My Top Five Mario Kart 8 Courses

by Matthew Thompson

I’m not sure if or when I’ll get around to a Mario Kart 8 review. The short of it would be that it is my new favorite Mario Kart and in the mix for my 2014 Game of the Year. I figured for now I’d run down my five favorite new tracks from the game. I’ve also added some other favorites and things below. Here they are Continue reading

My Most Anticipated Returning TV Shows of the Fall

by Matthew Thompson

Last week I talked a bit about the new shows I will be checking out this Fall. This week is all about the returning TV shows I’ll be tuning into in the next few months. Once again I’ve picked out the ones I’m most excited to see for the first section. Then I will run down everything else I’ll be watching briefly afterwards. Each list is in the order they will premiere this season. This is also just Fall stuff, so nothing that is coming back next year some time. Here it goes Continue reading

My Most Anticipated New TV Shows of the Fall

by Matthew Thompson

The new Fall Season is almost upon us, so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the new shows I will be watching this season. It is hard to say what exactly I will stick with and there is always the chance I will end up watching something I overlooked when compiling this list, but this is the plan for now. The first six I feel pretty solid on and the batch I talk about in the end I will be sampling to see how they are. Also this is just Fall stuff (the rest of 2014). Any midseason/2015 stuff (iZombie, Kimmy Schmidt, etc.) I will talk about at a later date. Here it goes Continue reading

LEGO 70801 Melting Room (The LEGO Movie) Review

by Matthew Thompson

LEGO Melting Room

Whether you are a fan of building LEGO sets or not, you probably loved The LEGO Movie. And who can blame you? It was just an excellent animated film loaded with creativity. After watching it, I wanted so badly to go get some sets based on the movie, but my favorites, Benny’s Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! and MetalBeard’s Sea Cow, were a little too expensive for me. I might still get the spaceship down the line, but I talked myself out of it initially. One day at the store I did make an impulse buy of this Melting Room set and figured I’d give it a quick review.

LEGO Melting Room 2

The Melting Room is a small set containing 122 pieces and three minifigures. It depicts the scene from the movie where Emmet is taken in by the Robo Police to have the Piece of Resistance melted off his back, but Wyldstyle comes in to save the day. The actual built part including the laser and restraining bed doesn’t do a lot for me. When it comes to sets, I usually prefer structures that feel complete whether that be a vehicle or a full building of some kind. And this doesn’t really deliver that. I do think the build of the laser is pretty good. It and the bed have some decent movement capabilities which is nice, but otherwise there isn’t a whole lot to love here.

LEGO Melting Room Minifigures

The real appeal of the Melting Room and the reason I decided to get this set at all were the minifigures. If I don’t ever get another movie set, I will now at least have one of both Emmet and WyldStyle, but the figures themselves are really fantastic. Along with the movie’s two leads you get a Robo SWAT officer shown here.

LEGO Melting Room Emmet Minifigure

Here is another look at Emmet. As you can see in the last two photos, Emmet has two different expressions depending on which way you face his head. I love the panicked look you see in the group shot (easily my favorite part of this figure), but having a more normal look is nice too. Emmet also comes with the Piece of Resistance which goes on via a neck piece like a backpack or cape might.

LEGO Melting Room Wyldstyle Minifigure

My absolute favorite part of this set is the Wyldstyle figure. When I watched the movie and saw her in the hoodie, I thought to myself, “I hope there is a minifigure of her with the hood up like that.” Sure enough there was and I am very happy to have it in my collection. She also sports two looks. The straight face here and the half-smirk in the group shot. I prefer the smirk, but it is good to have both. I love the hood. The bit of her hair that you see is built right into it. It is also made of a softer rubber and not the hard plastic of the usual helmet peice. And it just looks great.

LEGO Melting Room Wyldstyle Minifigure 2

In this shot you can see some of the detail on the side of the hood, her arm and her back featuring her graffiti-style designs. Overall this is just a fantastic minifigure and really delivers what I was hoping when I first saw her appear this way in the movie.

LEGO Melting Room Weapons

This final shot shows the weapons that are included in this set. An axe for Wyldstyle. A gun and handcuffs (there are two pairs) for the SWAT officer. As someone who never buys any modern City sets, these are my first handcuffs and it doesn’t hurt to have them as part of my collection. I may have something similar to the gun from a space set or something, but again, not bad to have another. The gun has a clip in the top which could be used to mod it a bit and turn it into something a bit more complicated. Some kind of heavy-duty laser gun or sniper rifle perhaps.

I’d have a hard time recommending this set for anything but the minifigures. The price seems fine for what you get (I paid $13), but there just isn’t anything particularly special about the set itself. So as much as I personally love the Wyldstyle figure included in this Melting Room set, it isn’t a set I’d say has a lot of value outside of someone trying to collect the whole LEGO Movie theme.

New Super Mario Bros. U Review

by Matthew Thompson (Images-Nintendo, the NSMBU site can be found here)

 

If you’ve played a New Super Mario Bros. game, you sort of know what you are getting into at this point with NSMBU. This is the fourth installment in the New sub-series that saw Mario return to his 2D platforming roots and because of that a bit of fatigue has set in for me. But that isn’t to say NSMBU wasn’t worth my time. Few 2D platformers can match Mario these days and while U treads similar ground to the other New Super Mario Bros. games, it is definitely one of the better ones Continue reading

Takeaways: College Football Week 1

by Matthew Thompson

Hey everyone. Takeaways is hopefully going to be a regular feature I do throughout football season. Maybe not weekly but just to check in with either college or pro football every now and then. I’ll just talk about a few things that struck me about the sport that week and what I was taking away from the weekend that was in football. Today I will start with a few things that caught my eye in the opening weekend of college football Continue reading