POKEMON XY Kalos Starter Set unboxing and review! Fennekin!

Pokemon cards.  This is what is great about Pokemon to me.  Not the video game or cartoon.  But the cards.

SpartanSmurf #1 wanted the “Froakie” box, and ordered it off of Amazon.  Big mistake.  I saw it and this at Target, on the SHELF!  So I snatched up Fennekin and gave it to SpartanSmurf #2 early….

Front of the box!

Back of the box

When you open the box, this is what you see.

The special foil Fennekin and his evolutions are in a separate piece.

beneath the promos, you see this.

Smaller flatter counters this time around, but a bigger coin!

Here are all of the cards that came with the deck.  The booster pack was from “Black and White: Legendary Treasures”  None of the cards here are of Pokemon that have never been revealed….

So, tomorrow the “Froakie” box should come, and we are going to match the two decks against each other.  I will post the results!

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SpartanNerd’s list of greatest video games!

Greatest Video Games ever!!!

Following is a list of the SpartanNerd’s most influential games.  These games are always with me!  I never seem to forget many details of a good game.

(I thought about making this a top ten list, but it is too hard for me to judge a favorite.  Sort of like my feelings about music.)

First of all, what systems have I had access to over the years?  NES (my first system), SNES (in college), PS1 (In high school and college), and PS2 (now.)

CAN YOU NAME THE AREA?



Super Mario Bros.–  Did you really think this list was going to start with a different title?  SMB is just about etched onto my soul.  I wasted hundred of hours playing this game as a kid.  And its true sequel in my heart has always been Super Mario Bros. 3.   I still think SMB 2 is a good game, just not of the same “quality” as the other two.

And the game CARTRIDGE was gold!

Zelda 2:  The Adventure of Link–  The first game I ever cried over.  We rented it.  Of course I didn’t get far in the three days I had access to it.  But this was my first foray into RPG gaming.  I loved the sword fights…and the side quests.  And that giant rock stood in my way, taunting me. “Get the hammer…Get the hammer…”  I would be an adult before I got the hammer…..(Incidently, the hammer is super hard to get, but an important quest in leveling Link up enough to finish the game.)

Low rez turtle.  High rez fun!



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles–  This game is just HARD.  I have beaten it several times.  But I have lost plenty of times as well.  There are jumps that are almost impossible to pull off, then by the time you get to the airport, your turtles are getting beaten, and there are instant kills everywhere.  Then the epic Foot Clan headquarters, where you fight your way through underground tunnels, probably unnecessarily, because the Technodrome appears in a RANDOM LEVEL.  If you beat all this, the Technodrome inside has truly tough enemies, and you are forced to take damage from them in small (albeit colorful!) confined spaces.  If you make it to shredder, two physical hits will kill you.  And if that ray gun hits you, too bad.  The games that came after this one were good, and great for multiplayer fun, with far superior graphics and characters recognizable from the cartoon.  But not the same epic difficulty of this one.

I remember using a map like this a lot in Zelda: A Link to the Past.



Zelda: A Link to the Past-  I played through this one in college using a walkthrough during break time between studying.  I loved it!  Not as old-schoolish as the NES games, but still full of interesting side-quests.  And great graphics as well!

Metal Gear REX, the final boss

Metal Gear Solid–  This awesome game is one of the first “stealth” games I played.  You pretty much have to stay hidden from the enemies…and there is a fair amount of strategy to this…You can even catch a cold!  (“Where is he?  ACHOO! “Shoot to kill!)  Then you get a big boss fight at the end…And a plot twist.  Wow!  Also, one of the most interesting mini-boss fights is against the Psycho-Mantis, where you can’t hurt him at all.  You have to unplug controller two, plug controller one in its slot, and then you can bypass Psycho-Mantis’s powers!

