Barnestorming #9823- Destined Hero in Review, Witcher 2, Captain America

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destinedhero An 8-bit boardgame.

On the Table

I finally dinked around enough with VPG’s Destined Hero to issue a review, and it’s not a very favorable one. It’s a hugely unique and very, very different take on the adventure game…but it just doesn’t quite work. It’s funny because in the designer notes he talks about doing the prototype and being surprised that it just worked and he speaks about it almost like some kind of prodigious revelation. That really speaks to the main thing wrong with the game. It’s not even quite half-baked, and it really needed some serious time in development before it was ready for prime time.

On one hand, it’s only a small company like VPG that could put out something that’s experimental, tentative, and interesting if not fun or really worth playing. On the other, it shows how the smaller, more open business model they have is more accommodating of games that aren’t quite up to scratch. When you’ve got less at stake with a release, the impetus for the kind of development, time, and resources needed to work with a game like this may not quite be there.

Some really interesting ideas. Just not much fun to play. The Dragon Quest artwork is great though, and again it shows that VPG really does a lot with very little in terms of graphic design and style.

World Conquerors is a good one. I really like what’s coming out of that one.

On Consoles

Finally finished with Witcher 2, at least the first playthrough. I’ve got to put it away for now, I was right at hitting Witcher burnout when it wrapped up.

It was awesome, the ending was great and it offered me a couple of very unexpected choices.

One of the best video games I’ve ever played. I’ll kind of miss being completely enthralled by it as I have been over the past month.

Now I’m grazing…a little Trials Evolution, which is horrifyingly addictive and compulsive. Found a dollar copy of Marvel Ultimate Alliance so I’ve been playing with it, a simple but fun beat-em-up. And I just started Silent Hill 2, which I’ve never played. Man, is it boring for the first hour or so.


I just discovered the comics readers, so I’m trying really, really hard not to blow my entire paycheck on digital comic books. I bought all of The Infinity Gauntlet and the Kree-Skrull War. Some miscellaneous Batman issues. Read a couple of issues of Civil War since I didn’t read it when it was new. Pretty bad, I though it would be something more interesting than the ol’ “government cracks down on Supers” chestnut.

On the Screen

Watched Captain America. Here’s the surprise. I really liked it. I liked that it was old fashioned (as in, 1990s-era summer blockbuster old fashioned), I liked the treatment of the character including how they folded in his Golden Age personality and hokiness as a war bonds spokesperson, I liked that the Howling Commandos were there (although not named), and I LOVED Red Skull.

This one got a lot right that the other Marvel pictures didn’t. There was a great villain, the storyline was more interesting, and there was a MUCH greater sense of scope, atmosphere, and setting. Getting Joe Johnston onboard was a smart move, because he brought that same sense of pulpy, gee-whiz attitude that Rocketeer had.

The Hydra stuff was great, loved that they were presented as the EVEN WORSE Nazis (they Sieg Heil with BOTH arms!). The Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe stuff was fun, and I even liked the laser tanks and stuff. It’s a boyish, fun movie with a real sense of heart…something that neither Iron Man nor Thor had at all.

I really liked too that Steve Rogers was presented not just as a Pollyanna patriot, but as just a good guy. I thought the portrayal of a regular guy that wants to do right that suddenly has the ability to make a difference was really well done, and that made me believe in Cap.

On Spotify

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 and 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.

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