Six-Gun Gorilla #1 – The Review

Six-Gun Gorilla #!
Six-Gun Gorilla #!

Hey folks, I just happened to review Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely’s sensational new comic, Six-Gun Gorilla #1, over at DestroyTheCyborg. If you’re a fan of giant apes or gunslingers, or think you might be interested in a combination of the two, you should: 1) read my review and 2) go buy the book!

It’s more silly space-age simian fun than you can shake a stick at!

Want to stay abreast of all the awesome things I write about? Follow me on Twitter, follow my Tumblr, and check out my YouTube channel!

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TMNT: Out of the Shadows – Talking Raphael

comics-teenage_00365201Raphael, the turtle with the ‘tude, gets the special I Speak Comics treatment today. We’ll be looking at the furious hero’s Out of the Shadows trailer in an attempt to dissect his playstyle and see what makes him tick. Hopefully we won’t be getting a sai in the eye for our trouble. As I stated in the previous Donatello breakdown, take everything you see and read here with a HUGE grain of salt. Biggest one you can find. This is based on what? Pre-alpha footage? Everything here is subject to change. But let’s get started shall we? Check out the trailer below!

Unlike Donnie, who can use his bo staff to lay the smack down from a distance, Raphael is an in your face sort of guy, someone who likes to get up close and personal while shelling out the pain. In TMNT: Out of the Shadows, the turtles’ resident bad boy appears to be the token grappler, with a host of throws ready to send foes into a whole new galaxy of pain. Add in some brutal knees, elbows, and sais and you’ve got one mutant you do not want to mess with.

Green Zangief?
What intrigues me most here is the sheer number of different throws Raphael has at his disposal. Let’s dig into this video, the first throw we see is an awesome looking izuna drop (:15). Next up is what looks like a modified, extra brutal Osoto Gari (:19). Did I mention he has a power bomb too? Check out 21 seconds in. Oh and Raph has no problem grabbing a leg and straight up giant swinging a baddie into next Tuesday (:25)! Also if you look at a few other videos, namely the IGN breakdown video, you can see him doing a suplex of sorts at 2:26 into a ground pound. It even looks like you can combo into these throws, as you can see at :29 in the Raph trailer.

He also has a throw, possibly a special move/contextual where he face slams a duo of punks into the pavement (:47). Finally, like Donnie’s parry/counter, Raph has one too. However, instead parrying and landing a single strike, Raphael counters and tosses his opponent away (:45). I like we’re seeing a different flavor of counter for each character. Just adds to the awesome.

Now that we know he has all these awesome throws, the question becomes, are they safe? So many of these have a ton of startup and the animations, while super cool, take forever to complete. Can enemies knock Raphael out of his throws? Because if so, using them will be incredibly dangerous unless you’re finishing off a lone enemy.

teenage_mutant_ninja_turtles_by_deemonproductionsMuai Thai Master
Raph’s fighting style looks heavily influenced by Muai Thai forms. The attack he does right after that first izuna drop at 15 seconds is a picture perfect copy of Sagat’s focus attack in Street Fighter 4. Maybe a little Brian fromAll you need to do is look at all those huge elbows and knees he’s dropping on fools to know Raph’s watched more than a couple of Tony Ja’s flicks. If we were going to compare these big knees to Batman, I have a feeling that they’re momentum based. The more you whomp on guys without getting hit and keeping your combo going, the easier it is to put down bad guys with one hit.

Special Moves
At the beginning of the video we see Raph send himself careening into foes, sais out (:11). You can bet this is a shout out to Tournament Fighters. It looks great for tagging folks and closing the distance quickly, but there is some start up on the attack so you don’t want to just throw this out while surrounded in a brawl. Also this video gives us the first real example of a turtle using the environment to attack. At 38 seconds Raph wall runs on a big ol’ truck trailer, leaps off and sais a dude in the face. He looks like he actually throws his weapons too, which is a little odd?

The Numbers Game
Finally, remember how we were messing around and broke down Donnie’s stats relative to the rest of turtles in power, range, mobility, and speed? Well if we do that for Raph, purely based on what we see here in the videos he might be – Power: 3, Range: 1, Mobility: 2, Speed: 3. You know now that I think about it, it might be better to do a 5 point scale, just so that Leo can be a 3 in ever category… Ah well.

Final Thoughts
I think Raph is going to be a lot of fun to play as and brings some interesting things to the table. His throws look devastating, all his moves are brutal; he definitely appears to be channeling his rage into people’s faces. If you guys dug this little bit snippet of turtle soup, I’m going to be putting up a Mikey breakdown in the very near future, so keep your eyes peeled!

New Issue of Symbolia – Heroines – Out Now!

tumblr_mnxso02NIA1rqjcjlo1_r8_500.gifHey everyone, just wanted to let you know that issue #3 of Symbolia hit virtual newsstands today, and this one has my name in it! But really, you’re going to want to check this bad boy out. It has work from a truly incredible array of artists, from Dan Archer to Lucy Bellwood to Leela Corman to Jeff Ruliffson, and features inspiring stories from women around the world as reported by Sara Mirk and more!

