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Barnestorming #29: Summoner Wars Master Set in Review, The Sentinel, Devil's Rain

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Summon this- Barnestorming #29.

On the Table

Did you already pick up your copy of the Summoner Wars Master Set? No? What’s wrong with you?

Summoner Wars is one of my favorite games of the past couple of years, and the Master Set is a masterpiece. Six all-new races that are all pretty bad ass, which nearly doubles what was already available. It’s a great package with a ton of play value, and it’s one of the best two player games on the market as far as I’m concerned. Review is at Gameshark.

I also just got a copy of Dungeon Run in the mail from those Plaid Hat boys. Can’t wait to try it out.

I've also got a new WorthPoint article live- this time it's about card sleeves! I realized that a lot of folks that read that site may not have any idea about protecting cards in games, considering how many dry rotted rubber bands there are out there in the world.


On the Consoles

My Cave Story 3D review is up for the 19 people that own a 3DS. Probably the best game for it.

I just finished Arkham City, and it had one of the best endings I’ve ever seen in a game. Fucking amazing. But also oddly moving and devastating in a way you’d never expect. It’s the best moment in a game full of best moments, and it really shows how freaking intimately these game makers know Batman and at the deepest psychological levels. The last quarter of the game just had me screaming. So much awesome stuff goes on. Definitely my vote for Game of the Year. Skyrim might be great and all, but it doesn’t have Batman and Joker. No video game to date has had such great characters.

It looks like Shooterageddon 2011, the battle between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, is going to end up a tie. MW3’s single player options are great including an awesome SpecOps package of mini-levels, but BF3’s single player is an utter embarrassment. MW3’s multiplayer remains aggressive, hectic and twitchy, but I prefer BF3’s team-oriented and slower pace (and vehicles). Both games are great military shooters, and fans of the genre shouldn’t feel compelled to choose. They both have core competencies, and both are extremely well made games in sum.

Bill Abner (still dealing with a bum hand) just handed (oof) me the Halo Anniversary review. I am going to be shootered the fuck out after next week.


On the Phone

Elder Sign, and that’s it. It just got a title update, so it’s good to see that FFG is supporting it.


On the Screen

I can’t stop watching vampire movies. The good ones. I watched The Lost Boys for about the 5,000 time last night. I absolutely love that movie. It’s stupid and ridiculous and reaches dizzying peaks of camp, but you just can’t beat that for the teen vampire thing. Everything about it is awesome, even that shirtless saxophone player. Who doesn’t know like every word of that movie too?

I also watched an oddity, 1977’s The Sentinel. It’s a horror picture that mom of all people showed me when I was little and I always kind of half-remembered it. This NYC apartment building, owned by the Catholic Church, is built on top of a portal to Hell. A blind dude has to keep watch of it. This model moves in, and all of this fucked up stuff starts happening. Burgess Meredith, one of the creepiest men of all time, shows up. Jeff Goldblum and Christopher Walken, also creepy, turn in early roles. The model’s hubs is played by Chris Sarandon, who is the voice of Jack Skellington. But the real stars are the demons. The filmmakers had a “great” idea to get circus freaks and people with horrendous deformities to be them. Totally not PC, and when you see them it really takes you by surprise. Definitely takes a page from Freaks.

The problem is that the movie isn’t really all that great, but there are things that could have been just amazing. Some of the horror scenes are tinged with an absurdist, surrealist tone that’s genuinely unsettling and weird. And I love the whole “urban horror” concept that follows on from The Seventh Victim and Rosemary’s Baby. But it is what it is, and it’s worth taking a look at for kicks.


On Spotify

The cover art, although it’s pretty awesome and drawn by one of the guys that did the Marvel Zombies stuff, should clue you in right away. Thisrecord doesn’t really mesh with the whole Misfits thing. And for good reason, because Jerry Only is the only remaining member but he’s got Dez Cadena from the original version of Black Flag and the drummer from Murphy’s Law replacing Robo. Doyle is gone, and is now hanging out with Danzig. The result is a record that sounds like Doyle desperately trying to rekindle the things that made the Misfits great but he just can’t do it on his own. The record is terrible, sadly. It’s metallic pop-punk with overly wordy lyrics (?!) that are completely on-the-nose and I don’t think there’s a single memorable hook on the whole album. Doyle tries his best with some half-hearted whoa-ohs and some other 50’s flourishes but it just falls flat over and over again. Occassionally you’ll hear an echo of a classic Misfits chord progression or a guitar sound, but then it turns into this weirdly polished yet completely bland slog through repetitive riffs and “well, no shit” subject matter.

Even Michael Graves detractors may have to admit that those two records are far better than this misfire, the first time I’ve ever said “this Misfits record sucks.” I hate to say it, but it may be time for Jerry to hang it up. With Doyle and Robo, at least it was ¾ of the Misfits, and they didn’t have to try so hard.

There Will Be Games

Michael BarnesFollow Michael Barnes Follow Michael Barnes Message Michael Barnes



Sometime in the early 1980s, MichaelBarnes’ parents thought it would be a good idea to buy him a board game to keep him busy with some friends during one of those high-pressure, “free” timeshare vacations. It turned out to be a terrible idea, because the game was TSR’s Dungeon! - and the rest, as they say, is history. Michael has been involved with writing professionally about games since 2002, when he busked for store credit writing for Boulder Games’ newsletter. He has written for a number of international hobby gaming periodicals and popular Web sites. From 2004-2008, he was the co-owner of Atlanta Game Factory, a brick-and-mortar retail store. He is currently the co-founder of FortressAT.com and Nohighscores.com as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Miniature Market’s Review Corner feature. He is married with two childen and when he’s not playing some kind of game he enjoys stockpiling trivial information about music, comics and film.

Articles by Michael

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