My Hero Academia Volume One – Ubernerd Reviews


“And when everyone is super…no one will be” this quote from Syndrome from the Incredibles has been something that has always stuck with me. What would the world be if most of the population of the world had super powers instead of the other way around like in most comics? That question now has been answered by My Hero Academia, a manga (Japanese comic) that I have just recently read.

MHA Pic 8

The story follows a young boy named Izuku Midoriya, his dream is to one day become a super hero like his idol All Might. However Izuku has one major problem he regrettably is not born with any superpowers or what they call in this world “Quirks.” But this doesn’t deter Izuku as he still tries to do his best to be like his idol and get into U.A. High School, a school specifically for future superheroes. One day after being bullied by the class jerk Katsuki Bakugō. Izuku comes face to face with a real supervillain who attacks him and low and behold who saves him but his idol All Might. After getting over the initial fan boy shock Izuku gathers up the courage to ask him if he can still be a hero even though he doesn’t have any quirks. When All Might tell him no, Izuku get discouraged and walks home depressed. As he is thinking about how to rethink his future, Izuku comes across the same villain from before but this time he is attacking Katsuki. None of the superheroes around can get to Katsuki because he is shooting off his powers wildly so no one can get close. Without thinking Izuku tries to rescue him from the villain but to no avail. All hope seems lost until All Might shows up again and defeats the villain once and for all. After being scolded by the other superheroes for putting himself in danger Izuku finally heads for home. He doesn’t get too far when All Might shows up again. This time All Might tells Izuku that he was wrong about him and then reveals his biggest secret. All Might can pass his power to another person and that person he has been looking for a very long time and he believes that it’s Izuku. But in order to gain this power Izuku will have to train his body and get ready for U. A. High School’s entrance exam. Does Izuku really have what it takes? Will he get into the school that he’s been dreaming about for years? You’ll have to read the manga to find out.

I really enjoyed this manga for several different reasons: There have been many comics, movies, even video games that have already told a tale about a superhero school. However, I feel this story is quite different than many of the others specifically in the fact that in this world super powered individuals are not the minority like in other stories but the majority. Most importantly for myself, I can relate with the main character, Izuku. Izuku is a kid who is very introverted, jumpy, and socially awkward but he has a lot of heart and determination. I feel a lot of people including myself can connect with that especially in this modern world we live in. I believe that stories are so much better when the audience members can associate with the characters. Being an Artist myself on of the first things I always notice is the art style. Manga and anime tend to sometimes blend with one another art style wise. However this manga is a great example of how not all Japanese Artist draw the same. The characters look unique compared to a lot of stuff out there. One of my favorite touches is that All Might is always drawn in a traditional western comic style which really makes him stand out from all the other characters. It gives him that larger than life look that fits his personality well.

To wrap it all up I highly suggest My Hero Academia not only for those out there who love manga but also to those out there who love traditional superhero comics. The manga is published by Viz Media and can be found online as well as in your favorite book store. For those who don’t read comics and enjoy cartoons there is also the anime which can be found streaming on Funimation’s website but as of the writing of this there is no American version on DVD yet. If you have already read or watched My Hero Academia and what to leave your comments and review please reply below or hit me up on Twitter @talesftgamegrid.

Super-NES Special: Super Mario World


Too much of a good thing.

Those were the words of a video game magazine who had reviewed the game when it came out in the U.S. in 1991.

But those were some pretty bold words though, and rightfully so. After all, given the astronomical success of Super Mario Bros. 3, how could Nintendo possibly raise the bar?

Well, ready your fire-flowers folks, because the bar is about to get raised again.


Introduced as a pack-in with the Super-Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario World gave us players a 16-bit look at the Mario universe, only this time instead of the Mushroom Kingdom, we get to travel to a whole new world: Dinosaur Island.

Shigeru Miyamoto would once again be involved in the development of the game, but this time Takashi Tezuka would be placed as the director, with Shigefumi Hino serving as the graphics designer. The game would take three years to complete, with a team of sixteen people. But even with this Miyamoto felt – and even to this day still does – that the game was still incomplete and was rushed, believing that had there been more time they could have placed more emotion and story into the game. This is a trait that Miyamoto held to back then, and even now still holds to, which is actually a good thing because as a game developer, you want to make a game great and have the utmost quality possible, because the audience will instinctively know if the quality isn’t there.

Set shortly after the events of Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach Toadstool decide to take a vacation to a place called Dinosaur Land which is more than well-deserved. After all, having had three colossal adventures to stop King Bowser Koopa and his children the Koopalings, a vacation is just what the doctor ordered. However, as is always the case for our heroes, trouble always tends to find them, for as Princess Toadstool is resting on the beach, she then mysteriously disappears. Mario and his brother Luigi try to find her but with no success.


