My First Month of Valorant…

Everyone has their game(s) that they are most excited about, and I always have a hard time because I am not a single-player fan. Very rarely is there a HUGE esports style game coming out with much of a notice. Apex Legends took us by storm back in 2019 and completely dominated the scene. Thanks to Riot Games, it looks like we will have out a game for 2020 with their previous title of Project A. Riot Games has been a Goliath over the last decade for the esports scene with League of Legends, and now they are coming in with another monster of a game. The community knew that Project A would be the next big thing at the end of 2019. Project A finally got a title right around the beta announcement, Valorant. Riot Games everyone will have the opportunity to play the beta as long as they watch at least two hours of a streamer who has drops enabled. It was an excellent way for Riot Games to bring some appreciation over to some twitch streamers. 

Riot Games (@riotgames) | Twitter

  Valorant is the game I was most excited about coming into the 2020 gaming year, and I was extremely nervous. I NEVER played an FPS on PC before so, I knew I would have a huge mountain to climb for skill. I decided to download CSGO and put about 40 hours into it a week before Valorant was coming out so I could get used to the play style, and thank goodness I did. Practicing CSGO prepared me toward a particularly useful mindset for Valorant. I slowed down the way I played a shooter, the mechanics in a game like this, and the communication in a tactical FPS. At the end of my CSGO time, I set my sights high to hit the rank of Valorant in their ranked system.

 

Riot's shooter Valorant goes into beta on April 7th - The Verge

I went on a grind of a couple of hundred hours the first month of Valorant, and when it all started it was pretty rocky. I was having a very difficult time not moving and shooting, not taking my time peeking around corners, and the call outs of the maps. It was a little discouraging at first because I was playing against people like myself who never played an FPS and then people with 10,000+ hours(from CSGO) in public matches. After some time I have adjusted to the playstyle of Valorant, and I am finally making some strides. I started at Bronze 1 for my rank, and I have already obtained Gold 1, creeping into Gold 2, in the opening week of ranked. I have spent several hours in the firing range, watching pros stream, and watching tips/tricks videos so far for Valorant and it has paid off. I am on my way to Valorant.

  Make sure to let us know what your thoughts are so far for Valorant in the comments below! Keep up with our streams for Valorant and more upcoming titles throughout the year! Let us know if you’re enjoying the articles by leaving a like, or an idea for our next article! We have our own merch shop! check it out in the links below!

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The Next Gen Waiting Game

Last April, Sony gave us a hint of what the next generation of consoles would look like by doing an exclusive interview with Wired and talking about the specs of what would become known as the PlayStation 5. They enticed readers with the idea of finally putting a solid state drive in the console reducing load times exponentially and having a graphics card that would integrate ray tracing and other enhanced visual details including 8K resolution support.

Then… months of silence. There was no answer from Microsoft about their next console time simply moved on. Then December finally came around and one of the most fun days in the gaming industry, The Game Awards, was finally here. Tons of fun announcements rolled by as host Geoff Kieghley continued to tease a major reveal that had yet to be made. Then the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, took to the stage to talk about the next generation of Xbox. They gave us some of the specs of the system, and in true Xbox fashion they really hammered home how many teraflops were in the system, and even revealed the design of the new Xbox Series X.

The reveal struck a major chord with the gaming community with millions of people getting a first glimpse of the next generation of consoles. As we all know though, once we get a taste of something we want more. Since that Xbox Series X announcement millions of gamers have been itching to know more about both next generation consoles and when they could finally get their hands on them.

However, once again, we were treated with silence. Rumors were thrown around for much of the winter that we would get an official PS5 reveal in February similar to the PS4, but we got more silence. Finally PlayStation announces it will be taking a deep dive in the next generation in March. I tune in to the reveal from start to finish hoping to get a proper reveal of the hardware and a release date but we got nothing besides a regurgitated presentation that sounded similar to the article Wired published nearly a year ago at this point. No hardware gets shown off, no release date, the only new information being the deep dive into the 3D audio that the system will have.

Not long after the presentation we finally received something of substance in the reveal of the new controller for the PlayStation 5 the DualSense. The controller is incredibly sleek and I am very much looking forward to it, but it was simply a distraction from the fact that Microsoft and Sony continue to refuse to place a date on their consoles. They have both stated that COVID-19 will not disrupt the launch of the systems simply effect the supply of them at launch.

If that is the case, why continue to wait? We are now five to six months away from the projected release dates of the two systems without any concrete information of how much the systems will cost, what the full launch lineup of games will be, and what the PlayStation 5 will even look like.

