My god, this artwork...
On the Table
Let’s make it official- the Sentinels of the Multiverse Retroview. Everything available up to this point aside from exclusives is part of this, and my take on the set is that if you want to get into this game, go all in. Because one of the things that makes it good is the tremendous variety and interactions between hero decks, villains, and envrionments.
I’m still torn on the game. I think it’s kind of a bad design- old fashioned and sloppy- but I keep coming back to it, especially for solitaire games with four heroes. Multiplayer is fine, but I wouldn’t choose to play it over other options. There are some things I like better about it over LOTR LCG, but that’s clearly the better-designed game. But then there are some things- like the god awful artwork- that I despise. We’ll call it a draw.
UPS man just brought a new deck of Star Wars LCG cards, yay. Quarantine is coming courtesy Mercury Games, and I’m supposed to be getting a Triassic Terror but it’s not turned up yet. May need to shake the tree a bit.
On the Consoles
Metro: Last Light is off to a decent start, although it feels more constrained than 2033. I especially like that it is a direct continuation and the questions raised by the end of the first game are being directly addressed. It looks amazing and it has that incredible atmosphere going for it, but the AI is actually much worse so far. There was one part that was just awesome, sneaking through a Nazi rally and the guy you’re following blows his cool and starts shooting.
One thing I absolutely hate is that I can’t play Ranger difficulty without paying $5 for DLC. Fuck that.
I’ve also got Monster Hunter Wii U here, Don’t know if I really feel like the time commitment.
I’ll review Warhammer Quest next week, but it is the best dungeon crawl on IOS. However, a game that has random events that steal your gold and then tries to sell you in-game gold in exchange for your real money is highly, highly suspect. I am most definitely not down with that. I bought everything, and I can tell you up front that $2.99 is $2 too much for the add-on characters. I haven’t seen the Skaven area yet, don’t know if that’s worth the cost of the game itself again or not. If the game was going to be so IAP heavy, it should have been 99 cents.
Another common complaint is the font. They used a SMALLER font than the 1st edition of War of the Ring. It’s tiny and stylized. On the iPhone, you almost can’t read it even with a retina device.
As for the people bitching about the inventory screen coming up by rotating the device rather than pushing a button- boo fuckin’ hoo. It’s really not any harder than pressing a button to bring it up, and it’s more seamless.
I’ve also been poking around with Dungeon Plunder, a game that was billed as roguelike with a slots combat mechanic. That’s pretty much exactly what it is. It’s also horrible. You walk into a dungeon, and there’s monsters standing there. If you move over them, you do a five reel slots game where you can hold results for a respin each round. Oh my god, it’s boring as hell. King Cashing was far better.
On the Screen
Man, Fringe is getting good. It’s still tremendously derivative- ESPECIALLY of early Cronenberg and in particular Scanners. There’s also a huge debt to Philip K. Dick, especially with all of the drug use and the way the alternate universe is handled. Halfway through season 2, I’m sold on it.
Well, mostly. I absolutely despise Olivia. Such a weak, uninteresting character on just about every level. A couple of shows have been definitely less good than others…and I LOVE that they fully show giant monsters and stuff when warranted.
I tried to watch John Dies at the End, but it was awful. I can definitely see Coscarelli trying to get back to his Phantasm roots, but it played like a film based on a crappy internet novel or something. Oh wait.
Funny thing is, if you quizzed me on it, I wouldn’t remember any of it and I just saw it the other day.
Out of nowhere, I decided to load up the Hanoi Rocks catalog the other day. I haven’t listened to this Finnish template for Guns n’ Roses in a while. Even though they’re pretty obscure now, they pretty much influenced the entire 80s hair metal scene. Look, sound, debauched attitude, everything. These guys were doing all that when Motley Crue was still in red leathers and spikes, singing about the devil.
It really is unfortunate that, of course, Razzle died in the fabled Vince Neil car crash because Hanoi Rocks had a pretty unique thing going and they could have been bigger in the US than they were. But they weren’t Sunset Strip hair rockers. Their music was closer to traditional English glam like Slade and Mott the Hoople as well as the New York Dolls and they had this sort of strange…I don’t know…Finnishness to their sound. Also, they’re clearly more punk-influenced than metal-influenced hard rock.
The records are good. The first one “Bangkok Shocks, Saigon Shakes, Hanoi Rocks”, as expected, is probably the best. The major label debut “Two Steps from the Move” has their best song on it “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.
But I do think that ultimately, they’re a band best served by a greatest hits compilation- the albums definitely have some filler and some pretty odd experiments that didn’t quite pan out. But this was a great band- great playing, great songs, great look. Definitely worth a stroll through their catalogue.