After a few hours of searching the Mario Bros. come upon a giant egg which suddenly hatches, revealing a young green dinosaur named Yoshi, who then tells them of how evil Koopas have come to the island and imprisoned him and his dinosaur friends in eggs. Realizing that Bowser being on the island and imprisoning the dinosaurs as well as Princess Toadstool’s disappearance couldn’t all be a coincidence, Mario and Luigi decide to help free Yoshi’s friends, as well as stop Bowser and save Peach. To help even the odds Yoshi gives them a feather that causes a cape to appear on their backs, and so the Super Mario Bros. and their new friend Yoshi set off on a new adventure.

Now at a glance you’ll find right away that the game feels familiar, yet at the same token it isn’t, and the reason for that is that now the player sees a much richer world than what he/she saw in previous games. While the look did improve since the original Super Mario Bros., it felt like stepping into a whole new world, which made sense since Mario and Luigi were now in a different place, but it was a place that was even bigger than the other worlds they had been to.



But even with that it still felt like getting back on a bike, for the gameplay from the other titles remained intact – including SMB3’s use of an overworld map – but with a few new twists to it. Now Mario and Luigi could do a spin-jump where they would either take out certain opponents completely, or they would be able to just bounce off of them with no damage taken to the player. This was a move that would come in handy when it came to dealing with certain foes, or even just destroying bricks.


With items, many of the suits from SMB3 did not return, with only the Super-Mushroom and Fire-flower remaining. However, a new item came along in the form of a feather. However, unlike the Super-Leaf, this feather gave the plumbers a cape on their backs which they could use to fly up for a while or just float down. Not only that, but if the player held down the B button while flying up, they can then use the cape to glide indefinitely, so long as they were holding the button and if they knew how to stay aloft, which was done by simply ascending and descending via the cross-pad. Plus if the player wanted to, he/she could have Mario descend all the way to the ground, causing a big earthquake that will decimate enemies on the screen.






Not only that, but you had a new friend in the form of Yoshi. And what really made him stand out was this green dinosaur had an appetite for enemies, even the ones that would seem unbeatable at a glance. Plus if Yoshi ate a Koopa of a certain color, he could do some pretty cool moves, such as being able to spit fireballs from a red Koopa, wings to fly if he ate a blue Koopa and being able to shake the ground a bit if he ate a yellow Koopa. In addition, if you touched an enemy while on Yoshi, you would keep your abilities as Caped-Mario or Fire-Mario while Yoshi would run away. However, if you managed to get back on Yoshi, the little dino would calm down. Plus to dismount Yoshi all the player had to do was press the spin-jump button.




Besides making the Mario universe look richer and bigger than before, what really made the game stand out was the sense of exploration. While there were few items to collect – and only one box to contain a single power-up – all that paled in comparison to being able to find all the hidden pathways within the game, and there were many. However, the hidden passages were not placed there just for the sake of being there, they were placed in such a way that you could ignore them and complete the stages like normal, but if you wanted to, you could look around just a bit more and find something totally new, and this would come into play with the Yoshis all around the island.


True to Yoshi’s word, there are plenty of other dinosaurs trapped around the island, and it happens to be other Yoshis of varying colors, and not just the green ones. However, to truly find them you had find the pathways to a place called “Star-Road”. Not only that, but they wouldn’t appear as adults right away. Mario and Luigi had to grow them up by feeding them enemies while at the Star-World stages, and if they managed to pull it off, they would have other Yoshi’s to help them out, and not just Green Yoshi.



What made these Yoshis different was that they could still do all the things Green Yoshi could do, but when it came to eating Koopas, each Yoshi would do something different based on its own color, and not on the color of the Koopa shell. For example, Red Yoshis would only spit Fireballs regardless of Koopa shell, Yellow Yoshis always shook the ground, and Blue Yoshis always flew.

Going back to Star-Road, things would only get more amazing if you not only managed to find the star-warps to them, but unlock pathways to each of them where they all connected, as well as unlocking another part of the bonus world with even more stages that could permanently alter some sprites, as well as the overworld map’s color scheme.


In all, this game has got everything you want in a Mario game, but with some new features that enhance the gameplay experience. While the player doesn’t have many items to work with as with SMB3, that is more than offset by the level of gameplay and exploration, both of which are needed in order to truly complete the game. But even with that, it’s a game that helped usher in the 16-bit era alongside another character from another company. And the fact that it came as a pack-in with the Super-NES only made it more of an enticing buy, for as is the case with all Nintendo pack-ins, it really showed what the system can do.


The Mario games on the original NES showed us how to play with power, but Super Mario World raised the bar higher and showed us that now it was time to step it up and play with Super-Power!


