Barnestorming #MoaM- Kemet in Review, "Tall Ass Ears" Batman, Fringe

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Barnestorming #MoaM- Kemet in Review, "Tall Ass Ears" Batman, Fringe
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MoaM (Mummies on a Map) at its best.

On the Table

OK, fine, I’ll review Kemet. Folks, this game is the real deal. Better than Cyclades. And dig that mythological Egyptian setting- men riding beetles. Mummies, Cat-headed women. Giant D4 pyramids. This game is bad ass in every sense of the word. One of the best of this year so far, and one that I think will become as beloved and perennial as Cyclades. This game is just bad ass. It’s about as much in my wheelhouse as a game can get.

Lots of Star Wars LCG, mostly solo lately. I finally built a Jedi deck that I like, which is stupidly like one of every set and a couple of non-faction Rebel cards. It seems to just completely trash the Sith deck I’ve been using. Once Ben and Yoda are out with a couple of enhancements, it’s all over for the Empire. I’m actually not crazy about the Sith cards so far, I definitely prefer the Navy stuff.

Eagle Games told me that Triassic Terror is on the way. Love a dinosaur game. Should be fun, even if it is an ersatz Die Schlacht der Dinosaurien.

After Ken’s comments about Sentinels of the Multiverse, I think I’m going to do a retroview on it since there’s an assload of expansions for it and I did feel like it had some potential. A buddy of mine has a full set that I think I’m going to borrow for a while. I hear there’s status tokens and HP markers in it, which is actually something of a major improvement over the original game. It REALLY needs them.


On the Consoles

Well, I’ve kind of gotten bored with Shadow of the Colossus again. I’m on the eighth one, sort of a salamander thing at the bottom of a giant colosseum. I’ve fought him a couple of times and lost, can’t quite figure it out. The one before it, the giant bird, was awesome. Great game, but it can drag on. I’ll probably fire up Ico too soon.

Metro: Last Light is out, it’s on my Gamefly queue. As much as I love Metro, I’m not breaking my “never pay $60 for a launch day video game” rule again. It’ll be $20 in a month. I think Frank got a hold of the Metro board game, maybe he’ll tell y’all how it is. I haven’t been able to make it over there to play lately.

I’m again leaning towards abandoning the Wii U ship again. Lego City Undercover gave it a brief reprieve, but I’m getting a definite Dreamcast vibe about the system. Which is a toss-up, because Dreamcast had some amazing games.  But it was also a underserved disaster.


Ace Patrol. Almost exclusively.

I did play through Sorcery! and it is very, very good. Definitely the best gamebook to date on there. Some really neat implementations, especially the combat and world map. The spell casting is terrible though. I played through the entire story and don’t think I need to do it again, but it was worth $5.

Damn, Eclipse games are sloooooow. I almost prefer the AI just so I can get on with it. Is it my turn yet?


On the Comics Rack

OK, I think I found the “good” 1970s Batman other than the Adams/O’Neil stuff. It’s in Detective Comics, Steve Englehart and Walt Simonson. Some pretty cool “tall ass ears” Batman stories with Dr. Phosphorous and Hugo Strange. A little diversion with the Penguin and now I’m into some business with Joker fish.

It really is kind of the origin of the modern version of Batman, moreso than Frank Miller. It’s almost kind of shocking how little Batman has actually changed from these stories other than the obvious outliers like the Morrison stuff, Year 100, and so forth. Reading the stories is weirdly familiar, and even some of the more aberrant psychological elements are hinted at. Overall, quite good stuff and it should be required reading for any jackass that thinks that Batman was “silly” until The Dark Knight Returns.

Took a break from JSA. Will probably return to that this week.

Star Wars #5 ruled. Awesome space battle with the black X-wings. Han and Chewie getting into trouble on Coruscant. Boba Fett and Bossk buddying up.

On the Screen

I’m watching The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson’s movie from last year. I’m halfway through, too soon to judge anything about it. Definitely a difficult picture to size up, and definitely not for everyone.

I also watched The Amazing Spider-Man, finally. Wow, what a terrible film. I liked almost nothing about it. Shallow, empty, boring, and without really any reason to exist. I think I am OK with not ever hearing, seeing, reading, or even smelling anything to do with how Peter Parker became Spider-Man again for as long as I live. At this point, Spider-Man is practically an American folk hero so don’t waste my time explaining him to me. I don’t like Andrew Garfield in the role, I don’t like Sally Field as Aunt May (Sheen was OK though), and I absolutely despise The Lizard. So freaking silly. Spider-Man has so many cool enemies, why the hell do I want to see The Lizard. Why not The Enforcers or Mysterio? Hell, Vulture would have been more interesting. Or Kraven.

Maybe the next one will be better, Jamie Foxx as Electro sounds pretty neat.

I started watching Fringe too. I dunno. Walter’s a great character and all, but the whole thing feels way too much like a retread of Kolchak: The Night Stalker and X-Files. Maybe with a touch of Planetary in there somewhere. Come to think of it, Walter is almost a complete rip-off of the Doctor in a lot of ways- the eccentricity, the touch of darkness, the random non-sequiters…that said, if the blonde lady and her man troubles and the son would kindly step out of the way, the show would probably be much better. I watched the one with the heart parasite last night, that was pretty cool.


On Spotify

I can’t get the Random Access Memories stream to load for some reason. So I’m not really listening to anything so that I can detox my ears for next week. That record is going to BLOW UP. It is primed to be the record that unites the world in song. I don’t recall seeing a record more widely and hotly anticipated…which is kind of one of their goals, to bring back the excitement of a new record in an age when anyone can make a song and every song ever written can be downloaded on a whim. Their marketing for that record has been just amazing…they released a video last week of them in spaceship, getting a copy of the record and opening it. It’s put on the turntable and plays about 10 seconds of the first track and cuts to black. Brilliant.

I think it might be time to get crazy obsessed with The Fall again, it’s been a while. They’ve got a new record out this week.

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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