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Hugh Likes Comics: We Ride Titans

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We Ride Titans #1
Written by Tres Dean
Drawn by Sebastian Piriz
Colored by Dee Cunniffe
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Published by Vault Comics

We Ride Titans #1

The Skinny:  Evangelion meets Dynasty.

Kit Hobbs doesn’t get along with her family. So when her brother has a breakdown and Kit is called back home, she’s upset. But as much as she hates her family, she’s still willing to step into his shoes to pilot the family giant robot and protect the city of New Hyperion from monster attacks.
We Ride Titans #1 is one of those comics that fits squarely into my wheelhouse. Queer angst and messy family drama set against giant robot vs. daikaiju action? Sign me up. So I had a feeling this book would be an easy sell for me. And while the first issue doesn’t do much more than limn the characters and the setting and set up their relationships, it’s still an appealing introduction to the story and the setting.
Dean’s writing and dialog are as sharp as a monster’s claws, as we get a contrast of Nexus Command’s outward presentation versus the mess they are struggling to keep in. Giant monsters are a fun metaphor for this sort of chaos, and Kit being completely unable to handle it is very human. Her shaky relationship with her partner Jen is also interesting, as we see her consistently trying to do right, but just not having the tools. And when Kit’s mom shows up to bring her back after her brother fails, we get a clean, crisp look at her world falling apart. These sorts of stories really only work when the story outside of the SF elements is compelling in its own right, but so far, We Ride Titans delivers.
Piriz and Cunniffe also deliver on the art. The backgrounds all have a very sharp, angular, and modern feel to them. Everything feels like it was just rebuilt on the cheap yesterday. We see lots of struts and exposed brick. The world doesn’t feel lived-in so much as hastily rebuilt. Cunniffe’s colors are warm but not pleasant, they’re muted and bruise-like. The book exudes a feeling of papered over trauma, shakily standing but ready to collapse or explode at any moment, just like the characters.
One detail I loved was a page of Kit driving through the desert. She passes a city in the middle of nowhere, and we see a battle being fought in the background. A robot being helicoptered in, a shot of two massive figures battling amid towers that must always be under construction. Kit just adjusts her mirror and keeps on driving through the night.
We Ride Titans #1 is the setup to something that I think is going to be something special. It is available now from Comixology and Your Local Comics Shop!

Podcast: NP34 – Giant Therapy Robot

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Welcome to Nostalgia Pilots! This week, Hugh, Spence, Jurd, and Jason watch Gundam Wing episode 34: And Its Name is Epyon!

Click HERE to listen online!

This Week: Wing Zero turns Zech’s head, Heero James Bonds his way to Treize’s basement, and Treize is murdersexual.
Plus, Epyon is a fancy purse, Lady Une was the only one who knew how the coffeemaker works, and the Nostalgia Pilots consider the question, is Dorothy the coolest girl in Gundam?

Promo: Glow in the Dark Radio!
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Hugh Likes Video Game: Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Published by Nintendo
Played on Nintendo Switch

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The Skinny: I don’t know what to tell you. if you haven’t heard of it by now. It’s really good.

So, yeah, Zelda Breath of the Wild has been out for a year, and praise has been heaped upon it. And it is well deserved. Like most of the core Nintendo franchises, Zelda games tend to iterate on a formula. Installments have stayed closer or farther from this formula, but in general, the pattern of travel around a persistent map and complete X number of elemental dungeons before fighting Gannon persists. Breath of the Wild reduces the dungeon count and instead focuses a bit more on the sprawling map, that is none-the-less filled with things to do.
Zelda BotW takes several design cues from Western RPGs like The Elder Scrolls in that there is always something interesting around the next corner. It also follows the design choices of A Link Between Worlds in that it gives the player his tools up front, and lets them tackle the game’s challenges as they wish, although there does feel like an ideal path.
While the game doesn’t offer the robust character development you typically see in Western RPGs, it does have a huge map full of things to do. Breath of the Wild replaces the hidden heart containers from previous games with Shrines, little formalized puzzle rooms scattered throughout the map, which also function as fast-travel points after you activate them. There are lots of mountains to climb, stuff to collect, and monsters to fight, and it rarely feels like a chore.
The four main quests do feel somewhat repetitive, as they each have the same basic structure, although the design for the dungeon-sized Divine Beasts are quite cool. The game has a very aggressive weapon and shield durability system, which will mean you will be spending a lot of time collecting replacement swords rather than relying on the familiar Master Sword. Fortunately, there is a huge variety of new ones to collect, so it does add some variety to the experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a huge, beautiful adventure with a new surprise over every ridge. It brings back a refreshing sense of freedom to the series, and is a must-play, in my opinion. You can find it for the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Wii-U.