So many choices in images…This one tells all about FF7

Final Fantasy VII–  I still own this one, and play it…My wife got me a copy of it ($85!)  about 10 years ago because I missed it so, and somehow my original copy got sold/given away by the “family members.”  This is probably the deepest game ever made.  I remember the propaganda put out about it “Possibly the GREATEST GAME EVER MADE”.  They would say that, wouldn’t they.  But it is probably true.  No other game has such a large universe.  No other game had such a complex system of customization for your characters.  No other game made you care about the story…made you follow the story…engrossed you in the characters lives.  This game has the infamous “Aeris sacrifice,” where you lose probably your favorite girl in the game and CAN NEVER REVIVE HER!  And so you trudge on closer to that moment when you know she will be lost to you forever, knowing the game just gets better after she’s gone, but mourning your loss…She was a great healer and magic user…And you flirted with her until she went on a date with you…Waaaaa!  (Funny note:  You can cause the date to be with other characters….one of my brothers, whose name starts with a “J” managed to score the date with Barret…. And he wasn’t using a guide or anything…)


NO PICS OF THESE LAST TWO…DON’T WANT TO SCARE THE KIDDIES!

Mortal Kombat II–  You saw that, right?  The roman numerals…made it more epic!  MK2 is my favorite of the early Mortal Kombat games…It had the same rusticness of the original, but more or less doubled the fantasy material.  More characters, levels, and finishing moves.  I beat MK1 at the arcade…But never MK2.  I have only beaten that on a console.  MK3 is a joke to me.  And the modern MK games are fun, but just aren’t the same as the originals.

God of War 2–  I guess I see GOW and GOW 2 equally.  I think they are great!  Kratos is such an awful character, you can’t help but follow him.  It’s kind of like Conan the Barbarian, or Breaking Bad.  Kratos chain swords weapons are perfect for hacking and slashing, and that is something else to love about these games.  They use a modern template, but have laced in SNES-style sensibilities.  The bosses are tough.  The puzzles are confounding.  And you want to know what happens next.  I don’t have a PS3 or PS4.  But if I ever get one, I guarantee I will complete the trilogy.  I have played these games on the hardest levels and beaten them, to where I have leveled Kratos into a God of War for real.  If only I could have my Kratos take out your Kratos, that would be perfect!

So there you go!  The SpartanNerd’s favorite games.  If I get a lot of hits, maybe more lists will come in the future.  This is my 75th post.  Thanks, readers!

Honorable mentions…Mega Man 2…Batman (NES)….Quake 2…..Doom 2…TETRIS

SpartanNerd Blog….right at 2100 pageviews!

Thanks for all the support, oh Hub City Geeks, whoever you are!

Information about my blog….

Most traffic comes from the USA, but some comes from almost everywhere around the world!

Shadow Era reviews generated the most hits right from the beginning.  My reviews of the Magic The Gathering Event decks are right behind those….

The SpartanSmurf #1 is requesting a name change…..We’ll see….

I have been pretty good at keeping my identity secret….I mean there are some people who have figured it out, and I have given some pretty strong hints out there to those who know me.  My sister in law said, “So you’re the SpartanNerd….Wierd.”  Good.  I hope that’s what she thinks.

The review of the Sonic the Hedgehog figures is the one that I am most proud of the photos.  I really should look into a better situation for photographing my stuff.

My favorite thing to cover is Masters of the Universe…everything!  You would see a lot more of this if I had more time. My review of Masters of the Universe #5 got a bunch of hits…(the one about She-Ra)

I want to start doing some top ten lists.  I need to do more things like the Groovy Dork lists.

SpartanNerd Sundays have been a mild hit.  I am still trying to work that out in my heart and mind.

I still have no followers or subscribers…out of all this traffic?  I haven’t figured that out yet.  One thing, Google doesn’t make it easy to be anonymous.  I have had a few comments.  But no people interested in my give-aways….

So this is where I stand as a blogger.  May I write something similar in when I get 2100 more hits!  Thank You all!

Theros Event Deck….Unboxing and Review

AZORIUS!  That white and blue combo that I so identify with!  I expressed my feelings for Azorius already in this post….

Here we have a sparkly new event deck of the same colors…Does it meet the SpartanNerd’s standards?  Let’s crack it open and see!

I got mine at the Tangled Web…THE comic store in the Hub City.  $24.99…Apparently the average price of event decks these days.

That lion on the front…It’s just a pretty sleeve.  You get this nifty cardboard deck box.  In my past experiences with these, the latch goes bad if you are not OH SO Careful…

Upon opening it, this is what you see.  I am going to take out the pieces.
These are the two decks.  The “Hopeful Eidolon” is the sixty card main deck.  “Triton Tactics” is the sideboard of 15 cards.