The two companies are locked in the most uneventful chess match we have had the displeasure of taking part in. Both waiting for the other to make the first move so that they can counter with a better one, and frankly, it’s silly. In a time where concurrent users are at an all time high for all platforms, these two companies should be playing all of their cards while they have everyone’s attention. Making massive reveals on their platforms with launch lineups, release points, price points, everything!

Instead, we get more silence. Microsoft has stated that, with the cancellation of E3, they will be doing their own digital briefing in June which is sure to be their platform for their reveal but Sony remains silent. In both cases though, why wait? The world is looking for something to be excited about right now in a time without, sports, movies, and every other form of entertainment being put on hold because of what is happening.

Sony and Microsoft have golden opportunities to generate a lot of excitement right now while they have the worlds attention, I just hope they take advantage of the situation. Until then, unfortunately all we can do is wait.

Thanks for reading friends! Be sure to keep up with us on social media (The Nerd Chambers on all platforms) and follow us on Spotify to catch up with all of our shows. Also, if you are ever looking for friends to game with at any point, join our discord server! (https://t.co/p7RDyusCo6) Also remember to give us your thoughts on the next gen waiting game below.

The Fortnite Effect

Hello fellow nerds,

Before thinking this article isn’t for you because Fortnite is dead or only ten year olds play fortnite think again! This article is actually a deeply rooted theory one of our writers has been pondering for quite some time in regards to the game and the explosive fame it has brought to the industry. Whether you are a fan of the game or not, this theory makes eyebrows raise and eyes turn when they here it… It is no secret or debate that Fortnite has blown up and became one of the most popular games of the past five years. But the more fascinating piece is all the individual content creators, athletics, and musicians that have been impacted and influenced by the game as well.

To give a brief background and history: I have not played the game for about a month or two now, and haven’t felt the need to. I have been preoccupied with other games that have been released. Gamers have seen various live events take place in the Fortnite universe (For example: Spaceship, Meteor, Black Hole, The Epic Duel, Volcano, Butterfly, Kevin, and the Vault). I have partaken in nearly every single one of these events, each usually after taking a small hiatus from playing the game. But this past weekend (April 23rd through April 25th), I felt so interested to partake in the specific event taking place. The specific event was “Astronomical Presented by Travis Scott” which was a virtual world tour all done through Fortnite. Not one, not two, but five shows! Perfect timing with everything currently running virtually due to COVID-19.

20200425_185602

Now your probably wondering why was this so important, grab attention of so many people, or create excitement? Well my friend, that is the Fortnite Effect. Fortnite has increased the numbers for many peoples careers. One of the main communities popularity impacted by Fortnite is streamers. Although many of these streamers were full time streamers well before Fortnite, the game helped push their careers to the next level. Some of these streamers include but are not limited to: Ninja, Timthetatman, Myth, Nick Mercs, Dakotaz, Dr. Lupo, Bugha, Pokimane, and Nick Eh 30.

But everyone wants a piece of the Fortnite action. One of the key factors that showed the potential outreach the gaming industry has was reached when streamer Ninja, rapper/singer Drake, athlete Juju Smith-Schuster and rapper/singer Travis Scott all got online to stream and broke a record for people tuning into their Twitch livestream. Juju received many sponsorships after this because athletic sponsors realized he was an image for the new generation. Drake’s “God’s Plan” was already huge, but the numbers had increased even more to larger the top hit of 2018 after his livestream with Ninja. He also released a single a week later titled “Nice for What” which equally climbed the charts. Now we understand that Drake probably did not need the number boost, but received it anyway through Fortnite. We also understand that is not enough evidence for the Fortnite Effect.

Actors, athletes, and musicians all over the world want to participate to experience the Fortnite Effect. The list of famous people (Or people who want to kick off their careers) wanting to increase their clout through the Fortnite Effect is endless… But to name a few… Drake, Juju, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, Joe Jonas, David Meyler, Brendon Urie, Harry Kane, Josh Hart, Marshmello, and all the little kids that get so excited when they are playing with a streamer like Timthetatman.

One of the musicians that received his own event was Marshmello. He hosted a live concert that people could attend virtually on February 3rd 2019. Later that month, Epic announced that this was their largest attended live event with an astounding 10.7 million players. If you factor in those who watched it live-streamed on Twitch and other platforms, the number will definitely be much larger, while the recap of the event is currently sitting at over 49 million views. Now obviously Fortnite benefited from this collaboration with the artist with a surplus of gamers but Marshmello also heavily benefited from the marketing, music sales, and longevity of the live concert. Don’t believe the Fortnite Effect yet, Marshmello released the hit single “Happier” on August 17th of 2018. Once the event occured, “Happier” reached top 5 on the Spotify charts and Billboards while some of his other items were also climbing up the top 100 for the following week. “Happier” remained in the top 10 for the remainder of the month of February.

Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 8.20.09 PM

Now back to this weekends event, “Astronomical Presented by Travis Scott.” Streamers came back for the premiere on Thursday, over 12 million people watched Travis Scott’s first performance live, and the numbers are yet to be finalized. It wasn’t by surprise that “Stargazing” started climbing the charts by 50% before the first show even had started. Travis Scott announced on Monday that he was having a tour on Fortnite.

Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 9.10.20 PM

The clock hit zero and the concert had begun. A huge planet came crashing/floating into the stage and a huge Travis Scott appeared. The performance was electric. I felt like I was watching the future of the music industry collaborating at a genius level with the gaming industry. It was the perfect combination for a wild performance (Because anything can happen in a fictional universe). Travis bends reality, creating a theme park on fire, electric people, sinking under water, shooting neon lights everywhere, and he brings you flying in space. All of these visual appeals occurring while a towering Travis Scott is going so hard his face is melting off revealing he’s a robot.

The Fortnite Effect is working its magic through the marketing geniuses that work for Epic Games and our musician. Following the performance an email was sent out to everyone who has an Epic account with an advertisement for the newly released $65 Travis Scott x Fortnite Nerf gun was for sale next to a $75 action figure. But the marketing for a new Nerf gun sponsorship is not where the real Fortnite Effect took place for Travis Scott. He preformed his classic first smash “goosebumps” released on December 16th, 2016, “SICKO MODE” released on August 21st, 2018, “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM” which was released on October 4th 2019, and his newest single “THE SCOTTS” which was released through the Fortnite tour. Still don’t believe the Fortnite Effect, well check this out…

Screen Shot 2020-04-25 at 8.21.09 PM

Travis Scott is now running the top ten of Spotify charts and climbing the Billboards once again. He has not been in the top ten on these charts for quite some time (Barring his work with features and JACKBOYS). This is a huge testament to the Fortnite Effect. Each of these songs climbed from 178, 157, and 91. Now they are back within the top ten. His newest release THE SCOTTS was preformed and released Thursday April 23rd and it has already climbed straight to the number one spot. To see a single that was released four years ago be within the top ten is unheard of, unless they consider the Fortnite Effect.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of the Fortnite Effect. Is it real? Do you care about Fortnite anymore? If you are still playing what did you think about the Astronomical event? Overwhelming? Underwhelming? Indifferent? If you enjoyed the article, make sure to share with all your friends!

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Legends of RuneTerra First Thoughts…

Riot Games has done an incredible job with their property League of Legends. They have kept evolving League of Legends to keep it one of the most relevant games of the last decade. The game has kept the community afloat, but the lore is so enticing. We have also seen Riot Games bring in their version of auto chess with TFT, and they have don’t fascinating things with it so far. The last decade has been remarkable for Riot Games, but 2020 might be their best year yet.

  The year is starting strong with Legends of Runeterra. Riot Games just released their new online card game this past week, and the game is bringing in many player bases together. Legends of Runeterra is bringing players from League of Legends and the hardcore online card game players to one place. Runeterra takes the beloved champions of League of Legends and brings them into a card-based game. The game has a Hearthstone feel mixed with Magic the Gathering. It has a Mana system that each round your team regenerates Mana equal to which round it is. There are 3 phases to each turn, summoning, battling, and blocking. The game has introduced 2 dozen champions so far to help build your deck around them. They did an excellent job of bringing in popular and non-popular heroes into the mix to begin. It is also fantastic that they have brought in different types of decks for different play styles. You can construct a deck around gradual building teams, one card focused, or swarm compositions. 

 The game has a very balanced system for being so new, but every game has its problems when it launches. Legends of Runeterra has some issues at times with the pace of the matches. Rounds of Runeterra can be extremely prolonged because of the sectioned phases. It does allow for players to be creative with their turns because you can get back into the game with extra summoning, or you can go through the standard attack phases. Outside of the prolonged matches, Riot Games has done a fantastic job thus far. The animations in the game for special moves or champions are pleasant, and the game is reasonably balanced for how new it is. 

 It is impressive to see what Riot Games can do with their other ideas with the world of League of Legends. There is so much more to come from the studio in 2020. What are you most excited for in the upcoming year? Have you had a chance to join the fun in Legends of Runeterra? If so, let us know in the comments below what you think of it so far! If you enjoyed the article, make sure to follow us for more articles like these!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

The Fuery Film Review

Updated: 3/9/2020 Newest Movie: Onward Rating: Buy it

Hello everyone, let me preface this list with a little bit of backstory.

