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Barnestorming #879- Lost Temple in Review, Thor, Muppets

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losttemple Role selection & move.

On the Table

Not much this week, but I have gotten enough plays in of Bruno Faidutti’s Lost Temple, just out from Stronghold, to issue my proclamation. And that proclamation is that it’s decent but slight, and not exactly the best use of the Citadels role selection mechanic. It just doesn’t seem to work as favorably in a “role selection n’ move” context. It’s not a bad game at all, and I do really like that you can have a table of eight (!) playing it in about five minutes with about 45 minutes duration. It’s funny because we had eight at the Hellfire Club the week it came in, and they like to all play a game together and I just so happened to have this ready to go.

Then we played eight player Cosmic. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s just as good as eight as it is with four. No, you may never get a turn. But you _will_ have fun. Fucking Tick Tock won it.

Banditos has arrived and it actually looks really fun. Copyright infringement abound- all the cars and motorcycles are real. There’s some fun action cards you can play on other players- “Foreigner’s Juke Box Hero comes on the radio- if you weren’t speeding, you are now”. The idea is that you use seed money to buy a vehicle and a weapon and then head to Mexico to rob banks. Doing illegal stuff raises your Heat level, which makes it harder to do illegal stuff. Get busted, and you lose anything you didn’t bank in your home city.

I also got a copy of Jeff Siadek’s new one, World Conquerors. I haven’t looked at it yet, but it looks like a very simple DoaM driven by leader cards. As in Hitler, Napoleon, Victoria II, Genghis Khan, Stalin, etc. Obviously not historical. It looks like you play the cards to either put them on the map as a general, to use them as an agent/action, or use their special objective to get points. It seems pretty neat. I think it was a Kickstarter thing. But aren’t they all these days.

On Consoles

Witcher 2, you big dummy. Finished Act I, getting close to the end of Act II. Best RPG ever made. The end. I don’t think I’ve ever loved an RPG as much as this game. When I’m doing the arm wrestling and dice poker minigames, you know there’s something special there.

I’ve got the Silent Hill HD collection sitting here, I’ve never played 2 or 3. Apparently it’s a bad port, but it’s what I’ve got.


Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is pretty good. I like that it’s the full game- all 52 characters- and the action is mostly there. But the controls aren’t as good as SFIV Volt or King of Fighters-i. But it does take you for a ride, so buying it is a cool decision.

I just downloaded Slitherine’s first post-Battle Academy game, Conquest. It looks like a more complicated version of Slay, which could be a good thing.

Trying to get a review code for Yggdrasil, which just came out. Should make for a good app.

On the Screen

Speaking of the Norse…I thought I’d check out some of the other recent Marvel movies what with all the Avengers hype going on. I didn’t like Iron Man despite RDJ’s best efforts, and Iron Man 2 was borderline unwatchable. Redbox was out of Captain America (my first choice), didn’t have the non-Ang Lee Hulk, so I wound up with Thor.

Good fucking grief. What a horrible, horrible film. Frankly, I can’t see where it’s any better than any of the comic book movies that were being made in the 1990s that got _trashed_ by fans and critics alike. The Asgard parts looked just as cheap, hokey, and fake as anything in Spawn (skreeeeeeeeeech!), the acting was pathetic, and the script was a mess. The “relationship” between Matilda (still call her that) and Thor was one of the worst I’ve ever seen…apparently making googly eyes at the blonde hunk is enough character development. I didn't even finish watching it.

But the main problem- just like in Iron Man- is that there is absolutely no heart, soul, or passion in the movie at all. It’s like they hired (and probably actually did) a commercial director to go through the motions and deliver a Thor movie. Yes, it’s Thor. It references stuff in the comics. The guy playing Thor looks like, talks like, and walks like Thor. But there’s no sense of anyone involved in the production giving a shit about anything going on it in front of or behind the camera beyond turning in a competent, workmanlike corporate motion picture.

Thank Crom the other movie I rented was The Muppets, which I absolutely loved. Such a fun, uncynical, and happy movie. So what if it’s riding on cute nostalgia- it’s The Muppets, and I love The Muppets. The plot was funny- typical Muppet movie stuff- and the thing with a human having a Muppet brother takes the whole idea that nobody really realizes that they're Muppets to a hilarious extreme.

The only problem I had with it was that it wasn’t big enough. Too many characters to cover. Gonzo was tragically underused, and some of my favorites like Rowlf, Sam the Eagle, and of course Statler and Waldorf didn’t get much screen time. Of course, Kermit is the best and it’s his show- and I’m not too proud to admit that I got misty eyed during “The Rainbow Connection”.

It was also really funny- they satirize their own pop culture irrelevance, there’s a couple of great robot jokes (“80s Robot” ought to be a regular character in future Muppet films), and I have to say that I never expected Camilla and the chickens to perform the song they do. I won’t spoil it.

I actually didn’t intend to watch it all. I put it on around 2:30am expecting to check out 20 minutes or so and watch it later…but I wound up watching the whole thing. Grinning the whole time.

On Spotify

Still on that Death Grips album. Trying to fold in more listenings of “Exmilitary” but I keep going back to the new one.

There Will Be Games
Michael Barnes (He/Him)
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

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

Michael Barnes
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Articles by Michael

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