You get this divider
And some useless propaganda…or is it?   The green one explains how to play the deck….Who knows how many of these kinds of poster-paper inserts I have put in the landfill?  There is a deck list in the green one as well.
Now this is a pretty dice, that screams AZORIUS!  It is a spin down counter.  Not a D20.
The back of the box has the planes walkers symbol.  I only recently learned that was it’s official title.

Deck breakdown…

This one has a ton of rares!  (HOORAY!)  I went ahead and bought this because they had a deck list at the Tangled Web, and I new I didn’t have some of them, or I wanted more copies.

Imposing Sovereign–Someone beat me down with this guy.  (I should probably tell you that recently I have been playing a three color Fencing Ace deck…It is white red and green…)  So haste is not an issue against this guy.  There are two of them here

Fabled Hero–Fencing Ace’s big brother.  He is one of my current faves.  If you can get him out and load his heroic ability, this double striker can be a game ender.

Lavinia of the Tenth–This chick is BAD.  (I mean a good bad)  OK, turn five Lavinia, you just detained all your opponent’s creatures…and tokens.  (She detains all permanents with mana cost 4 or less…tokens have a CMC of 0!)

Detention Sphere–I’m not sure why this card is a rare…I have like ten of them.  It is a great card.  I like to hold it and then let my opponent drop a fatty on the board…Then dash their hopes and dreams. Another trick, the Detention Sphere gets permanents of the same name…It is great against token building decks.  There are two copies in this deck.

Soldier of the Pantheon–One of the cards I didn’t have before…Maybe haven’t even seen.  It seems the Wizards are making cards that are a reaction to the Ravnica block.  This guy is definitely anti-Ravnica.

Frontline Medic–I always wanted one of these.  Now I have one!  (I have 90% of the stuff from Gatecrash.)

In addition to these cards, there are some good uncommons and commons.

Battlewise Hoplite–technically better than Akroan Hoplite, you get to scry whenever his heroic triggers.

Ascended Lawmage–Now here’s one I haven’t given much thought to.  But Flying and Hexproof, for CMC of 4.  This guy should be a beast in all of Theros!  I need to experiment with this more…

Hopeful Eidolon–The strategy guide advises you to hold onto this card and use its Bestow ability.  It gives something a pump, and lifelink!  This is one of the best Bestow cards!  It was a champ in Booster Draft, and is perfect for the fast paced play that standard demands.

Ordeal if Thassa–  This ordeal gives you card draw…

Ordeal of Heliod–  This ordeal gives you a boost of 10 life.  I wish I had more of these…this is my only copy.

You also get a Hallowed Fountain shock land…But there was no scry land for AZORIUS this time.  (I don’t think…)

The sideboard doesn’t feature any rares.  You get Glare of Heresy and Gainsay, the new spell of choice God’s Willing, and ….  That’s about it.  There’s some more, but it’s all just control stuff.

My first match with the deck…

I played against SpartanSmurf #1 during halftime of the Gamecocks vs. Gators game…He was playing a Boros build, which has occasionally been tough for the Fencing Ace deck I already mentioned, but hasn’t done much against blue ever….

Right at the beginning, he had out Hopeful Eidolon as a creature.  It seems I had a ton of lands.  But then I drew into two Detention Sphere’s, and before you know it I issued a major beatdown with Battlewise Hoplite and Lyev Skynight.  I took damage only from the Eidolon, and shocking in my Hallowed Fountain.

I didn’t bother to side in any cards.

Round two…The land wasn’t as prevalent.  But I was able to get out Fabled Hero, and that was all she wrote.  Not even SpartanSmurf #1’s Stoneshock Giant stood a chance…I Detention Sphere’d that bad-boy.  He blocked with his big flyer (Hellkite Tyrant?)

I wonder what would have happened if I had played this deck today in the standard tournament.  It seems a little slow…And yet it was effective against a pretty aggressive deck on it’s opening venture.

I believe I am going to make a few changes…

First I am going to add some more Ascended Lawmages.  I think I am going to remove the detain from this deck, and beef up the heroic.  Detain is temporary, while Heroic is usually forever.  So that means the Lyev Skynights and Lavinia has to go, and in their place more Battlewise Hoplites and Fabled Heros.  The Azorius Guildgates are too slow…I am either going to swap them all for Hallowed Fountains and hope for scry lands in February when Borne of the Gods comes out, or swap out some of the plains for the shock lands.  I haven’t yet decided.  I might find a way to put in Tidebinder Mage and more Banisher Priests.