My name is Alex Fuery and I like movies. So much so that back in June of 2018 I decided to join AMC A-list (not a sponsor…yet?). If you don’t know what that is, basically I pay monthly to see movies whenever I want (up to 3 a week, no restrictions on things like IMAX, Dolby, etc.) 

Fast forward to the present, and I’ve taken all of the movies I have seen and compiled a tiered list for the movies I think are worthy of your time. This isn’t a numerically ranked list though; I have put each movie into one of five categories that I will explain below. 

Tier 1: Buy it. These are the movies that I think belong in everyone’s movie collection regardless of personal bias or genre preference. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these movies are my personal favorites, but I think they are fantastic and belong in every cinema fans collection. 

Tier 2: Watch it. These movies are really good. Go spend the money to see them in the theatre, they’re worth it. The only things keeping these movies from going up to the top of the list include things like genre preference; I wouldn’t recommend a musical to someone who hates music, or a horror movie to someone who hates being scared, or if the movie is really good, but not quite great. Either way, go see it. 

Tier 3: Watch it, but don’t pay for it. These movies are worth the 2ish hours of your day to watch, but maybe wait until they’re out on Netflix/your streaming service of choice. 

Tier 4: No need to see it, no need to avoid it. This tier is made for the movies you put on when there’s nothing else to watch. Maybe you’ve been looking for something to watch for the past 20 minutes and can’t find anything. If one of these pops up, go ahead and give it a watch, but don’t go out of your way to see it. 

Tier 5: Don’t watch it. These movies are just bad, don’t waste your time. 

Again, this list only contains movies I have personally seen in the theatre since joining A-List back in June 2018. I will also keep updating this list as I see more movies in the future. With all of that said, let’s get down to the list. Oh, and I will give a little bit of information about some of these movies, so just to be safe, spoiler alert.

Buy it: 

Onward: I can’t believe this movie ended up being a buy it. I honestly thought this movie would be a passable, but forgettable, addition to the animated movie Rolodex. Even for the high standards Pixar sets, this movie was fantastic! It made me laugh with genuinely funny humor, it had a full cast of characters that were all well developed and believable, and it was even more emotional than Up. On top of that, they created a wonderful universe that follows all of the rules they establish, which is a big deal for me. I also genuinely appreciate the ending of this movie, but I won’t spoil it. Just take my word for it and watch/buy this movie.

1917: This one was intense. This movie is very heavy, and it approaches life and death with a brutally cold sense of indifference. That is exactly why this movie was almost put in the “Watch it” category. Some people just don’t want to watch something like that. However, this was just too good to not be a “Buy it”. I could go on and on about this movie. It had beautiful continuous shots, heart pounding suspense, and fantastic acting throughout. The 2010’s were a bit of a renaissance for really good war movies, but 2020 might have the best one yet with 1917.

Jojo Rabbit: For a movie that was billed as Taika Waititi turning a serious book about war into “come watch me play Hitler” this movie was fantastic. It’s ridiculous, hilarious, emotional, deep, and it tells a beautifully tragic story. He perfectly balances over the top comedy with heart wrenching tragedy.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: The only superhero movie so far that breaks into the buy it tier. This movie has ground breaking visuals, A+ voice acting, a great story, and an obvious love and respect for the source material. I would recommend this to even those who say they don’t like superhero movies.

Watch it: 

The Invisible Man: Don’t watch this movie if you have high blood pressure or a heart condition. This one had my heart racing from the first scene to the last. The Invisible Man is a really good thriller on it’s own, but the story itself is even more unnerving than the action. While some of the gadgets in this movie might only exist in science fiction, the message it sends about the terrifying relationship between an abuser and the person they abuse is anything but. This movie hits you in a real way, and it doesn’t stop until the credits are rolling.

Sonic The Hedgehog: Before you say anything, I know. How the hell is this movie up there with some of the other great movies in the “Watch it” category? Hear me out. This movie is delightful. There are so many ways this movie could have been bad, but they just did everything right. Sonic is fun and funny without crossing over into being annoying, props to Ben Schwartz for some A+ voice acting. Jim Carrey was very Jim Carrey, but it all the best ways. He didn’t try to steal the show, or take away from the story, and instead gave us a great and funny villain. None of the conflict comes from places it doesn’t need to, like relationship drama or ridiculous and unrealistic decision making by the heroes. The human characters are actual characters. They are developed and have personalities of their own instead of just being flat and one dimensional. I can go on and on, but my point stands. This movie just did it right. I mean come on, this is a movie that listened to the fans and went to rework the entire design of Sonic. That alone deserves a movie ticket.

