The future of this site

A brief update on the future of Booster-Blogs and what content will be posted in the future.

[Credit to Pio Paulo Santana for the featured image. Check out his stuff over on DeviantArt]

As I have taken on more and more responsibility with my college courses, personal projects and other ventures in the past six months, I have had to sideline this website and all of the content I had planned for both the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018.

I had several articles and other posts pinned in drafts for months and just never got around to adding the finishing touches and posting the final products. This isn’t a knock on what I was working on, more that I just ran out of time to post them when they would have been relevant [example: a Justice League movie deep dive].

Continue reading “The future of this site”

State of the blog

Cale writes about how BoosterBlogs has gotten to where it is today, future projects that are in the works and how the crew plans to tackle upcoming challenges.

As of this previous weekend, BoosterBlogs has officially become a registered domain. It took a lot of planning on the part of myself and my VP Collin, but in the end I am just happy this side project has come this far.

I originally made this site on WordPress because I liked the name and wanted to start writing independently. Nothing really came of that until I wrote my 2015-16 NBA Season preview, which ended up landing me a gig over on NBALead.

I came back to the website briefly when I wrote a few pieces for a class during my freshman year of college and needed to post them to my own site. It was then I decided to bookmark the idea for a dedicated run on BB for the future.

Thankfully things played into my favor during this most recent semester of college, the end of my sophomore year, so that I had a good amount of spare time on the weekends to start this up. Collin, who I knew previously from working together in NBALead, was also working on his own site and I reached out to see if he was interested in contributing.

What spawned from that partnership is nearly two going on three full months of constant content flowing from our collective brains as the two of us try to build this thing up.

He has anchored the site for nearly three weeks as I have been busy moving back home from college, adjusting to my new work schedule and started more projects for the site.

The state of the blog has never been better over our four-month life span. Here are some things you can expect soon.

Collin is going to be on vacation soon, but his articles will continue. He is our lead writer when it comes to sports and going forward he will have control in that department, barring my occasional column and anyone else we bring on.

My columns will return this week after taking an absence. I have some topics I really want to write about and I think that you all will enjoy and learn something from them.

Our coverage of eSports will be expanding from just our weekly League of Legends recap that Richard puts out. I will start covering more professional Super Smash Bros. competitions and the ELeague Street Fighter V events I watch.

Other content will also be joining our normal content. I am bringing The Gameplan Podcast to BoosterBlogs in the coming weeks. This will feature discussions about sports, video games, eSports and a lot more.

On top of that, I have also started streaming again on my Twitch channel. Those streams usually consist of myself and occasional guests playing games we find fun or interesting. They frequently turn into Q&As with the chat as I answer questions about anything you ask. If you want to talk to me about a specific topic or just need some background noise while you work, that’s the place to go.

After wrapping up all those upcoming projects, I do have one final announcement.

We have only gotten this far due to the dedication both Collin and I have for what we do. We are thankful to each person that reads our work and shares it with others.

That being said, the two of us are not enough to make this thing reach its full potential. We have three writers on staff, one of which is only a weekly column writer, and that will eventually make us cap out to how far the site can grow.

If you know anyone interested in writing that just wants to get their thoughts on a subject or maybe even become a contributor to the site on a frequent basis, please contact us or share our site with them so we can get in touch. Editing is provided and nearly any topic is accepted.

Thank you for your time and support. We hope you continue to like our works.

Signed the Blue and Gold duo,

Collin Loring and Cale Michael.

League of Legends: NA LCS Playoff Preview

After 18 games best of 3 games for each team the North American LCS spring split regular season has come to an end. With Team Solo Mid (15-3) in first place with Cloud 9 (14-4) following closely behind in second.

These teams will not play again until the semifinals. Their opponents will be decided by best of 5s between third –sixth places in the quarterfinals.

In third we have Phoenix 1(11-7) who will face fifth place Team Dignitas (9-9). The winner of which will play against Cloud 9.

The fourth place Counter Logic Gaming (10-8) will play against fifth place FlyQuest (9-9), and the winner of this series will play again TSM. I could go on about what I expect to happen in these matches but honestly with the trend this split has presented thus far most bets are off.

I will say Phoenix 1 should be able to beat Team Dignitas and CLG should be able to beat FlyQuest based off base statistics and team experience but if this split has taught us anything about professional league of legends it’s that predictions can mean very little just look at last week I mean who could have predicted that Team Liquid(5-13) would have been able to beat TSM 2-1?