Tales From The Game Grid #32 – Far Out with Brad and Friends


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Sonic Mania 

Sonic the Hedgehog has always been my favorite video game character of all time. Both because of his games and also for personal reasons, most notably motivating me to draw. As of late though Sonic games have gotten a really bad rap. I not saying that those games don’t deserve it but it sad seeing you favorite fall from popularity.
One of the things that always confused me is why hasn’t Sega gone back to the original formula instead of consistently trying to reinvent Sonic. So I have stayed away from most of the newer Sonic games. And if I ever get the urge to play a new version of the classic Sonic games the only choices were to play Sonic Generations, Sonic Colors, or play Freedom Planet. All great choices but you do kinda miss the blue blur in a new adventure after a while.

This year marks Sonic 25th anniversary and for weeks now Sega has been teasing a new Sonic game, making me curious. Though I was not expecting what we got however: Sonic Mania. When I saw the trailer for Sonic Mania I almost cried tears of joy. Finally Sega is going back to Sonic’s roots and bringing back (or at least it seems) what made Sonic great. From what I’ve seen I like the classic Sonic gameplay feel even with a the few tweaks and even some new elements they have added like the new bounce dash. Plus only 3 playable characters Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. Not that I really have a problem with the other Sonic characters (except for Big the Cat but we won’t go into that here) but it gives it that classic feel.

Sonic Mania comes out spring of next year. So let’s hope that this will be a return to what makes Sonic the Hedgehog the blue blur we know and love.


Ultrasonic’s thoughts: Rocky 4 Motion Picture Score

Rocky 4 Score Album Cover

There is a lot to be said in music and how it can be used in defining something, whether it be in TV, Movies, or even video games nowadays. Even with the best scripting, directing and performances by the cast, the one thing that can make or break the project is the music itself, and whether it can convey exactly what the project is about. This is a challenge that all composers have had to face, and Vince DiCola was no exception. An accomplished percussionist and pianist, DiCola had begun as a session player for artists like Juice Newton and Cheryl Lynn. However, it was in playing with various bands in Los Angeles with Frank Stallone that the composer would find himself helping Frank on writing some songs for the movie “Staying Alive”, which the latter’s brother Sylvester was directing. As a result, DiCola would be nominated for a Grammy, which would then lead to Stallone hiring him as the composer for the fourth film in the Rocky franchise, since Bill Conti was busy composing music for the first two “Karate Kid” films at the time.

Right away with the score you felt that this was something quite different from what had been done before with the Rocky films, for while there was still some orchestration in certain parts, the majority of the music had more of a vibe that matched the more glossy, tightly-edited feel of the rock videos that were dominating MTV, and it showed.

To start off, you have the Rocky theme, “Gonna Fly Now” arranged in a still familiar, yet new way, and the three most notable themes to fans, “Training Montage”, “Up The Mountain”, and “War”, the former two being the most noteworthy of workout songs to fans the world over.

In addition, there is also “Drago’s Suite” and “Drago’s Entrance”, which both give a sense of Ivan Drago being an even more menacing foe than what Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang were.

A couple of other notable tracks are “Anniversary” and “Rocky and Son”, which balance out the more fan-fare, bombastic tracks and sinister tracks with more intimate themes that harken back to Bill Conti’s composition with Rocky and Adrian’s love story, as well as Rocky’s relationship with his son Robert.

And finally, you have “Knockout” and “Victory” to tie up the score, with the latter being yet another Conti composition retooled into an incredible arrangement to match Rocky’s win over Drago, as well as his speech at the end.

In all, this is a score that truly takes the Rocky franchise into a new direction musically, yet it doesn’t stray away from the basic elements that make the Rocky franchise special, and that was precisely by design when DiCola came on board.

On the one hand, it was nice to step into Bill Conti’s shoes after he scored three Rocky movies, because I had a template that I didn’t want to stray too far from, and because I’d worked with Sylvester previously, I also knew that he was going to give me some latitude to go in my own direction.

-Vince DiCola

Not only that, but the success of the film opened the door for DiCola to work his composing magic yet again when he was hired to compose the music for “Transformers: The Movie” one year later, And this would be yet another music score that would become well-beloved among fans.


Transformers: The Movie (1986) Movie Score

But perhaps what makes the Rocky 4 score so memorable is that it is very distinct not only from what had been done in previous Rocky films, but from other films in a sense that it showed that there was more than one way to compose music for movies, and it didn’t always have to be in an orchestral, symphonic way. And in a time where orchestrations seem to sound almost alike in some respects, it is good to see that there are composers who are willing to try new things as opposed to what is expected, even to this day, and one can hope that there are other aspiring composers who pick up on this and utilize other means of composing.

Vince DiCola

Case Closed Review Episode 15 – The Cartoon Connoisseur Theater Podcast

case closed title

We’re back with another Toon Review! This episode Ubernerd is joined by Dubious Khan as we talk about the mystery genre and the anime “Case Closed” (aka Detective Conan).

if you liked Dubious Khan then go to: 

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