Birds Of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn): Wow that title is a mouthful. I’m not going to get preachy here, but this is what happens when you let a badass woman direct a movie about badass women, instead of having Zack Snyder touch anything. All of these characters were very well developed, and each one had a distinct personality. Some of the fight scenes fell into bad fight scene tropes like everyone one attacking one at a time, or some ridiculous logic (I’m looking at you phone to the face KO), but those were in the minority. The rest of the violence, along with most of this movie kicks ass. Couple that awesome fighting with solid character development, a good story arc, and a very well done villain, and I’m sold. This movie is everything Suicide Squad wanted to be. It was just smart enough to go with an R rating, and not go with Jared Leto as the Joker. Add this to the short list of DC movies that are totally worth the price of admission.

Parasite: What a clever and original movie. Don’t let your fear of subtitles stop you from seeing this. This movie has moments that are lighthearted and make you laugh and then within two seconds you’re sweating bullets. It also has some powerful moments that kind of catch you off guard. You can never really get comfortable with this movie. It leaves you feeling conflicted, shocked, and on edge, but in the best way possible. Give this one a watch and you’ll understand the hype behind it.

Avengers: Endgame: Has anyone not seen this movie? Of course it’s great, it broke all the records. The only reason it’s not a ”buy it” is because some people just genuinely don’t like superhero movies, so if you haven’t seen any of them then this ones not going to be for you either. If you’re reading something on TNC though I’m pretty sure you’re cool with superhero stuff. Go watch it again. 

Frozen 2: I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a grown ass man and I’ve seen this 4 times in the theatre. It is a rare sequel that rivals the original. Frozen 2 has great songs, a great story, laugh out loud moments, and a refreshing sense of self awareness. It also manages to do all of this without falling into the trap of overdoing things they found successful in the first movie.

Little Women: This movie was incredibly impressive. I left the theatre trying to think of something I didn’t like about this movie and I couldn’t come up with anything. The acting was fabulous, the characters were believable, and the story was compelling. Don’t brush this one off a just a “chick flick”, do yourself a favor and go check this one out.

Knives Out: A fun murder mystery full of twists and turns that is also refreshingly different that the typical, predictable “who done it?” This movie is also genuinely funny without having to dip into cheesy one liners or over used cliches. Points all around to the stellar ensemble cast and for excellent direction throughout.

Spider-Man: Far From Home: Tom Holland cements his status as the best Spider-Man with this one, don’t @ me. I was there for the Sam Remy’s, and I sat through the Garfield era, this is the true Spider-Man golden age. Jake Gyllenhaal was marvelous (pun intended), add in a twist at the end to make us all pumped for what’s next, and I’m ready for it.

Rocketman: For those crying about this movie not having a correct music timeline, cram it. It’s not a documentary, it’s basically a musical. It’s also fabulous. I mean what’s not to love about a movie filled with Elton John songs? Taron Egerton beautifully portrays Elton in a very believable way, and he manages to hold his own as a singer too.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu: Man this one could’ve been bad. Ryan Reynolds coming off of Deadpool to play Pikachu? I was a little worried going in, but they managed to make something that was both entertaining for kids and nostalgic for those of us that grew up with Ash Ketchum. I was pleasantly surprised to see a movie that was genuinely solid.

Shazam!: Finally! A DC movie that doesn’t suck! (Except you Wonder Woman, you were fantastic.) This movie is fun, funny, and everything you want in a hero flick. Take notes DC, more of this and less of Zack Snyder. Sorry Zack.

Captain Marvel: Marvel just keeps making hits. There are a few things in this movie you could nitpick, but why waste your time? Grab some popcorn, sit back, relax, and watch Brie Larson kick some alien butt.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Maybe it’s not as historically accurate as they try to make it seem. Maybe the living members of Queen were a little greedy with screen time. Maybe that doesn’t matter because this is still a really good movie. Take some points off for Rami Malek lip syncing if you want, but his portrayal of Freddie Mercury is incredible.

Venom: I’m not sure why this movie got as much hate as it did. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a perfect movie. You can complain even more if you’re a comic purist, but this was fun! Venom is funny, action packed, and already working toward joining the MCU.

A Star is Born: Lady Gaga can act, Bradley Cooper can sing, and this movie can join my collection. Touching, heartfelt, and all of those other words you see with movies like this. Honestly, this ones worth the watch.

Ant-Man And The Wasp: What a brilliant job Marvel did by having Paul Rudd play Ant-Man. My biggest gripe is when movies like this use “quantum” to lazily get passed having to explain anything. This movie is very guilty of that, but still definitely worth watching. 