However coming up this week isn’t the quarterfinals, it’s the promotional/relegation matches Team Liquid and Team Envy( 3-15) will face off against eUnited and Gold Coin United from the North American Challenger Series.

The winners of these matches will be promoted/remain in the LCS the losers will be demoted/remain in the Challenger Series. For Envy anything could happen but with Liquid besting TSM in the last week of the regular split they showed that they can perform well for the important games. So without any massive mistakes, they should be able to secure their spot for the summer split.

I am sure that both the promotional and playoff matches will hold plenty of excitement. We will just have to see who will come out on top and secure a lead and potential momentum heading into the summer split where the teams in the NA LCS will compete for their spots in the 2017 World Championship.

Tales from Free Agency: Gordon Hayward

Where will he go?

The Utah Jazz clinched their first playoff birth 2012, and fell short in Conference SemiFinals. Will Gordon Hayward depart Utah in his free agency? Continue reading “Tales from Free Agency: Gordon Hayward”

Why I chose to blog; origins of BoosterBlogs

With as much free time as I have in the day, many of my close friends find it odd that I decided to start my own blog while also writing for another and my college newspaper. I honestly don’t blame them for their confusion either, seeing as I write a minimum of six articles a week without counting this blog.

One of my passions in life is writing, if the above statement didn’t make that clear enough. I find it to be relaxing and a good way to let out any emotions I have built up without the need for expressing them outwardly. I like to think I am a friendly and open person, but emotions and I tend to lack an understanding between us.

The reason I made this blog was to talk about things that my other outlets wouldn’t let me put out on their medium. Having my friend Collin and his pal Richard help out is just a bonus that helps me keep the site updating more frequently with content. With the creation of this blog, I allowed myself to open up my horizons and move past some previous attempts at putting myself out there.

Before this blog, I frequently tried my hand at running a Youtube channel, as many people in my age group do. Starting out I did fandubs of popular anime with friends back in middle school before branching off with people I met through those projects to do bigger things. I still offer my voice and talk to many of those people to this day, but my focus has shifted dramatically.

Following that stint, I moved my content into Pokémon related content. Mainly focusing on competitive battling and team analysis, I uploaded weekly for nearly an entire year before school caught up with me and I stopped altogether. It was fun to make content exclusively for my favorite game franchise, but towards the end I just felt that wasn’t for me.

Cue my introduction to DBZL or Dragon Ball Z League. A completely community run league where AIs battle it out in the PlayStation game Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3. The characters in the game are split into themed teams and on the forums the people on each of those teams customize their characters and battle it out like an actual sports league. I saw this and since I was a big fan of sports and Dragon Ball, I jumped right in and started playing.

I made some close friends as I became more active, I frequently talk to many of them. At the start of season six, I decided to make a fan run podcast about the league and posted about it on the forums. Thus, the Y-Cast? Was born. We are currently in the third season of the podcast and have made a dedicated channel for it and any related content. I have taken a step back and rarely involve myself with the league as a player anymore, but I do edit and make graphics for the podcast and keep myself updated on my team.

The last project I truly worked on independently of a joint work was Super Smash League. An offshoot of DBZL where I implemented the same aspects but instead with Super Smash Bros. 4 on the Wii U. I recorded it every Sunday, but do to a lack of interest and scheduling conflicts, I have put that to rest now.

I have a podcast that I still plan on doing once my current semester of college ends, and I hope to continue it through the next school year once I have a format down. It will be uploaded on my personal Youtube channel and SoundCloud, while a post will be made about it on the website once it is updated too.

Outside of the podcasts, none of those forms of content creation caught my interest. I plan on trying a scheduled live stream where I play games with friends and host live Q&As or podcasts soon, but that too is just part of what I want to do.

The videos on Youtube I enjoy the most are the people who can break down a topic in depth and provide detailed insight into why something is how it is or why something happened. I follow dozens of creators who make videos that analyze shows and movies, or breakdown concepts for them. It intrigues me when people that had nothing to with the project can provide such insight into the medium.

I want to try my hand at this video essay style when I get the chance because I feel it is right for me. I don’t care how successful they are; I just want to get my opinion and insight out there on topics concerning more than just sports.

That was the main reason this blog exists. Don’t get me wrong, I love sports and consider myself an expert when it comes to the NBA. But I don’t want that to be my only product.