Here is my verdict.

My most recent successes have come from the Red White and Green Fencing Ace Deck, which takes a lot of advantage of heroic and the enchantments in Theros.  In that deck, I would argue that Madcap Skills is the star card, delivering a significant boost and creating scary threats.  The Theros Event deck needs a little more speed.  This deck also needs some more size.  I happen to have a few Medomai the ageless and Isperia Supreme Judge cards.  I also have a few Heliods and a few of his spears…These cards would have lived happy lives if the event deck was build around them.  But the Wizards don’t seem to make these decks around Mythic rares.

I am thinking it might have a hard time against aggressive discard strategies, or aggressive burn strategies.  On the other hand, it should be pretty good against token building decks and big creature decks.

i don’t feel like it absolutely needs any cards swapped, except for the guild gates and the lawmages.  Only for my picky preferences.  So I give this deck a 3/5.

The big deck nowadays is MONO RED.  This deck will probably not stand against it.

Figure Review…The Walking Dead "Governor" by McFarlane Toys

I have quite a long history with Image comics, mostly just Spawn, but I am sort of aware of other properties from them.  And if you have been reading my blog awhile…(someone has, don’t know who), you know that Todd McFarlane is my favorite comic artist.

Over the years I have seen a few McFarlane Toys as well, but never owned one.  But aside from Spawn toys, which were largely sculpted by the Four Horsemen, the other toys are liscenced images.  Sports figures, rock stars, The Simpsons, even Where the Wild Things Are.  But the toys are always perfect likenesses.

Which is one reason why this Walking Dead figure is sort of…lacking.

Here is my review, with pictures.  Incidentally, this isn’t my figure, it is SpartanSmurf #1’s figure…

Here he is, in box on the Magic Card Table at the Tangled Web.

Here is the back of the box…showing other figures from the line.  Notice that this figure is billed as an AMC figure….you know, from the show.

Here he is at home, on my review table.  He doesn’t look like the actor to me…
I have been known to have poor sight, though

Here he is with his famous eye patch.  It should be noted that
in order to change heads, it took a ton of effort.  And SpartanSmurf #1 told me
it was so hard that it scared him he would break it.  In fact, when I removed his other head
the entire torso popped apart!

This blurry pic is trying to show you that the ball joint is on the head, rather than on a next peg.

Here is the governor’s weapons.  He uses all of these in the show, and more.  Wish there were more included.

But this is the worst thing about the figure.  This hand WILL NOT STAY ON.  It came off right out of the box.
Seriously, this thing is worse than a Star Wars figure when it comes to his right hand.

Here is an evil pose…His hand fell off right after I snapped the photo.
Guess that Machete was pretty heavy!

Here is my summary and score.

This figure has a loose sculpt that vaguely resembles the actor.  But the articulation is pretty good, with joints everywhere you would expect.  However, he loses some playability because his hand falls off repeatedly.  His included extra head is too hard to swap out.  And he should have came with more accessories.

So my score…2 out of 5.  This figure gets a 40.  F.  The Governor is far more evil a character than the walkers in the show, and he deserved a better figure.  I mean, he could have been worse…

The Walking Dead…Show Review

The Zombie Apocalypse has taken over!   Hordes of dead bodies are resurected as mindless eating machines, and if a person is bitten by one, they become zombie too.  They could be your family or friends…the only way to stop one is to smash its brain.

Sounds horrific.  But this is a way of life for the characters of The Walking Dead. Rick and Shane lead a band of survivors, that slowly get picked off.  As food becomes more scarce, the zombies (walkers) begin to form herds.  Eventually the “zombie virus”, whatever it is, evidently mutates and makes it so that any human who dies with an intact brain is transformed.  Also as events unfold, surviving humans seem to become more vicious towards other groups…
About this show…sure there are literal “walking dead.”   But I don’t think the writers have only walkers in mind.  They have the survivors in mind.  How much punishment can be dished out to an individual?   How much stress can a group take?   Lets not forget, there are some strong but dispicable characters in this show…wife beaters… racists… convicts…dictators…politicians.   Some of these guys, I think I would prefer the company of a mindless walker!
I’ve been watching season three, with the Governor…he’s evil!  Can’t wait to see Season 4!

This brings an old Audio Adrenaline song to mind…”Some Kind of Zombie.”   Check it out!