Watch it, but don’t pay for it:

The Call Of The Wild: How is this a kids movie? This dog goes through some ruff stuff (sorry). I was a little worried at first about a movie that had all CGI dogs, but honestly I don’t know if they would have been able to pull this one off any other way. This one tugs at the heartstrings and shows the hardships that Buck goes through in his life. It has a nice message to it, some cute scenes with the dogs, some moments of darkness and sadness, and pretty much what you expect from a movie about a dog that goes through some hard times. It was a solid movie for sure, but you could probably wait until it’s available at home to see it.

Impractical Jokers: The Movie: Going into this movie I thought it was going to be a longer episode of Impractical Jokers, but with some weird or dumb plot to make the excuse that it’s a movie. I wasn’t wrong. That’s not really a bad thing though. These guys have a lot of experience in sketch comedy and acting, so the scripted scenes didn’t feel like they were completely out of place, and the unscripted stuff is right on par with what’s been on the show. Bottom line is I laughed a lot watching it, and that’s really all that matters with a movie like this. If you’re a fan of the show then you’ll probably like this movie too.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: In terms of Star Wars movies, this one’s in the middle. It’s not great, and some of the plot points are very convenient and bland. It’s also not bad, and the chemistry that has developed with some of these characters is very charming.

The Lion King (2019): This movie is a classic case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Disney kept this live action remake fairly close to the original with some minor tweaks here and there. Watch it if you’re a fan of Disney movies, but wait until it’s streaming on Disney+.

Booksmart: This movie has the feel of an early 2000’s comedy classic without having that not aging well cringe factor that those movies are starting to have. It’s very refreshing to see a movie with characters that I believe could actually exist in the real world, instead of seeing what some 50 year old rich dude thinks teenagers act like.

Wonder Park: A cute animated movie that any kid would like, and any adult would find totally watchable. What bothers me about Wonder Park is that the park in Wonder Park is called Wonderland. They don’t even say the words “Wonder Park” one time in this movie. Am I being pedantic? Maybe, but what gives?

How to Train Your Dragon the Hidden World: A very well written way to wrap up a great trilogy, but man did they murder any semblance of character development with all of their secondary characters. This one is probably the worst of the three movies, but the other two were amazing so that doesn’t mean this one is bad.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: This movie is just fun, dumb, and nice. The duel plot lines in different times is well done, the songs are catchy and make you tap your feet, and you’re just in a good mood after watching this. Give it a shot one day if you’re bored and tell me you won’t have Waterloo in your head and a smile on your face.

The Meg: Talk about fun and dumb. This movie is exactly what you think it’s going to be. If you’re down to watch a cheesy shark movie with way over the top everything and so-so acting then you’ll be in heaven.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: I feel a little bit bad putting this down here with a movie like The Meg, but I already did so there’s no going back. It’s a nice movie. If you liked the first one you’ll probably like this one, but I wouldn’t say it’s worth spending $20+ on. If you can stream it, do it. If you find it on sale, grab it. You’re not missing much if you don’t though.

No need to see it, no need to avoid it:

Jumanji: The Next Level: Classic money grab sequel from a studio. Is it bad? No. Is it good? Not really. Watching Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson play grandparents was kind of funny for a little while, and Danny DeVito is a welcome addition to almost any movie. However, watching Jack Black pretend to be a black teenager wasn’t what anyone needed to see. Not quite racist, but uncomfortable.

Zombieland: Double Tap: This one was almost a don’t watch. Another classic flop of a sequel that relied way too much on riding the wave of the original, but Zoey Deutch has a few moments that are absolutely hilarious as Madison. 

Men in Black International: One of many in a long line of movies that didn’t need to be made, but if you have some housework to do it’s worth throwing on in the background. Charming but forgettable.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: This movie falls victim to what is happening to so many preplanned movie franchises. They take the second movie in the series and make it entirely setup with no real movement behind it. You spend the entire movie waiting for climax and resolution and then the credits start rolling. They don’t care if you like it because they know you’ll be back for the next one. It’s fine, but don’t spend your money on it.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters: Even for a Godzilla movie this was kind of a let down. Maybe I’m a little harsh on it because I have a vendetta against movies that break their own rules. I’m all for agreeing to whatever rules the movie tells me this universe follows, but if you point blank tell me something that is a rule in your universe, then 5 minutes later break that rule, I’m out.

Alita: Battle Angel: I really like the idea of this movie, and Christoph Waltz is an amazing actor, but this one is just another movie that tries to wow you with visual effects in an era where that’s not enough to set a movie apart anymore . It may have worked for Avatar back in 2009, but it’s nothing special now.

