I’ve been a nerd since I can remember. Some of my earliest memories were gushing over how awesome The Mighty Morphing Power Rangers were and, let’s be honest, still are. Especially so now, since Kyle Higgins is telling an incredible story with the characters in Boom Studios’ comic series.
As my wife can attest, I also have a really bad habit of obsessing over things. The moment I find something I’m the least bit interested in, I’m hooked. I pour all of my time and thoughts into that new hobby. In my humble opinion, being a nerd is about being passionate about the things you love! I’m here to tell you, I love a lot of things. However, Nerds on Earth does lists of seven. So here they are, seven of my nerdy passions!
1 Dark Souls & Dragon Ball Z
Alright, so I’m getting a two for one on this subject! But hey, being a nerd, I do love cheat codes, so, up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start.
I have purchased every single Dark Souls game since the get go. My first game on the Play Station 3 was Demon Souls, the spiritual prequal to the Dark Souls and Bloodborne franchises. The moment my character set foot into the Kingdom of Boletaria, I was hooked on these high difficulty games and their dark fantasy worlds.
This type of game was perfected with Dark Souls. The Age of Fire and the Land of Lordran continuously draws me back in, and it apparently grabbed other people’s attention, as well. The game was a success and spawned several sequels.
For each one, the “Deluxe Edition” came with the figurines I now leave on my desk shelf. These figurines remind me of all the amazing hours I spent reliving Miyazaki’s Dark Souls. The world is so well interconnected and rich with storytelling that I can barely keep from exploding when someone is the least bit interested. The thing that draws me in the most is how the story is told. You could play the entire game and have no idea what is going on, where you are just a lost soul trying to survive in a world without flame.
Or, you can pick up every single item in the game and read through legions of text to envelop yourself in the rich world of Lordran. To this day, there are still dozens of fan theories on the true meaning behind some of the cryptic text. There is even a great fan theory on how the two different endings of Demon Souls could lead into Dark Souls or Bloodborne! In fact, From Software just recently released an HD remake of Dark Souls! If you haven’t played this series, I highly recommend it. You can find all of the Dark Souls series on Steam or any console. Demon Souls is unfortunately a PS3 exclusive, while Bloodborne is a PS4 exclusive!
Hanging off the swords of my Dark Souls figurines are some of my favorite keychains. While I loved Power Rangers as a child, my true passion was Dragon Ball Z. I may have wanted to be called Tommy, AKA the Green Ranger, but I truly desired to be like Gohan.
Three of my closest friends are ambassadors for my hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, and often travel to our sister city, Muroran, Japan. Every time they go, they bring me back a handful of these little Dragon Ball key chains and several other goodies. I always hang these in plain sight to remind me of all the awesomeness that came from the Dragon Ball series for me. A huge part of my life was shaped by that show and the kindness that the main characters showed everyone, even the villains.
If you haven’t watched any of the Dragon Ball shows, you should give them a shot. Yes, they are hokey and heavily flawed, but geez, they are genuine! You can find all sorts of life lessons in the show! You should be able to find the series streaming on Crunchy Roll, Hulu, and several other popular streaming services!
As a nerd, I naturally have a love for comics and have been collecting comics off and on since I was about 9 years old. I recently inherited ten long boxes full of sweet, sweet comic goodness. Indexing, re-bagging, and re-boarding these comics has been one of the highest points in my nerd career. Pulling out every issue of Marvel’s Secret Wars in pristine condition…I felt like a kid in a candy store.
Don’t even get me started on my newly acquired Claremont X-Men Comics. You might ask why I love comics, and why you should, too. The answer would be, “because they are awesome,” plain and simple! At this point, I feel like my collection is a time capsule. I have comics older than I am that have braved the test of time and won. I absolutely cherish the idea of handing my comics down to a future generation of Sims nerds that will love them as much as I do.
Over the years, they have created a character that anyone can relate to. Who hasn’t imagined themselves saving the world, or just being your town’s local hero? If you need to escape the often-crazy world that we live in, why not through Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, or Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern? Since the great success of Marvel’s cinematic universe, comic shops have been popping up all over the world. I’d be willing to bet you have one close by, and if you don’t, there are plenty of great online stores that would love to help you find your next graphic novel!
