesting and the world is a marvel to find out about.

I think Disney is just killing it lately with their movies.  It seems like Disney CG animated movies are actually a lot better than Pixar these days.  And I'm actually super happy with the way they're handling their big franchises like Star Wars and Marvel as well.

So... yeah.  I would basically recommend Zootopia to anyone.  It's a great movie to watch, with or without kids!

The Wolverine
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 11 July 2016, 10:00 am

I was talking to some friends about the newest X-Men movie that came out and in having the discussion I realized that there was an X-Men movie I never watched.  So, I thought I'd fix that.

The Wolverine is actually more of a character piece than an X-Men movie.  I think there were only 2 mutants in the whole thing.  But, I actually liked it more than the last few X-Men movies.

By focusing on Wolverine it gets to actually dive into his character and give him real decisions and growth.  It's great to see Hugh Jackman get a full movie playing this character as the main protagonist.

Basically, Wolverine goes to Japan and then things quickly get more interesting.  If you like X-Men or Wolverine you should definitely see it.

For me, it's just made me more excited for the Old Man Logan movie they have in development.  It could turn out really good.

S1E21 - Playing Games the Way You Want - “I Play the Japanese Versions”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 July 2016, 10:15 am

Playing Games the Way You Want
In this episode:
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Warcraft Movie
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 July 2016, 10:00 am

I never wrote up my thoughts about the Warcraft movie!  Although I did talk about it on the Geek to Geek podcast.

I really liked the Warcraft movie.  I went in with super low expectations and walked away pleasantly surprised.

I think that anyone who likes fantasy could go see the movie and enjoy it, even though fans of Warcraft will feel more familiar with the world and setting.  Think of it like Lord of the Rings, if you were a book reader and went to see the movies when they came out you would get more out of them.  Same idea here if you've ever been a Warcraft player.

It seems like it's broken records in China for ticket sales so I'm hoping we'll actually get to see a sequel or two.  I bet this could be better as a series than as a stand alone movie.

Incredible Hulk Re-Watch
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 July 2016, 10:00 am

Incredible Hulk is the MCU movie I've seen the least, as I've only seen it once.  I actually didn't realize it was part of the MCU since it was a different actor and feels different from the rest of the MCU movies.

This is the first time I've watched it since seeing it in theaters when it originally came out.

It doesn't really hold up compared to everything that has come since.  It's slow with a very predictable plot.

Honestly, huge portions of the movie consist of shots of Edward Norton's face reacting to things.  It got old fast.

I guess I learned that I really like Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk instead.  I've loved him in the two Avengers movie and I'm really excited to see how he'll tie into Thor Ragnarok.

Iron Man 3 Re-watch
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 July 2016, 10:00 am

I've never actually been able to get through Iron Man 3 before, but as part of my re-watch of my least watched parts of the MCU I thought I should power through it.

It wasn't as horrible as Thor Dark World but it was pretty bad.  It's definitely in the bottom half of quality in the MCU and it really seems like Iron Man as a solo character has reached the limits of interesting.

I'm glad I got a little more context for the character but I can't see myself watching this one again for a really long time.

All that being said, I still think Iron Man is a great character in the multi-character movies and I love seeing him interact with other super heroes.  I'm excited for more of that!

Doom Demo
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 4 July 2016, 10:00 am

Doom offered a free demo during E3 week and I jumped on it since I was planning on picking up Doom eventually when it was on super sale.

I'm so glad I did, because it didn't click with me at all.

I don't know why I thought I would like it.  It feels like Doom.  It feels super generic shootery.  I mean, Doom kinda defined the genre, so everything that came after has been more refined and more complicated.  Going back to this style of shooter just feels... ugh.  I dunno.

I didn't like it.

If you were a huge Doom fan or loved 90s shooters and want a return to form you will probably love this game.  But if you want a modern feeling shooter stay away from this one.

Final Fantasy V Four Job Fiesta 2016
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 July 2016, 10:00 am

As I've mentioned a bunch on the podcast I did a challenge run of Final Fantasy V called the Four Job Fiesta.  It's still going on if you want to participate or donate for charity.

You can see above that I achieved victory!  I'm so happy to have done the challenge run and finished it.

If you aren't familiar with the setup, basically you register via twitter and every time you get to a new crystal that unlocks jobs in the game you tweet at the bot and it sends you the one and only job from that crystal you're allowed to use.

So, after your first crystal you have 4 characters as one job.  After the second and third crystal you start mixing it up, but you must always have the previous jobs assigned too.  And then after the fourth crystal your party of jobs is set for the rest of the game.

This year I got Black Mage, Summoner, Beastmaster, and Samurai.  It felt very much like a DPS race group of jobs since I had no healing except for items and at the end of the game the healing items do almost nothing for you.  So I learned to output a massive amount of damage as fast as possible to destroy bosses.

