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The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 73:
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Finally), Plagiarism at IGN, and Nintendo Smash Direct

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming Podcast, we (Rich and Jordan) discuss the recent Nintendo Direct and all the exciting new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate news, before diving headlong into the crazy and unprecedented IGN plagiarism scandal involving Filip Miucin. We also finally get around to talking about one of the biggest and best games of this generation, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

And after some quality time chasing down the Wild Hunt, what better to cleanse your 80-hour open-world RPG palatte than with a discussion of the games we've been playing recently on Nintendo Switch and 3DS. They include: WarioWare Gold, Mario and Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Splatoon 2, Toad’s Treasure Tracker, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

So join us, as we marvel at the sheer vastness of Velen (and the intimidating list of Witcher contracts and sidequests contained therein), and then fall in love with Nintendo Switch all over again. This...is the Joy of Gaming!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 70:
Mission: Impossible - Fallout Review and Series Retrospective

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich, Kevin and Young) are geared-up and ready for action with a review of Mission: Impossible - Fallout, the latest in the sense-shattering spy-action franchise that somehow keeps raising the stakes with each new entry. Fallout is actually the sixth film in the series (and the second directed by Christopher McQuarrie) and it has proved to be an explosive hit with audiences and critics alike.

In our Joy of Geek Review, we look at all aspects of the film, including the narrative, plot twists, cast of characters, action set-pieces, stunts, cinematography, fight choreography, soundtrack and more, and decide how well Fallout fares in the modern movie landscape. We also look back at the previous five Mission: Impossible films - from M:I 1 through Rogue Nation - tracing the lineage of the series and offering our thoughts on the quality of each entry.

And since this is an episode of TJOG, we also take time to discuss the latest geek culture news, and recap what we’ve been watching and reading lately. This week’s topics include: Sharp Objects on HBO, Sons of Anarchy, new pseudo-reality series Castaways, Bloodshot: Salvation, a visit to Blerdcon, Star Trek 4 without Pine and Hemsworth, Ruby Rose as Batwoman, The Oscars' new "Popular Film" category, and more. 

So join us, as we avoid danger (and a number of double-crosses and mask-pulls) to get the perfect review and save the world from certain destruction. This...is The Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 69:
San Diego Comic-Con 2018 - Featuring Aquaman, Shazam, Glass, and Titans 

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) discuss the largest and most important geek-culture convention of the year, San Diego Comic-Con 2018. And while this year’s SDCC was typically light on comic-book-specific news, it offered a cavalcade of new movie and TV trailers, and some really exciting announcements.

Our discussion includes: new trailers for Aquaman, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Glass, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and Shazam!, some Star Wars Episode IX news, Disney’s acquisition of Fox, new and disturbing details about the DC Universe streaming service, and more. And as a SPECIAL BONUS, we watch the Titans trailer Live! on the podcast, and share our, um, decidedly strong reactions.

So join us, as we marvel at vast undersea cities, question why Eleven from Stranger Things is in almost every scene of the Godzilla trailer, and try really hard to understand why Robin is so angry at Batman. This...is the Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 68:
Ant-Man and The Wasp Review

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) review Ant-Man and The Wasp, the newest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly and directed by Peyton Reed. Ant-Man and the Wasp actually takes place before the events of this past summer’s Avengers: Infinity War, and its stylish brand of action-comedy offers a welcome reprieve from that film’s brutal intensity. We weigh in on all aspects of the film, including the cast of characters, overall narrative, action setpieces, humor and more, and discuss how it compares to its predecessor - 2015’s Ant-Man - as well as the rest of the MCU.

Also on this episode, we discuss some recent news, including: the multiple new Joker films planned for the DCEU, the announcement of a standalone Black Widow film, Steve Ditko, the “Wedding Issue” charade of Batman 50, The Purge TV show, and more. And no episode of the podcast would be complete without a rundown of what we’ve been watching and reading lately, including: Southern Bastards Vol. 4, Doctor Strange by Donny Cates, Batman: White KnightThe Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring, HBO’s Sharp Objects, and Take-Two on ABC, to name a few.

So join us, as we take a perilous journey to the quantum realm to acquire quantum energy and save our friend Ghost. Nothing bad could possibly happen, right? Snap. This...is the Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 72:
E3 2018 Press Conference Round-up and Hollow Knight Review

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming Podcast, we (Rich and Jordan) dive headlong into E3 2018 to discuss all of the biggest games and announcements from this year’s convention - including Cyberpunk 2077, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Kingdom Hearts III, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and so much more. We also discuss each of the major E3 press conferences - from Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Nintendo, EA and Square Enix - and offer our thoughts on who had the best showing this year.

And if that wasn’t enough, we round out the festivities with our review of Hollow Knight: a game that was surprise-launched during Nintendo’s E3 Briefing and has completely stolen our hearts in the days since. This is a Metroidvania of the first order, set in the beautifully desolate world of Hallownest and it offers 30-40 hours of side-scrolling / hack-n-slash / platforming action with a bit of Dark Souls thrown in for good measure. In other words, this game is pretty special, so carve out some space in your list of favorite games and check out our review.

So join us, as we offer one-stop shopping for all of your “I wonder what happened at E3 this year” needs. This...is the Joy of Gaming!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 67:
Exploring the Halls of Junior High Horrors with Rob Potchak, Rob Retiano and Billy Parker

On this special episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) introduce you to the spooky world of Junior High Horrors: and all-ages Horror comic series launching later this year. We recently had an opportunity to interview the creative team - Writer Rob Potchak, and Artists Rob Retiano and Billy Parker - to discuss their individual origin stories, their introduction to comics, and the genesis of Junior High Horrors.