There are five complete tales inside: LUNA OF CAIRO, THE DECISIONS, MEERA’S STORY, and two different but connected stories in DECLASSIFIED. You’ll learn about the difficult circumstances of a belly dancer in Cairo, the harsh realities of life after the military and Guantanamo Bay, and the insidious human trafficking trade in Nepal. It’s a powerful issue and if you love hard hitting stories and comics, you should absolutely give Symbolia a look.

Follow Symbolia on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and be sure to pick up issues or subscribe to the magazine here!

 

TMNT: Out of the Shadows – Donatello Breakdown

tmnt-donatelloOn the NES he was everyone’s go to turtle because of that beautiful bo staff, that’s right folks, today we’re talking the mean machine-lover Donatello! We still have a couple of weeks until Out of the Shadows drops, so that means here at I Speak Comics we’re going to scrutinize every character trailer, break down what’s going down, and make a lot of baseless assumptions about combat and gameplay mechanics. Take EVERYTHING here with a huge helping of salt. Sound good?

Before we get started, let’s put a few things on the table. From what I’ve been hearing, TMNT: Out of the Shadows will have combat that resembles the Batman: Arkham series. There are some very choice moments in all the clips where I can very much see that being possible, so I’m going to base a lot of the language and comparisons I use around Arkham. Cool? So without further ado, let’s talk about the Testudine techie, Donnie!

Numerical Values!
As of right now it seems like we can break the turtles down into having four unique characteristics: power, range, mobility, speedPower indicates the strength of their attacks, range indicates the distance from which they can hit enemies, mobility is their movement speed and ability to dodge, and speed is how quickly they can chain attacks together. Going from everything we’ve heard, and assigning some arbitrary and again, baseless, numbers, we might suppose Donnie would look a little like – Power: 4, Range: 4, Mobility: 1, Speed: 1. Obviously, the higher the number the better the turtle is in that aspect so here he’s capable of dealing the most damage from furthest away, but he’s a real clunker.

Let’s Talk Attacks
Now let’s get down to the actual nitty gritty pixels we saw in the trailer above. First thing, I want to draw your eye quickly to 12 seconds in, just before the first big power blow. Notice how the enemy is sort of keeled over? I think this indicates that enemies can be stunned. Will it be like Batman hitting thugs in the face with his cape, a brief period of dizziness allowing for a free attack? Will every turtle have access to an attack like this?

The next thing of note is at 15 seconds, where Donnie utilizes his launcher. He immediately follows it up with a spike. First let me say I’m geeked for launchers. That opens up a whole new dimension of aerial combat that was absent from Arkham’s wholly ground-focused gameplay. I’m curious though, can you choose to avoid the spike and simply leave them to fall into a juggle combo? That’d be a addition to the combo system.

Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 1.26.58 PM

Specials Attacks? Who knows!
At right around 20 seconds you’ll see him spin the bo staff around his neck. If it’s an attack I don’t know how much range it would have or how useful it could be, but god does it look sweet! Then comes one of the coolest attacks in the trailer, Donnie channels a little Neo, planting his staff, jumping, and running on faces (:21). If you’ll notice, every enemy he kicks in the face falls down, likely freeing Donnie up some space for extra punishment. Crowd clearing anyone?

At :32 we’ve got the toe tap, aka dance monkey, aka one of Kilik’s most annoying attacks from Soul Calibur. Maybe this is a way to open up turtling (heh) opponents? I can’t imagine many uses for it besides to style on fools. Then at :33 he’s got a bo staff flash kick, an homage to the one and only Guile of Street Fighter fame. Don’t forget about the whirlwind, as Donnie takes a page out of Guan Yu’s book and cosplays a whirlwind (:37), swinging his staff in two huge circles with massive range. For all it’s range, this doesn’t look spammable, as you’ll notice one of the Foot soldiers blocking the attack.

Countering
I’m very happy to say that it also looks like our turtles have a parry/counter move. Check at about 40 seconds in, Don blocks an attack from behind and then whips around and lands a crushing blow to his nefarious ninja opponent. I know there’s not a lot to go on here, but look closely. There’s a brief flash of light, then the Foot’s arms go up in the air along with his sword, a very “countered” stance. Though I could absolutely be wrong. I don’t think I am though… Anyway!

Throws
One of the best examples of the free-flow combat we might see in Out of the Shadows is right at :28, where Donnie knocks a ninja down, then immediately turns and throws an enemy that’s standing behind him. Very Batman. I wonder though, is there a throw button? We’ve heard that there’s a weapon attack button and a kick button, and likely a dodge/roll button, but what triggers a throw? Could you throw in Batman, or was that only when the combo counter got high enough? I can’t remember, but hey, we’ve got awesome looking throws!

Not the End!
So that’s it for this entry, I hope you guys enjoyed it and took a look at the trailer a little more closely. There’s a bunch of stuff in there to get you hyped for this game, and more specifically for our favorite staff-wielding turtle. He’s got power and range, a slew of awesome attacks, and more than enough style to swing a stick at. I’m going to be doing Raphael tomorrow, so look out for that. Grab some pizza and I’ll see you soon!