I like so much more than just athletics. I have vested interests in movies, animation, video games, books, comics and so much more. Limiting myself to only sports on the other two websites isn’t good for my writing style and I will not continue that trend.

As I exemplified with my recent article on the Timberwolves and what they can do to get better, I am not against posting interesting sports articles here. I just intend to make them the minority. Collin is the sports guy on this site, I want to be something different.

I have many ideas that will bring more to the table than just my weekly Samurai Jack review and occasional look into other things. I want to start talking about other shows that I am passionate about, like One Piece, and games that I recommend people to play.

The entire name for the site was spawned purely from the affection I have to my favorite superhero, Booster Gold. His comics are dorky, sci-fi adventures through time, but at the same time provide insight and a deeper understanding for one of the laughingstocks of the DC comicverse. I can always turn to his comics to have a good time, and that is what I want this site to be for other people.

… plus the name was really catchy…

Eventually I will implement video and audio into my content here on the site, but until I can find a good way to do so I hope you readers can still find something to entertain yourself with while you read.

To quote the namesake of my website,

“Well, how about the 411? I’m pure gold, ladies and gentlemen. I am the greatest hero you’ve never heard of… till now!”- Booster Gold

Houston Rockets, the Real Threat

The MVP race this season is arguably the best we’ve seen in the decade. James Harden and Russell Westbrook are having historical seasons respectively. However, the light being shed on Harden’s MVP case is leaving Houston’s accomplishments in the dark.

Continue reading “Houston Rockets, the Real Threat”

Worth the Watch? Samurai Jack: Season 5 Episode 2

When I turned off the NCAA tournament to watch the latest episode of Samurai Jack, I honestly thought I might regret it. After watching it however, I can safely say that I made the best decision of that entire day.

While the premiere and therefore first episode of season five was great for introducing us to the world and giving us a glimpse at what Jack has gone through over the last 50 years, nothing could have prepared me for what the follow up was.

It might seem like I am exaggerating this episode a little bit, and to be fair I might be. But in my opinion, this is the single best episode of Samurai Jack to date.

Take into account when I say this however that I have not rewatched the original four season in upwards of two years so I am going off of memory and it is still a close call between this and a few other classics. But I stand by what I said.

If you are not caught up or for some reason have either not been watching the newest season or seen the original, then stop reading now and go do so, because this next portion will delve into spoiler territory. You have been warned.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

In the last episode, the writers slowly got us used to the new voice of Aku by making use of the villain of the episode calling him on a cell phone like device.

Many people took this to mean we would not actually see Aku for many more episodes until the buildup was over and there was a grand reveal, probably in some sort of menacing or evil fashion. What we got, in my opinion, was a much truer to style reintroduction.

How do we meet the conqueror of the world and lord of all evil? Well by seeing him wake up, don his iconic flaming eyebrows and go through a morning routine of stretches of course.

This introduction to Aku makes things perfectly clear that despite the much darker and meaningful tone of the final season, things have not changed so drastically as to make our favorite demon lord lose his comedic side.

We see him stretch and talk with a few groups wishing to pay him tribute, which while cool, defeats part of the significance for the back story of the Daughters of Aku from episode one. Part of the reason they are born and trained so thoroughly is due to their mother and apparent matriarch of their cult wanting Aku to come back to the world.

Hopefully we get a little more details about where exactly Aku is located and maybe some information about why he is there.

The second group of people who visit Aku are three scientists who show him a giant version of the beetledrones from the previous episode. They state it will finally rid Aku of the Samurai.

To my surprise, Aku talks about how he does not care for the defeat of Jack anymore and that he actually finds it amusing to see him run around with all of the issues going on in his head. This was a route I was not thinking we would see.

At this point it is still assumed that Aku knows not of Jack’s sword being lost, which I am hoping we see more about soon, so that makes this train of thought come as even more of a surprise. He tells them to keep trying anyways and slinks back down to his domain.

I took him seriously until he started talking in a slightly higher tone, and the next scene when he is talking to himself as a shrink made me laugh. It also gave us some insight into the events that led to the current timeline.

Aku said he destroyed all of the time gates in hopes that by doing so Jack would just die of old age over time. Instead he found out Jack does not age and he is distraught over that fact, but refuses to do anything about it.

Thus, ends our time with the main villain and we enter a scene with a single white wolf. I immediately thought we would see Jack hunting the beast, but soon found it was instead a simultaneous use of imagery for the fate about to befall our hero.