This episode was recorded live at Arkham Comix in Rocky Mount NC, so things do get unpredictable and noisy at times, but this episode offers a unique glimpse into the life of independent comic creators on the road promoting their work. And since this is The Joy of Geek, we also squeeze in some chat about the films, TV shows and comics we've been enjoying lately, as well as what we're looking forward to in the weeks and months to come.

So join us, as we battle our way through thumping background bass and the clatter of after-con table breakdown, all in pursuit of the ultimate interview. This...is The Joy of Geek. Live!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 66:
Best Summer Blockbusters and Incredibles 2

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) celebrate the time-honored tradition of the Summer Blockbuster with a look back at our Top 3 favorites from the 21st Century, and a few subtle nods to the 80s and 90s for good measure. From trilogies to cinematic universes to stand-alone masterpieces, this was a tough list to make, with films like The Dark Knight, Bridesmaids, Mad Max: Fury Road and Pirates of the Caribbean all in contention.

And speaking of blockbusters, few releases are as hotly anticipated as this summer’s Incredibles 2 - the Disney Pixar animated superhero sequel 14 years in the making. But how does Brad Byrd’s sequel compare to the widely-beloved original? Kevin - our resident Pixar aficionado - weighs in with a mini-review. We also discuss some recent news and media we’ve been enjoying - including the renewal of Lucifer on Netflix, the relaunch of DC’s Vertigo imprint, the nordic-noir series Marcella, The Planet of The Apes Trilogy and more.

So join us, as Nolan and Spielberg go head to head in a celebration of Hollywood’s biggest season of spectacle. This...is The Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 65:
Solo: A Star Wars Story Review and Westworld Season 2 Update

On this episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich and Kevin) review the new film Solo: A Star Wars Story, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a young Han Solo, and directed by Ron Howard. The film went through a famously troubled development cycle, including a change in director, last-minute acting lessons and drastic reshoots on its journey to the screen, but does the final product deliver on the promise of a fun, swashbuckling Star Wars adventure?

In our Spoilercast and Review, we look at Solo from all angles - from the performances by Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and Woody Harrelson, to the quality of the script, to the visual effects, original score, surprise cameos and easter eggs and beyond - and debate its overall success, both as a Han Solo origin story, and as a standalone film. We also discuss the film's abyssmal performance at the box office and offer some theories on why audiences aren't showing up. 

But first, we make a brief stop at Westworld (and The Rajand Shogun World) to check-in on the show’s second season and decide whether or not the magic of season one is back. Hint: it is. We also discuss what we’ve been reading and watching lately, including: Deadpool 2, American Gods (and Neil Gaiman’s work in general), Howard’s End, XO Manowar and more. And in news, we discuss Lucifer’s cancellation and search for a new home, and celebrate The Expanse’s revival at Amazon.

So join us, as we learn where Han Solo got his name, how he met Chewbacca, and what really happened at that legendary card game...and try hard not to be disappointed. This...is The Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Episode 64:
Fall TV Upfronts 2018 - Trailers, Renewals and Cancellations

On this very special episode of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we dive headlong into the 2018 TV Season with a look at all of the newly-released trailers from ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and The CW. From ABC’s Cop Drama The Rookie starring Nathan Fillion, to Fox’s Zombie-Pandemic sci-fi show The Passage, to the new reboot of Charmed on the CW and beyond, we watched the best and the worst that this year’s TV Upfronts had to offer, and we’re here to tell you all about it.

We also discuss some of the most notable renewals (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Lethal Weapon, etc.) and cancellations (Lucifer, Last Man on Earth, etc.) as well as the near-instant revival of Brooklyn Nine Nine, and the shows we’re saddest to see come to an end (Deception, iZombie, etc.). And as a note, The Expanse had yet to be revived by Amazon at time of recording, but it’s fantastic news.

So join us, as we continue our annual tradition of watching trailers, making a list of shows we want to check out, and then cautiously tempering our expectations. This...is The Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 71:
God of War Spoiler-Free Discussion, Resident Evil Zero and More

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming, we (Rich and Jordan) discuss one of the biggest gaming releases of the year, God of War. The game’s creative director Cory Barlog has long been a subject of interest and speculation on the podcast, and now we finally know what he’s been doing for the past five years. This ambitious reinvention of the God of War franchise takes Kratos out of Ancient Greece and into the world of Norse mythology, and has been garnering near-universal praise from fans and critics alike. We dive into a spoiler-free discussion of the first half of the game, weighing in on the revamped combat system, the Mjolnir-like Leviathan axe, the game’s new setting of Midgard, the story and addition of Kratos’ son Atreus, and much more.

But before we journey to the Lake of the Nine for some much needed R&R, there is some recent gaming news to discuss, including: Destiny 2’s new game mode and Warmind expansion, SNK Neo Geo Mini reveal, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and its lack of single-player, a new trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2, Labo’s sales success, new Overwatch updates, and more. We also have some other game’s we’ve been playing recently to talk about, including: Resident Evil Zero Remaster, Just Cause 3, Far Cry 5, What Remains of Edith Finch, a brief discussion of the SNES mini, and more.

So join us, as we grab our Leviathan Axe, greet Freya in her turtle lair, and set out to spread the ashes of our beloved from the highest point in the Nine Realms. This...is the Joy of Gaming!

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