In the aftermath of Christmas, Barnestorming #24.
Under the Tree
Hope everybody had good holiday. Ours was mighty fine, one of the best on record. You people without children have no idea how great it is to watch kids on Christmas morning. When I strapped on River’s toy guitar, which is styled like a BC Rich Warlock, and he struck a power chord and started nodding his head…nothing can beat that. I have no idea how a kid that’s not quite two yet already knows how to rock. It’s in the genes, I suppose.
My wife got me these incredible horse photographs from an artist out of Utah along with an iPad. But then my parents got both of us iPads, so we had three of them at one point. I can’t put the fucking thing down.
But Christmas ’11 will always be remembered for me as the time I went to the door and my dad greeted me with a .45. He just retired, and one of his suppliers gave him a $3000 custom 1911. He just couldn’t wait to show it to me. So I’m standing in the doorway to their house looking at this freaking hand cannon. Now that is what I call an American Christmas.
On the Table
The Eclipse review is up. Frankly, if this game weren’t being hyped to all hell at BGG some of its detractors would likely hush their feeble protestations. This game is amazing, it’s an innovative and highly evolved design that represents the very best of both American and European design concepts. So fucking what if there’s not some lame ass back story that tells you the history of the fish folks of Flingflarn or whatever. So what if there’s not piles of cards that tell you how to interact with other players. Tell your own stories and bring your own politics, and this game is just as bloody, ruthless, and violent as any classic DoaM game, but with a fraction of the bulk. It’s a bonus that the game also features an absolutely brilliant economic system that makes for lots of interesting decisions and tough choices.My Hellfire Club crew universally proclaimed TI3 dead after we played this. Not that TI3 doesn’t remain a great game for its time, but we’ll play the hell out of Eclipse because it does most of the same things but without the bulk. In fact, we’ve already played it more than we’ve played TI3 in the past year.
On the Consoles
Aside from occasionally picking up Arkham City to knock out more challenges and collectibles, I’ve barely turned the consoles on over the past week. Too much else going on.
But we do have a “Most Disappointing/Overrated” article up at Gameshark.I didn’t follow directions and listed too many.
Who knew that getting an iPad as a free gift would be so god damned expensive?I’ve already spent like $250 on the damn thing between a military-grade case, a Bluetooth keyboard, and of course a ton of games. For about half the price of one printed board game, I picked up Titan, Forbidden Island, Ghost Stories and Small World (with both expansions) and I’ve already played all of them since Christmas night more than I possibly could have F2F over the past year.
Titan is really well done and it’s the only way I’ll play it now. I do miss the expansions in Ghost Stories. Small World is great and it’s totally fine that it’s only two players- it works better on the platform that way.
I had never played Forbidden Island. That game has really surprised me, I like it a lot and it’s great for IOS.I still haven’t won it on normal.
I also picked up Assassin’s Creed: Recollection. This game could potentially be incredible. It’s a real-time CCG with this very cool timeline mechanic (inspired by Lumines, maybe?). It also draws from “contested location” card games and offers plenty of take-that action and surprises. But it has this concurrent turn structure that could only really work in a digital implementation. I haven’t bought booster packs or anything like that, which might be necessary to play online. But so far, I’m totally loving the single player and the presentation is top notch.
I couldn’t resist the Cave shooters so I had to get a couple of those too. Espgaluda II and Bug Princess. The big screen and touch controls work _great_. Eventually, I’ll have all of them.
Oh, and of course, Zen Pinball. Glad that the Thor table made it. Really love it on the iPad.
On the Screen
I think I’ll be OK not seeing The Yo Gabba Gabba Awesome Christmas Special until next year. We watched that so…many…times…
I did catch Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, which was great. Very cool 1970s country/rock vibe, and I didn’t realize that it was all Paul Williams songs.
TCM was showing Daleks: Invasion earth 2150 AD but I haven’t watched it yet. They showed War of the Planets, a really obscure Italian sci-fi film with Franco ‘Django’ Nero in it and directed by Antonio Marghereti after it. Recorded both.
I got both of the Deathly Hallows Blu-rays for Christmas too, but I haven’t watched those either.
Not much listening this week, again due to Christmas. With the whole family in the car, black metal and obscure krautrock doesn’t go over too well. Still on the Bauhaus and post-Bauhaus circuit for the most part, anyway.
Next week. Your Cracked LCD Game of the Year.