I got yer stretch goal RIGHT here...
On the Table
It’s been months in the coming, but I’ve finally put my thoughts on Kickstarter on digital paper over at NHS. Most of you regulars already know what I’m going to say about it. Where, oh where would the hobby be without piles of Kickstarter games…thank god somebody made it possible for some random guy to come up with some bullshit idea so he could ask people for money to pay a Chinese printhouse to make it.
Spartacus, that new Gale Force Nine game based on the show that’s way better than Game of Thrones, is an interesting one. I’m not quite sure what I think about it yet. It’s definitely one for you folks that like the idea of Junta, where you play a take that card game and then a different kind of board game in the middle of it. The concept is possibly brilliant- you’re a dominus, and you plot and scheme against or with other domini to earn influence and money. This is the take that card game. There’s some neat ideas, like being able to buddy up and pay influence costs for cards together…but you can be a jerk and lure people into partnering before you use the card they paid for to screw them. The rules include the specific line “don’t be an ass”, but this is a game about being an ass.
Then there’s a Dune-like auction where you can get slaves (which the game calls “slaves”) and gladiators. Slaves give you money and special abilities, gladiators gladiate. Every round somebody hosts the games and invites two gladiators to battle in a simple hex-based skirmish. Everybody else bets on the outcome, which includes a 2:1 payout for betting on a decapitation.
So yeah, this game almost sounds perfect- betting, treachery, lying, hurt feelings. I’ll review it soon, but there are a couple of things where I’m not sure if they bug me enough to ding it. The problem seems like the fights- they’re kind of too long, I think. But it’s definitely one to look at, and I may wind up loving it.
I also got the Goblins for Dungeon Command and messed around with them. If you weren’t convinced by the other releases, this one won’t change your mind. If you like what this product does, then it’s a great set and it may be my favorite of those released. Fast & squirrely, those goblins. There’s also some Hobgoblins, a Horned Demon, and a Feral Troll in the box. Yikes. I have yet to incorporate all of the DC stuff into Adventure System, but I think it’s going to really increase the ability to customize the monster deck to your liking. I like this stuff, and I like that it’s D&D.
On the Screen
Last night I realized after about 20 hours that I have absolutely zero desire to continue any further with Borderlands 2. I was heading out to some damn waypoint to tick off a box on a checklist and everything about the game suddenly looked and sounded exactly like the first one, and suddenly I thought it was 2010 again. So what if there’s a gazillion guns if a bazillion of them are useless compared to what you’ve already got. Is it “fun” to loot two dollar bills and ammo you don’t need from endless boxes? The first game was fun to play through once with friends and then put away. This one, I just don’t have the patience to carry on. I think I’m going to fire up Dark Souls tonight to tide me over until Dishonored and XCOM next week.
RE6 can take a hike. I’ll rent it, but I’m not really even looking forward to it after a couple of trusted reviews.
I bought an IOS game! It’s God of Blades, and when I read in a review that it was psychedelic fantasy a la 1970s drug addict stuff like Moorcock, I had to have it. And lo, it is totally in that pulp 1970s LSD fantasy trip- not Tolkien. You play a Nameless King (whose name given his appearance is probably “Elric”) and it’s an endless…uh…slasher. Kind of like Canabalt crossed with a simpler Infinity Blade. It really isn’t that great in terms of gameplay, but the music and look are freaking amazing. One cool feature is that you can unlock swords by visiting a library. As in, literally going to a public library.
On the Comics Rack
Went into a little Euro jaunt this week, picking up some of Jodorowsky’s The Incal and Bilal’s Nikopol Trilogy, both things I’ve wanted to read for a long time.
Here’s the thing about stuff like this. It looks A-MAZE-ING. Particularly the Bilal book. STUPIDLY great. Like, stare at the page and his character designs for ten minutes great. The problem is, and I’ve always had this with most Euro fantasy and SF comics, is that the stories tend to not really be all that great. They’re serviceable and sometimes have some interesting detail, but I’ve yet to read anything like this including Moebius where I was blown away by the writing. Maybe something is lost in translation, I don’t know.
Anyway, Eurogamers take note- the first book of Nikopol opens with Egyptian gods playing Monopoly, declaring it crap, and then throwing it into a fire.
I started looking at Abazadad, but the art put me off so badly that I didn’t continue.
I also read through the first 26 issues of Morrison’s JLA run, since Comixology had them on sale. They were…really not that great. Some of the storylines were cool- the Hyperclan and Prometheus ones- but some of it was just a mess. The whole Rock of Ages arc was confusing and sloppy, which wasn’t helped by Porter’s art which I think is terrible, cluttered, and ugly.
I liked how they were VERY Silver Age despite modern trappings- colorful, willfully stupid, melodramatic, and they had that superhero pageant thing going on. But they just weren’t very interesting, and at times they were really pretty tedious. I didn’t care for all of that angel nonsense, and the weird Sandman cameo was…weird.
I also realized that in the DC Universe, there are two unlocked, broken screen doors that need to be replaced. One is in Arkham Asylum, the other is in the JLA Watchtower.
Back on Simonson’s Thor right now…so freaking good. Funny how Lorelei looks just like Debbie Harry.
On the Screen
Pretty much just Avengers. The more I watch it, the more frowny I get that Scarlett Johansson wasn’t cast as Scarlet Witch instead of Black Widow. And that whole Chitauri thing still chaps my hide.
Too many good movies out that I can’t go see right now…Looper and The Master in particular. We may get out to see Frankenweenie with the kids this weekend.
River commandeered the iPhone all week so on rotation were The Jam’s version of the Batman theme, the Spider-Man TV show theme song, a couple of Yo Gabba Gabba tracks, and the Thomas & Friends theme.