After the wolf runs into the shadowed tiger and its companions we see Jack riding his motorcycle and choosing paths on a fork in the road. He stops suddenly in a clearing and is attacked by the giant drone we saw previously.

We get a brief flash over to the Wolf before Jack uses his trusty spear to one-shot the large mechanical beast. As he is riding off again however his bike is destroyed by what appears to have been a steel trip wire and he is assaulted by unknown assailants.

A brief assault shows how helpless Jack is against these attackers and he is soon left in but a shell of his armor and trying to mow them down with a gun. It doesn’t work and he is forced to hide.

This scene where he confronts what appears to be the Jack of long ago is deep and very well written. It shows how truly at war he is with himself and touches on the idea of Jack walking to his own death with honor.

He manages to ignore his inner musings and makes a break for a temple, which is shown through a sequence that is amazingly done. His assailants are revealed to be the Daughters of Aku and we now truly see how much trouble Jack is in.

We see Jack outwit the sisters before he himself is outwitted and pushed to the brink. With one last ditch effort, he hides in a coffin with only a nearly broken sword as protection.

His position gets compromised and he begins to fight in what appears to be a hopeless battle against seven enemies. He once more manages to escape and faces down one of the sisters alone.

At this point I realized that no words had been said since the conclusion of the inner dialogue and I was speechless. Through nothing but music, sound effects and animation this episode hooked me more than I have been for an episode of anything in years.

The fight concludes with Jack slashing the sister’s throat and realizing that his attackers are actually human. There is blood on the blade when he drops it and looks at what he has done.

He does not have time to dwell on that as he has been stabbed by a dagger in the torso and the others are gaining on him. He grabs the vibrating sword he took from his opponent in the last episode and uses it to escape.

The last two things we see before the credits are a bloodied Jack floating down the river in a pool of his own blood, and an equally bloodied white wolf lying dead in the clearing from earlier around the dead bodies of the tigers.

Once more I am left with a hole in my heart where the next episode is bound to fit and waiting with baited breath for it. This series is shaping up to be one of my all-time favorites.

The Best and Worst of Big Sean

Big Sean has risen out of Detroit as a prominent artist in today’s rap community. With the aid of Kanye West, Sean has now released 4 albums. Upon the release of his newest album, I Decided to rank his albums from best to worst.

Continue reading “The Best and Worst of Big Sean”

RWBY Review

In all honesty, I had a much better time with Rooster Teeth’s RWBY than I thought I would. While the animation up to the newest volume, Volume 4, was jarring and bugged me to an extent, I got over it to have a good weekend of binging it.

Previously, I had tried watching the first episode of the series multiple times and failed to get over the weird animation, despite loving the music and the voice acting being up to standard. It wasn’t until I made a deal with a friend of mine that I would finish the job.

Over the past week, mainly the weekend, I was dragged through all four volumes of the pseudo-anime and after the first pair of episodes the things that stopped me from finishing them seemed to fade away. I started enjoying some of the quirky animation.

Now for the record, I will by no means call the animation of Volumes 1-3 good, Volume 4 is another story entirely and is another post in and of itself. The CG style does give the characters a certain charm in the way their movements aren’t perfect or sometimes go off model, but in comparison to what I think it could have been in a traditional 2D animated style, it holds back the story and characters.

The biggest compliment I can give this show is that when it works it works as well as any show I have binged. I am sure if I was watching it on a one episode per week basis the story and characters would have had a much bigger impact on me. As it stands I will keep up with the fifth volume when that does come out, but I am in no rush to watch the show from the start again.

The two other things I enjoyed the most about the show are the characters and the soundtrack. Each character in the show is unique, from the titular Ruby Rose to the lovable klutz Jaune Arc, they all have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to personality. The voice actors, in most cases, are great picks for their roles despite most of them having done no professional work before this project.

Soundtrack wise, composer Jeff Williams did a wonderful job making an atmospheric and emotional OST that I enjoy listening to when I need to unwind or am reading. There are a few tracks that feel a little out of place at times, but for the most part it was spot on and at its best moments I had goosebumps from how well it worked.

My main complaints have already been aired out a little, namely the animation and how it affected my intake of the early portion of the story. Once you get past that however, the show becomes a very enjoyable experience.

My time watching RWBY was a pleasant surprise and I am happy to give the Rooster Teeth product a solid 7/10. I highly recommend giving it a watch, especially with how accessible it is.