3 Tolkien Books
If you are on this site and you’ve never heard of Tolkien, then pull up a chair and let me tell you about my favorite author of all time. Have you ever read a book that went into such great detail about the world that you felt like you were right there? The Hobbit was the first fantasy book I was introduced to that did this. My father had to read it in college and absolutely hated it. When I found it in his book cabinet and begged him to read it to me, I’m sure he was quite reluctant. However, we bonded over that book more than anything else.
Having every small detail of every blade of grass of the Shire described to me blew my mind. Tolkien has a way with words that I feel has never been replicated. A true talent that draws me in from the first few words of each book! I’ve read several of his books a few dozen times and the charm never wears off. There is something truly magical about Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I believe that it has something for everyone. Whether it’s the rich lore of the Maia, the simple loves of the hobbits, or the overarching good vs. evil plot, Middle Earth is riddled with greatness. You should treat yourself and read a book by Tolkien. My favorite is The Hobbit and it could easily be yours! You can find these books in any book store in the world, I’m sure!
Alright, so those Dragon Ball Z keychains I mentioned earlier? Those are called Gachapon, and they are huge collectibles in Japan. You can find them on almost any corner. Another huge collectible in Japan is a figurine called Boltas. These are little nut and bolt figurines. They come in all kinds of neat designs. I have been able to acquire several straight from the place they are manufactured in Muroran, Bolta Kobo.
Once again, gifts from my friends who delegate for Knoxville. They get to go to Japan several times a year, and I am horribly jealous. Every time they go, they’ve brought me back one Bolta. You can see in the picture just how cool these things are! Luckily, you can find these all over the web. I highly recommend picking one up, they are made incredibly well and are awesome collectibles from halfway across the world!
Alright, normally my wife, Hannah, does the board game reviews, but this time, it’s my turn! Our very first board game together was Dragonwood. Hannah knew that I’d been wanting to find a fun board game for us to play together. My awesome wife went out and found us one for my birthday!
This game is out of this world fun. It’s super simple and makes it really easy for anyone that might want to try boardgames.The instructions are really easy: you roll dice to defeat monsters. You get dice equal to the number of cards you play to roll! If you are looking for a fun board game to play with the family or an introductory game for someone new, this is it. It gets an 11 out of 10 stars from this guy! You should be able to find this game at any of your local gaming stores or on Amazon!
6 Kingdom Hearts Collection
Do you love Disney? Of course you do! How about Final Fantasy? Umm…who doesn’t? How about the two sharing a universe? YES, PLEASE! Well, that’s what Kingdom Hearts has to offer.
When ten-year-old me played this game in 2002, I didn’t think there could be a better concoction. Well, I was wrong, because they continued to produce one after another over the years! And this coming year, they are finally going to wrap up the story! So, you are hopping on board at the perfect time. In fact, In just a few months EVERY SINGLE GAME will be released in one game, on one disk for the Play Station 4.
They are calling it Kingdom Hearts – The Story So Far. By the time this article is released, there is a good chance it’s already on the store shelves. So, you can catch up the last decade of Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s shenanigans before the final chapter releases in January of next year!
Who is Sora, you may be asking? He is one of the many protagonists in the series and the main focus of the story. You’ll be killing Heartless, Nobodies, Dream Eaters, and Unversed in this insane, fun-loving story driven by friendship! You’re in the for the Gummi Ship ride of your gaming career!
7 Endless Quest “Choose Your Own Adventure” Books
As you all know, I love a good adventure and I love to read. As a child, Choose your own adventure books were a prized possession. I absolutely loved flipping through the pages and replaying the story, time and time again. It felt like I never fully read all the choices.
Thanks to a fellow member of the Nerds On Earth crew, I learned they have published new Endless Quest books for the first time since the 90’s. So, if you love a good fantasy and like to choose your own path, check out the four new titles: Escape the Underdark, To Catch a Thief, Big Trouble, and Into the Jungle. These books look amazing, and I’m on the hunt for them now!
I would say the earlier titles really paved the way to my love for all things Pathfinder and D&D related. If you want to experience similarities to a good RPG, I would say these are a great place to get started! You should hopefully be able to find them in your local book store, FLGS, or Amazon.