Barnestorming #Revengeance- Exodus: Proxima Centauri in Review, iceage

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Barnestorming #Revengeance- Exodus: Proxima Centauri in Review, iceage
There Will Be Games

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 This game is great and all...but REVENGANCE!

On the Table

Exodus, in some ways, is better than Eclipse. In most ways, it’s better than TI3. So I think there is definitely an argument to be made for its somewhat faster, more aggressive style of play even though it’s a third option for the epic 4x space game choice. I wish it were produced a little better, even though I like the ships better than in Eclipse- they’re old Silent Death molds. It’s an expensive, import title and there’s just a little too much chintz- not to mention the smallest fonts I think I’ve ever seen. But it is a really, really good game. It’ll be interesting to see if it wins over any TI3 or Eclipse cultists.

I’ve played two of the new Small Box Games, Shadow of the Sun and Valkyrie Incident. One is a multiplayer Hemloch, but better. The other is a card battler with some really neat concepts. And mechs. I’ve got the third, Stone and Relic, but I’ve not gotten to it yet. Definitely more quality, unique games coming from John Clowdus.

I tried Death Angel again, this time with all of the expansions. I liked it, but after a night of playing through a couple of games I realized that I never want to play it again. I’d much rather just do LOTR LCG. The expansions were kind of cool, but I feel like there’s TONS of options for Marines but really not much variety in terms of missions or adversaries. I can’t see that game being any fun multiplayer, but it’s decent solo.

I’m really enjoying going back and revisiting games that I had sort of mid-range sentiment on…it’s interesting to approach games a couple of years on, particularly ones you thought were just kind of OK.

I’m getting Batman from Wizkids when it comes out. I cannot fucking wait.


On the Consoles

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. OH MY GOD, this game rules. It is EXACTLY what you want if you hear the names “Kojima” and “Platinum”. It is peanut butter and chocolate. The game is just unbelievable, the action outrageous and totally video game crazy. It is definitely NOT a button masher in any way, and the combat feels innovative. It’s like the game you imagined that we would be playing in the future back in the 80s. There have been so many moments- ranging from a music cue during a boss fight to PARRYING a Metal Gear Ray to a kid making a hilarious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reference that have just rocked. I’ve sworn off buying games unless they’re under $20, but I’ll make an exception and buy this one- it’s permanent collection material. You hear that Jon Jacob? This one is definitely in your wheelhouse.

Oh hey, did you see that Sony announced the Playstation 3.1?



Knizia stuff.  Mostly T&E, Medici, and Ra. This is a great way to check these games out if you haven’t already.

Bill Abner mentioned Plague Inc. on the Jumping the Shark podcast, I got it. It’s interesting. I don’t know if it’s actually any good, but I like the concept. Seems pretty tough to win, those darn scientists what with their research and all.


On the Comics Rack

On the “Why the hell did I read 10 issues of this” stack this week- Skullkickers. It’s a light fantasy book from Image about two nameless characters, a hulking bald gunsel and a ruddy little dwarf. They’re mercenaries and do mercenary stuff. It’s occasionally mildly funny, but far too convinced of its own hilarity. The art is OK, I guess. I dunno. I looked back over what I had read and was sort of disappointed that I wasted the time on them.

Star Wars #2 was awesome. Leia didn’t execute anybody. But I’m digging this whole “black ops” idea, and I think Wood really does have a handle on these characters.

Immortal Iron Fist was awesome, at least until Brubaker drops off the book. I haven’t read past that, but it’s going to be hard to top the “Seven Capital Cities of Heaven” storyline.


On the Screen

I hit Twin Peaks fatigue. Man, the second season gets tiresome. The civil war junk just wears you down. Audrey doesn’t even look as pretty. There’s a lot of great stuff, but it’s fewer and further between until the show wraps up. I think I’m just going to skip to the end and polish it off with Fire Walk With Me.

I realized this week that I really, really, really hate Finding Nemo. Kind of irrationally.


On Spotify

I’d love to listen to exciting, new music but too often I’m let down by it. So it’s particularly exciting when I hear something new that’s actually really good. This week, I finally got around to checking out iceage, a Danish band that I believe is pretty young- all under 20.  Their new record is called “You’re Nothing” and it is shockingly good. It’s muscular, energetic post-punk but played at hardcore velocities and with a greater sense of drama and atmosphere. Joy Division is an obvious touchpoint (re: the band name), but comparisons to Mission of Burma, “Pink Flag” Wire, and Husker Du wouldn’t be too far off base. They’ve got some great hooks too- this isn’t a blurry miasma like many bands that loosely fit the above description would turn out, the songs are definitely there. I haven’t listened to their first record yet, every time I go to do it I just wind up listening to this new one instead. This kids are going places.

I still haven’t heard the new My Bloody Valentine record, I’m fairly sure that it is just some kind of mass hallucination.

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 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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