Follow me on Twitter @kingofbreaker for more turtles, comics, and video game goodness!

Fairest #16 Review over at DestroyTheCyborg

Fairest #16
Fairest #16

I have yet another review up over at DestroyTheCyborg, this time I talk about the latest addition to the Fairest series, Fairest #16. Witness the return of Prince Charming, dhole action, and other awesome!

Coming off of the awesome “Hidden Kingdom” arc that pit Rapunzel, searching for her lost children, against the Japanese fable community, does the second issue of “The Prince Who Would Be Maharaja” continue Fairest’s affinity for excellence? In a word: no, though the book does give us an interesting new female protagonist and the return of a character long thought lost during the Fabletown War.

What are you waiting for? Go check it out!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – Some Thoughts

tmnt_group

TMNT: Out of Shadows is the latest in a long line of ninja turtle video games, currently in development from Red Fly Studios. After a slew of thoroughly underwhelming showings for the four Testudine heroes, aka anything after Turtles in Time and Tournament Warriors on the SNES, could TMNT: Out of the Shadows be the game to turn the franchise around?

Unfortunately I can’t make a very good judgement call at this point because there’s very very little information out on the game. If I go with my gut I’ll say yes, this is gonna be a great turtles experience. The graphics look phenomenal, combat looks just varied enough that I’m tempted to say “deep,” and the videos almost ooze fun (see what I did there?). But Red Fly only has a TMNT Facebook page and a Youtube Channel. That’s it, which is weird when you consider the game is coming out, supposedly, at the end of this month.

I would love to see some gameplay breakdowns, character tutorials, mechanics explanations, a little something, but the best that’s out there is a five minute IGN video that does some in-depth analysis of the pre-alpha build and a little article from thesixthaxis. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess. Check out the video below.

So what can we glean from this?

COMBAT: Makes it or Breaks it
There’s a weapon attack button, a kick button, and special moves that are performed with the right stick according to that video. I wonder if the special moves are tied in any way to a “meter” system. That’s the fighting gamer in me talking. There’s no HUD present in any of the videos, so it’s not clear if the special moves will be available at all times (I hope), contextual, or meter-dependent. I’d be willing to bet that because this is a downloadable title aimed at what I assume to be a very broad audience, the special moves will be available any time, which should spice up the ninja action nicely.

The fact that the turtles play differently excites me, though I’m surprised that Donatello does the most damage, is the slowest, and has the longest range. If we think about it, I suppose we could liken him to Astaroth in SoulCalibur. Sick range, tons of power, slightly slower than the rest of the cast. If anything I assumed that Raph was going to be doing the most damage, especially since he needs to get in close to put the hurt on. Wait, lemme stop there. I’ll be talking a little more about each turtle’s trailer in subsequent posts, so for now I just want to say I’m pleased that each of our green ninjas has their own unique fighting style.

Donnie channeling Neo
Donnie channeling Neo

Getting down to the nitty gritty mechanics stuff, you’ll notice that the turtles can block, hard to tell with all that action going on,  but they can and that makes me happy. Those fights can get pretty hairy, with a veritable host of enemies ready to thwomp on our lovable reptiles, and if there wasn’t a way to block, dodge, or parry… But the brothers can leap and tumble around foes as well as block, so I think we’re set.

The heroes in half shells can also perform team attacks. You’ll notice Donatello swinging Mikey around at the end of his staff, Mikey ducking down so that Leo can trip up one of the foot, and an awesome little ode to the live-action movies with a quadruple team shell slam. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that there’s gotta be at least some cool down on those team attacks, otherwise what’s to keep players from spamming them all day? Donatello teamed with anyone could create a whirlwind of pain with insane range, turning the game into an easy mode mash fest.

No doubt tons of fun for you and up to three friends, but I wonder, because the game seems to be all about four turtles at a time, will be an option to just play on your lonesome? As in just one turtle on the screen? The combo system looks, right now, very fluid and fun and I don’t necessarily want to worry about AI controlled teammates messing up my combo flow.

Foot meet floor!
Foot meet floor!

The Sixthaxis Article likens the combat system to the Batman: Arkham series, and if that’s the case consider me hyped. That system was so ridiculously simple, and yet ludicrously difficult to master, and if this game provides even half the fun I had whomping on thugs as the caped crusader I’ll consider it a success.

And that’s it for now. Check back for individual character breakdowns in the next couple of days, but until then, stay classy errybody!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #22

TMNT #22
TMNT #22

YO! Read my review of IDW’s TMNT #22 over at DestroyTheCyborg!

“What’s not to like about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #22, the latest issue of IDW’s phenomenal turtles reboot? The cover is a brilliant (unintentional?) homage to the first live action TMNT film, Kevin EastmanTom Waltz, andBobby Curnow are plotting and writing, and Mateus Santolouco has brought his incredible art over from The Secret History of the Foot Clan mini with simply stunning results.

This creative team is setting up something stellar and I implore you, if you’ve got some extra scratch and a hankering for mutants of the Testudine variety, pick this book up!”