Unrivaled Tournament Series 2: Table Top Boogaloo

A tabletop game renaissance is upon us. With the success of the Unrivaled Tournament Series in Las Vegas this past November, many tabletop gamers have been left to their corner of the table eagerly anticipating the 2018 game lineup. Last year’s smash hit titles ranged from household favorites Ascension, Munchkin, and King of Tokyo to games of lesser-known popularity with Epic Spell Wars 2, Nevermore, and Villager & Villains. As the 2018 series looks to begin with finals taking place this August in Chicago, gamers from around the country are eagerly anticipating word on what games could help them win eternal glory (and a sweet payday). Now we can all just sit here and count our meeples, but I’ve compiled a list of the top five games I’d love to see in this year’s Unrivaled Tournament Series: Continue reading

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Franchise Wars

With the release of the Avengers: Infinity War trailer dropping earlier this week, and the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi due out in a few days, nerd-dom is at its highest of levels right now. And while I cannot wait to see The Last Jedi in theaters on opening day, I’ve come to realize that I am more excited for Avengers than I am for Star Wars.

To some, this may seem sacrilegious. The franchises aren’t even in the same category or genre. How can they even be compared?

Earlier this week, Mark Hamill expressed his feelings about the Star Wars franchise on Good Morning America:

“When I read the script, I was stunned. These films now are being made by people that were children when the first films came out. They were the generation that grew up as fans and now are in charge of the franchise. It’s wonderful to be associated with something that makes people so happy. It’s escapism…we don’t want real life, it’s too harsh…”

Hamill isn’t wrong. Star Wars is quite the escapism for fans to leave the real world behind. And while I long for a release from the monotony of the day to day, Marvel has taken this idea on a different path.

In 2008, Marvel Studios’ Iron Man rocked box offices and started a ten year journey to the moment fans have waited for next year. In one film, they created the foundations for a franchise that rivaled Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and even Star Wars. What Marvel Studios did was allow the world to see that superheroes were still relevant in modern society.

I was never much of a comic reader as a kid (surprise!), mostly because they were expensive and I nor my parents could afford them regularly. But where older comics dealt with issues plaguing the WWII era – Captain America punching Nazis – many of the modern comics did not line up nicely with modern worldly issues. (Again, I’d like to restate that I did not read many comics as a kid, so perhaps I just never noticed that they did.) So when Iron Man rose to meet the challenges of war during our currently state of affairs in 2008, a realistic type of escapism occurred.

Maybe it could also be that I never discovered Star Wars until I was in my teens. Maybe those that grew up with the franchise connect more closely. Maybe it’s Marvel’s marketing to produce two movies a year that intertwine so seamlessly , where Star Wars is playing catch up with Rogue One and the upcoming Solo film.

Hamill’s right in that we all want an escape, but for me I want that escape to seem real. That doesn’t mean that I still don’t want to be a Jedi at heart, or that I don’t want to create screen-accurate Jedi cosplay, or that I can’t wait for an Obi-Wan Kenobi solo film. But for me, I watched that Infinity War trailer, ten years of emotion and excitement game me goosebumps. I love the Star Wars franchise for its fantasy entertainment, but the Marvel films to be more a more realistic, hopeful sort of fantasy escape for me.

What do you think? Which movie are you excited to see more? Do you think these franchises will see in an end in the near future? I’d love to continue the conversation in the comments below.

Avengers: Infinity WarTrailer

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer

N710

As I sit here at my desk pretending to do work that matters, I find my thoughts woozily drifting off to to the stars of 2183 and interstellar space travel. Sipping my green shake in my N7 hoodie, I fondly remember my expedition with Garrus, Wrex, and most importantly Commander Sheppard. Ten years have passed, and still the journey is as fresh as the day I started.

With Mass Effect: Andromeda released earlier this year, the Mass Effect series celebrates a Continue reading

We Talk, They Listen: An Unrivaled Follow-Up

If you thought that the Unrivaled Tournament Series was starting to sound like those emails your grandma gets from a Nigerian prince with untold fortunes, that’s exactly how Darren Holt, Executive Producer of the Unrivaled TS, felt as he jokingly discussed his concerns about the initial public perception of the event. After reading my original article about my excitement and apprehensions, Holt reached out for a quick phone interview to clarify some of the information I had reported. In addition, CEO/Founder Michael Williams of Oomba also took the time to write an extensive comment regarding the public’s concerns. Here’s a breakdown of the information gathered from these sources:

The Unrivaled Tournament Series encourages players of every level to support their local game stores while promoting a love of gaming as a whole. This will help to expand the market, drawing in new players of all ages. Because of the rise in the gaming industry, Holt sees a place where tSports (Table Top Sports) are almost equal to eSports.

“Legitimacy is everything,” Holt states, in regards to the information given and displayed to the public. When asked about the lack of details to the public, Holt explains that it was necessary to Continue reading

Can You Expect Survival in the ‘Unrivaled’?

unrivaled-tournamentUp until recently, if you were labeled a professional gamer, most people would think that you must be involved in the rise of popular competitions for eSport games like Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, etc. However, table top gamers have been waiting in the shadows for their chance, and now it is happening.

Enter Oomba and the Unrivaled Tournament Series 2017. Oomba, a tournament management system and social network for sports and games, has created a tabletop tournament series like Continue reading

The Secret Life of Pops!

I am a collector. Not to be confused with THE Collector (shout out to Benicio del Toro), but there is an insatiable desire within to gather troves of…well…stuff. I blame Pokemon. I was young and impressionable in my early teens when Pokemon made its debut in America with its amazing story of a boy on a journey to “catch ’em all.” All these cute and fierce creatures waiting to be part of my mobile database, I was hooked!

To this day, I have yet to catch them all, but the damage has been done. I too am on a journey now, collecting whatever the new fad is, and I have found myself exploring some of the darker parts of Facebook in search of Funko Pops!

If you asked me a little over a year ago Continue reading

Back to the past, Samurai Jack…

As nostalgia rules over the ever-aging Millenials with reboots to pull at their heart strings (Ghostbusters, Duck Tales, I even heard a Matrix rumor today…), the samurai on the noblest of quests is back to finish what he started. Canceled after four seasons on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim (2001-2004), Samurai Jack returns to television for one Continue reading