Which worked great until I hit the final form of the final boss, Neo Exdeath.  He completely blocked my progress so I had to talk to my twitter/slack friends who have beaten the game multiple years with many different parties.  The strategy we came up with was to save up enough money, buy Flame Rings (which absorb fire damage), equip them on all my characters, and cast my most powerful fire spell Firaga on my own party for healing.  This finally pushed me over the finish line.

Here's the party in question:

Super proud of my first @FF5ForFutures fiesta victory! Here's the party I beat the challenge run with!
— Void (@grnmushroom) June 30, 2016

I really had fun with this run.  At this point I'm slightly burned out on the game and won't be doing another run before the event wraps up in August.  But I had enough fun that I'm probably going to do another run next year!

You should seriously think about giving it a shot if you're a JRPG fan at all.

Also, a huge thank you to Ashgar for getting me interested in the run and helping with strategy throughout my entire playthrough.

Final Fantasy Project Article List

S1E20 - Best of First Half of 2016
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 July 2016, 10:30 am

Best of the First Half of 2016
In this episode:
  • We discuss the top picks across all media that really stood out to us. We want to make sure that the truly phenomenal work that impressed us this year doesn’t go unnoticed by you folks.
  • We break down the topics into categories like movies, books, tv, comics, and games. Not all of the stuff we talk about is necessarily released in 2016, but it was new to us in 2016, which is way better than the stuff going unnoticed at all, right?
  • And don’t miss this week’s GEEK OUT episode with Beej and Kenny from Dumbbells and Dragons, where they talk about Pokemon Go. We’re still not sure if he’s supposed to give out the details yet, but he sure does!
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

HBO Now Subscription
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 July 2016, 10:00 am

So... I picked up an HBO Now subscription this year since they've finally gotten their shit together and are offering Game of Thrones streaming at the same second it goes live on air.  I'm happy to give them a little bit of money for the show I love.

I figured I would play around with it and see if there are any other shows, movies, or specials I wanted to see.  I mean, HBO has been around since like the 80s, there must be a ton of good content, right!?


I tried a bunch of pilots or watched the beginning of specials and just wasn't interested in any of it.  The only movies or TV series that looked good were the ones I'd already seen or ones I already own.  In this category is stuff like Band of Brothers.

But I guess I'm just spoiled by how much content is on other streaming platforms.  In comparison HBO Now feels just so empty.  So, I'll be canceling my subscription now that the season is done.

I'm actually really surprised by how little content they have on offer.  At least there's always next year when they'll get my money for another 2.5 months with Season 7 of Game of Thrones.

Galaxy Reavers
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 June 2016, 10:00 am

Galaxy Reavers is my latest little mobile time waster on iOS.  In it you get a squadron of ships to command on an isometric 2D plane in real time.

It's basic ship to ship combat stuff with the hook of upgrading your ships or swapping out their equipment between battles.

It's pretty fun and I played it for a week or so before slowly pulling away from it.

It suffers from the typical free to play catch of having a ton of downtime between activities at higher levels.  Or you could just pay to skip that.  Or pay for a random chance at some better gear.  Or pay to unlock a new ship.  Basically, it really wants you to pay.

So I'm done with Galaxy Reavers but if real time ship combat is your thing it's free to try out on iOS.

Bloodline (Star Wars) Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 June 2016, 10:00 am

I really liked Bloodline.  If you follow me you know that I read almost every Star Wars book that hits the market.  This one is right up there with the best ones I've read.

And it didn't really surprise me that it was.  Bloodline is by Claudia Gray, the same author who wrote Lost Stars which is my favorite Star Wars book to date.

Bloodline follows Leia sometime about half way between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.  It fills in so much information about the politics of the New Republic, hints at the formation and structure of the first order, and let's us see a key point in Leia's political career.  It's a fantastic book to start bridging the gap between Episode VI and Episode VII.

While I'd love to learn more about what Luke and Ben are doing during this time period I never felt like this book had to go there.  There are enough interesting events going on with Leia that I was captivated throughout.

If you're a Star Wars fan I recommend reading Bloodlines.  It's really good and it will give you more appreciation for events that happened on a galactic scale before The Force Awakens.

More MCU Rewatching: Thor
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 June 2016, 10:00 am

After the horribleness that was re-watching Thor Dark World, I decided to give the original Thor another shot.  I remembered the main story and how it interacted with the rest of the MCU but I had forgotten most of the plot.

Having now re-watched it I have to say Thor is a much better movie than Dark World.  It has a coherent plot and a consistent tone.  It has characters that are interesting and who's motivations are understood.  It's overall a good introduction to Thor.

I don't think it's a great movie, but it's somewhere in the middle of the pack for MCU movies.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it better than I remembered.

The Flash Season 2 Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 June 2016, 10:00 am

Oh The Flash, how much I loved your first season.

