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Posts from the ‘Throwdown’ Category

26
Jul
Arcane

Throwdown: Magic and Fantasy

One of the core elements of fantasy is that it contains the fantastical. What could be more fantastical than the inhuman powers of magic wielded by the denizens of the universe? Magic is often found in fantasy books, although its provenance varies widely. In some universes, magic is an innate ability of certain people; in others it is merely the ability to bend wild forces of the universe to one’s will. What cannot be disputed is that magic has a significant effect on the worlds in which it exists.

When authors write magic into their books, they have to make a choice about how much of a factor it will be. Whether this choice is made consciously or not, it must be made, and it can make a big difference in how well the universe holds together. Magic, poorly incorporated, can result in instances of the Superman Problem, and, in doing so, cheapen the quality of an otherwise good book. I’m not bashing magic here. I’m saying that the way an author treats magic makes a huge difference in how well the constructed world holds up.

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20
May
Superman Power

Throwdown: The Superman Problem

Everyone knows that the point of superheroes is that they’re heroic. They kick ass, take names, and generally always win. Everyone also knows that things that only ever win are boring. Imagine playing chess against a two year old or being Charlie Sheen. Okay… being Charlie Sheen might be marginally more interesting.

Anyway, to the point. I can’t stand superheroes who are too ‘super’ – superheroes who in their natural form can’t be defeated. I’m looking at you Superman. Thor too, although he’s a slightly different case. In fact, I’m going to argue that these characters suffer from the “Superman Problem”.

Read more on The Superman Problem.

8
Jan
Torchlight II

Throwdown: Torchlight II or Diablo III?

Third and I both recently delved back into the depths under the town of Torchlight.  Though I can’t speak for Third (but I can order for him at restaurants), I have to say I’m even more impressed now than I was the first time I played through the game.  So much so, that, as I told Wade (to his confused mixture of disappointment and disbelief), I am now officially more excited for Torchlight II than I am for Diablo III.

And the music comes to a screeching halt.  Hit the jump to throw it down. Read moreRead more

18
Oct
Question Mark

Throwdown: When is it Okay to Modify an Existing Work?

A couple of recent events have been the catalyst for this post. First, you may have noticed my recent rant about how George Lucas can’t seem to leave his beloved original Star Wars trilogy alone. Second, all of my posts about The Gunslinger convinced Tom to read it – but he read an earlier edition of the book, which Stephen King revised after he wrote the subsequent ones in the Dark Tower series. Third, I heard recently (and yes, I realize that this is not new but I just heard about it) that they are going back and recoloring some of the early issues of Sandman for the release of Absolute Sandman.

Each of these things involves an artist (using the term loosely) going back and editing their past works. Both Stephen King and George Lucas made the changes that they did for continuity reasons, and the Star Wars and Sandman changes are partly being made to take advantage of the changing technology landscape. Why is it that in some cases we are okay with these revisions, and in others we have problems with them? I have a few thoughts.

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27
Sep
Let the Right One In

Throwdown: Can You Read Subtitles?

Everyone loves to complain about movie remakes.  It’s a fact of life and teh internets.  And, while most of them tend to be superfluous (cough Platinum Dunes cough), it’s hard for me to get too up in arms.  For example, when was the last time you actually watched A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)?  Trust me, it doesn’t hold up well.  Whether we like it or not, those kinds of remake$ aren’t going anywhere, and I’ve accepted that.  What worries me is that the remake virus seems to be mutating into a far more insidious strain.  Search for a cure after the jump.

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12
Sep
Hipster Hitler

Throwdown: Is This “Okay”?

So I honestly had trouble deciding this one, which is why I opted to put it to you, the discerning and refined readers of NNAR.   A brand-new webcomic caught my attention a few days ago, and then moments later left me dumbstruck and uncertain of whether I should laugh or be seriously disgusted.  Said controversial comic?  Hipster Hitler.  Get the link and the debate after the jump.

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20
Aug
Batman vs. Superman

Throwdown: Two Nerds Enter, One Nerd Leaves!

Alright, kids, I hope you have your big-boy pants on, because today it gets rough – today we introduce the Throwdown.  Contributors and readers alike are not only invited but encouraged to throw in their two cents, not just once but as many times as you like, until your opinion on the day’s question has been thoroughly expressed.  Now, obviously, this could get real ugly real quick, but here at Nerd News And Reviews we like to think that we’re a pretty classy outfit, so try to keep the flaming of other readers to a minimum, or at least keep it on topic.  In other words, we don’t need to hear about politics or religion.

The first Throwdown topic: The Goon movie, the trailer, and specifically the casting of the main characters.  Hit the jump to enter the fray. Read moreRead more