Glass: Unbreakable was really cool when it came out, and James McAvoy deserves an award for each personality he played in Split, but this movie just feels forced. It’s unnecessary, and underwhelming. Chalk this one up to another miss from M. Night Shyamalan.

Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch (2018): Why? The animated one from the 60’s is perfect, and the live action one with Jim Carrey became an instant classic. What was the plan here? I guess it’s not terrible. That’s the best it’s going to get from me.

Equalizer 2: Can we please stop ruining good movies with unneeded sequels? Or at least make the sequel interesting. I had to rewatch the trailer to remember what happened in this movie. Although, the scene where he beats the hell out of those frat bro’s is awesome.

Tag: I actually like this movie, and it was the first movie I saw with A-List, but it’s still very dumb. If you pass by it while scrolling through Netflix go ahead and give it a watch, but don’t waste your time searching for it.

The House with a Clock in its Walls: This movie came close to being passable, but then they made me see Jack Black with a CGI baby body and a freakish little head. That’s something I can never unsee. If you ever played the horror game PT and saw the baby in the sink just picture that but with Jack Black’s face.

Don’t watch it:  

Dolittle: For a large part of my life there really wasn’t a movie I could consistently call the worst movie I’d ever seen. I thought that had changed after I saw Cats (see below), but even with Cats I could see how that might work for someone. Dolittle showed me that there can in fact be a “worst movie I’ve ever seen”. This movie didn’t know what it was, it didn’t know what it wanted to be, and it didn’t know who it was trying to talk to. There was literally nothing in this entire movie that wasn’t inexcusable, horrendous garbage. This was a movie that seemed to go out of its way to try and break all of its own rules. They also cut out huge chunks of the movie and just had a parrot tell you what happened. Why am I even watching it at that point? I won’t even mention the horrors with the dragon. I almost considered creating an new tier to my list that would be exclusively for this movie, a Dolittle tier, because comparing this movie to the other “Don’t watch it” movies is disrespectful to the other terrible movies I told you not to watch.

Cats: WTF. This acid headed fever dream was doomed from the start. The director didn’t even finishing the movie by the time it came out, and rereleases of the new edit didn’t help. We still had to watch crazy cockroaches with human faces being eaten, the most ridiculous CGI I think I’ve ever seen, and no continuity on the size of these demons. If you are a true lover of the musical then maybe this is for you, but honestly I feel like “Don’t watch it” doesn’t quite cover it.

Dark Phoenix: Other than the big hero deaths, this movie is completely forgettable. I don’t have anything terrible to say about it, but I can’t think of anything good to say either.

Dumbo: Weird. I’m all for Disney movies, and the cast in this movie has a long history of success, but don’t waste your time. If you need to see a dumbo movie just watch the original.

Aquaman: God this movie sucks. Terribly cheesy superhero poses and quips, wasted talent, spotty CGI, and a brutal murder of Africa by Toto thanks to Pitbull. This movie is full of inconsistencies and it’s frustrating to watch. It just sucks.

Robin Hood (2018): Yikes. Let’s be honest here, the bar for a Robin Hood movie is set somewhere around “good, not great”. This one misses completely and manages to underperform all of the previous adaptations.

TNC and Vivid Event… (Rocket League Tournament)

This last Tuesday, the 7th of January, was one to remember for a long time. Thanks to our friends in Vivid (@WeAreVivid), we got to experience a very enjoyable Rocket League tournament. Manny and I got together with a couple of the members for a LAN event where they hosted a 2v2 Rocket League tournament. I still can’t believe in such short notice we arranged 16 teams for the competition. The members of Vivid were such great sports and were fierce competition. They put our skills to the test throughout the brackets. Thank you to the Vivid organization for letting us be apart of this event, and a huge thanks to Zookuzero (@Zookuzero) for doing a phenomenal job hosting the event. Huge congratulations to @Squiggly_YT and his teammate on their success! Please share some love and give all of them some love on social media!

     Going into the event, I was not too sure what I should expect. I had no clue about the number of people that would enter the contest, the quality of players, or the seriousness of the tournament itself. Zookuzero did such a great job getting everything together in such short notice, and his casting during the games was impeccable. For someone who has minimal casting experience, at no point did I question his commentary. Thanks to his broadcast, it made me take a look at that side of esports more in-depth. I spent part of my day observing various esports casters because of the tourney. I was interested in what makes each caster unique, and it is honestly amazing to see each person’s style. I believe there is a chance I will dip my feet into the world of casting thanks to Zookuzero.