Season 2 has been... I don't want to say bad.  Inconsistent is probably a better word.  There have been really good episodes and interesting plotlines but mostly there have been slow or boring plotlines and episodes that fall flat.

After the fantastic episode that was done by Kevin Smith I thought the series was in a great place to finish strong at the end of the season.  Instead there was a an overly convoluted plot that led to the final confrontation of the season.  I couldn't actually believe some of the sentences that the characters were saying with a straight face... and I'm not typically one who has trouble suspending disbelief.

I thought the final few episodes were mostly dumb.  I wanted to love them but I just didn't.  I was really sad to see where the series was at the end of this season compared to how much I enjoyed the first season.

But then in the last 60 seconds of the season The Flash decided to go to the past, change a critical piece of his history, and potentially wipe the entire slate clean for season 3.  Now season 3 can be whatever it wants to be.

This event might also be how they wrap Supergirl into the CW world and I bet it will have consequences for the other CW DC shows like Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow as well.

So after all the disappointment of the final confrontation in season 2, there's still hope.  Now I'm really excited to see what season 3 hold for The Flash.

Geek to Geek S1E18 - Marvel Cinematic Universe
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 June 2016, 10:30 am

The Marvel Cinematic Universe
In this episode:
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is one of the biggest franchises in movie history. We love it. Love it love it love it. Beej and Void discuss everything from what works in the MCU (and why), their favorite properties and recommendations, and which TV shows or movies, they’d be fine with never seeing again--or at all.
  • But a decade ago, we weren’t all enamored with it (yet). Lots of people had no idea who Iron Man was, and comics fans like Beej wondered why they would bring their B-team to the screen. Comics dabblers like Void weren’t excited because of the lackluster comics movies like Daredevil and X3.
  • If you haven’t seen Jessica Jones on Netflix, go binge watch it. We’ll wait. It’s worth watching even if you’re not into the MCU at all. It’s not a typical superhero show in the same way Battlestar Galactica isn’t a typical science-fiction show. Sure, there are people with superpowers, but they are background to the personal story being told. Just like how the Cylons are there, but the real story being told is about the people you care about.
  • We discuss the freedom that Netflix allows the MCU creators over major networks like ABC, and how that’s a double-edged sword. On one hand, you get Jessica Jones, but that came after they went too far into hyperviolence in Daredevil Season 1. We expect the rest of the Netflix-originals to be more in line with DDS2 and JJ, while Agents of Shield and the now-cancelled Agent Carter struggle to maintain viewers for various reasons (not that they’re bad shows).
  • Excited to see more non-origin stories being told. Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Spiderman Homecoming, Black Panther should all deal with existing superheroes, rather than origins, which opens up engaging storytelling avenues.
  • We want Captain Marvel to hurry up and get released so we can get a Ms. Marvel movie. We want Kamala Khan. Plz and thx.

Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

The Barkley Marathons
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 24 June 2016, 10:00 am

I don't watch a ton of documentaries but this one came highly recommended from a friend and I saw it on some "most underrated movies" lists so I thought I would check it out.

The Barkley Marathons is really good.  It's about a crazy marathon that most people consider to be the most difficult marathon in the world.  It consists of five loops through a 20+ mile course in the mountains of Tennessee.

It's an ultra marathon that's grueling and runs for 60 hours.  The participants have 12 hours to complete each loop of the course.

Did I mention that the course is unmarked?  And mostly off trails?  So not only are you covering that distance, you're also navigating through the wilderness while you do it.

When you get back to camp between loops you can take a break but you need to get back out there and get started on your next loop soon.

I didn't know what to think going into this documentary but within the first 10 minutes I was hooked and throughout it I was constantly amazed.

I highly recommend this documentary.  Check it out here or just watch it on Netflix.

What's the worst MCU movie?
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 June 2016, 10:00 am

I've started swinging back through the Marvel Cinematic Universe after watching Civil War because I realized that I had seen some of the movies only once.

Re-watching Ant-Man didn't stir up many thoughts, although I liked it still on the second viewing.  I think knowing what to expect made that movie better.

Thor Dark World on the other hand... I feel like this is clearly the worst movie in the whole MCU.  It doesn't know what kind of movie it wants to be.  Sometimes it tries for humor, other times it's super dark, sometimes it's cosmic.  The tone of the movie is really hard to pin down and the pacing swings wildly.

This is one of those movies where I'm glad I watched it again because I wanted to remember what happened but I didn't actually enjoy my time watching it.  There are a handful of MCU movies that don't live up to the others but this one is so far below them for me personally.

I'm actually really curious about this so I started asking friends online about which MCU movie is the worst.  Consistently the three movies I heard from people were Thor Dark World, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3.  I also heard Incredible Hulk from some people but I honestly think most people forget that one is technically part of the MCU.

How about you dear reader?  Which do you think is the worst MCU movie out there?

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