     I am eager to see where the Vivid and Nerd Chambers connection will take us both. I am sure we will see more tournaments like this and other collaborations between the teams in 2020. We are both hoping to make it to similar paths, and with each other, I am sure we will get there. I hope we can continue to partner together for more events like this in the future. What would you like to see from our upcoming collaborations with Vivid? If you have any ideas, let us know down in the comments! Thank you for all the support!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

My Top Five Games of the Decade (Brandon)…

There have been some amazing video games that have released. That being said, this decade my hold the torch for the best decade for a very long time. We might be able to jump fifty years into the future, and people could still be talking about this decade as one of the bests. Games like GTA5, Skyrim, and Fortnite dominated the last decade. The last week on our live show we gave our Listener Topic, “What are your top 5 games of the decade”? We received some great responses from you all, but here are my top 5 games of the decade.
Out of all the games on my list, if you would have told me that Mortal Kombat would have made my Honorable mention… I would have laughed in your face a decade ago. This is the one type of game I was never into. I loved every other game type at the time… Multiplayer, Shooters, Story, RTS, EVERYTHING except fighting games… When this game came out, the trailers were just too hype for me to pass on the opportunity. The game was so clean and the fatalities were INSANE! My buddy Adam was super into the franchise, so I decided to join him for Mortal Kombat X. I have never put so much time into a game that I never understood how to play. After a few weeks of constant practice, I was able to hold my own in ranked play. It was one of the best accomplishments I have felt in a video game. From being a hardcore button masher into some nasty combos I saw myself improving. It made my experience with fighting games so much better.
The decade started strong with Halo Reach. It blew my mind with a great way to bring back Halo after the third installment. Halo Reach did such a great job making you care about all of the characters in the campaign. The game did such a good job pulling at your heartstrings throughout with all of the heartbreaking moments. The multiplayer was also groundbreaking for the new mode they added, Invasion. It was a great new spin on the game that was much needed. The best way to explain this game mode was sort of like Conquest from the Battlefield franchise. Your team had to push through and take over each base that the defending team had. The final thing that was a polarizing asset to Halo Reach was the customization shop. It gave you something to work for when it came to the multiplayer experience. Going for all the fun cosmetics gave you a whole new layer to your Halo experience!
After Halo Reach, I was struggling to find some sort of single-player game. I tried out Fallout New Vegas because I remembered how much I enjoyed Fallout 3 back in the day. Fallout New Vegas was a very shocking experience for me. Not only did this game provide me with a love for a single-player adventure, but it also showed me how some games can have great replay value. You could play this game in so many different ways, and every time could be a completely different ending. The weapons were so well put together, the enemies were great, and the side quests pull you into the game! This game by far has one of my favorite stories in any game. It honestly has me extremely interested in Outer Worlds for how well they made Fallout New Vegas…
The next game on my list is Borderlands 2. Thanks to the first game in the series, I was so hyped for the sequel. I have never had a game that brought so many inside jokes to myself and a group of friends for all the insane moments in Borderlands 2. The character development was so fun to watch between some of the main NPCs in this game. I have never had a game that made me fall in love with so many character’s personalities. Thanks to Borderlands 2 I still have faith in story-driven games. Even though Borderlands 3 may have disappointed in comparison to 1 and 2. I still love this franchise more than any other.
The game that brought more friends of mine together in the last decade had to be Overwatch. Not only did we have times where we were playing competitive Overwatch. We were even together watching the Overwatch League tournaments. This game swept the world with the fast-paced team-based shooter. Not only was the gameplay so smooth and enjoyable the characters were so fun to play. The lore behind the charterers gave a whole other aspect for people to enjoy Overwatch. I have never seen so many people flock to one game so fast. Blizzard did it again with its amazing rendition of a team-based shooter.
Finally… my favorite game of the decade has to be Rocket League. I have not continuously played a single game for such a long time outside of Rocket League. For such a simple concept of rocket-powered cars playing soccer, a game has never been so enjoyable for so long. The game is constantly evolving with players finding new mechanics in a game that hasn’t changed in the four years it has been out. When it first hit the PSN store it dropped for the game of the month, and people flocked to this game. It started as just a fun game to play with friends to one of the biggest Esports around. This is one of those games I could see myself playing for another decade easily. Just like League of Legends this game could keep afloat for its super fun E-Sports reputation!
There have been thousands of games to come out over the last decade, but which games were your favorite? Did I completely flop on missing something from my top 5? What game are you surprised from my list that Someone could enjoy this much to add to their list? What games do you believe will make it into your list for the next decade? let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed the article make sure to leave alike! If you have a topic you would like to see us write about let us know on Twitter or Facebook @TheNerdChambers. Thank you for your support!

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-Brandon Maj