Come on, it's five bucks.
On the Table
So how about that Warhammer Quest, huh? I hate to admit it, but I’ve never played the board game. So instead, I’ll just review up the IOS app and called it a Cracked LCD. Lazy, sure. But there it is.
Quarantine is pretty decent- I’m not sure if it’s going to miss the dreaded “cute little game” onus, but I’ve liked it so far. It’s simple, fun, and has a nasty streak that I appreciate. There’s a couple of cool mechanics, at least one of which I want to steal for a game concept that I have in mind other than Milch und Gherkin. Review on that soon.
Pax Porfiriana continues to intrigue me, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s one of those games that has the Eklund Curse, despite its cleaner, more accessible design. The Eklund Curse is that most folks will NEVER experience the full potential of his games due to subject matter, weird rules, crazy graphic design, or any of the other barriers to entry that all of his games are plagued by. I think Pax is a very, very, very good game but unless you play it a lot, it feels like another one that you’ll never ever get the most out of unless you have a group that plays it a lot and you only ever play with veterans. Review on that soon as well.
Does anyone want to sell me a copy of Legends of Andor? Recent talk about it has me wanting to try it.
Tammany Hall is en route…very excited about that one.
On the Consoles/Laptop
Metro: Last Light has kind of bored me…I think part of it is that I’m not playing on Ranger, because I can’t. I’m not spending five dollars to unlock the essential difficulty of the game. I dunno, I think I need to come back to it later when I’m not so burned out on current trends in video games. There is some really great stuff in it, and it IS Metro…but smoothed out a little too much.
A couple of new indie PC games on the radar…Gunpoint is freaking great. It’s a 2D puzzle/stealth game where you infiltrate these buildings to steal data or whatever. Touchpoint references are Elevator Action, Impossible Mission, and probably Mark of the Ninja. The cool trick is that you can rewire electrical devices so that a motion detector opens a door or turns off a light so you can get the jump (literally) on guards. I really like this one a lot.
I’ve only played a little of The Swapper but it’s pretty damn good so far. Definitely inspired by Metroid, Oddworld, and the movie Moon. All of the textures and objects in the game are real things, which gives it a very tacticle look. The conceit is that you can create clones of yourself to activate switches and solve puzzles. Definitely looking forward to more of it, I like what I see.
Last of Us, eh. 10s all over the place. Yet I still just another violence-fest zombie shoot-em-up with a B-grade Hollywood script. I’ll rent it.
Why is Puzzle and Dragons so popular? I don’t get it. Kids, I guess.
Scurvy Scalawags is unusually fun…it’s from Ron Gilbert, ex of Double Fine. It’s a pirate-themed swapping match three, but there’s some cool mechanics. Like how you have a pirate piece on the board, and you have to maneuver them around to get treasure and fight other pirates. Well worth a buck, and the IAPs are limited.
On the Comics Rack
Just read the first issue of The Wake, a new Vertigo book from Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus). Looks good, very compelling. The artwork is awesome, Sean Murphy has a great style. The story could be really interesting, but there is sort of a major issue for me. I know exactly what the inspiration for the story was, and it’s something kind of silly. I won’t spoil it, but if you read it I think you’ll know what I’m talking about if you saw the particular TV show.
Digging way back into the longboxes for some classic Alex Raymond Flash…my god, the artwork is so amazing. The writing is over-verbose and pretty shallow, but the drawing is just to die for.
I didn’t realize there was a recent Buck Rogers reboot. It’s fucking terrible.
Finished the Ultra-Humanite story in JSA, it was mighty fine. Really digging the Crimson Avenger.
On the Screen
Spied a copy of Scooby Doo meets Batman at the Book Nook so I got it for the kids. What’s really weird is that I remember virtually every single line of dialogue, image, and sound cue in it even though it must be 25 years since I’ve seen it. And I realized that it was the first time that I ever heard the word “Dryad”.
It’s totally ridiculous, of course. Batman is awesome in it. This is the “old chum” Batman, nowhere near anything that was actually going on in the comics at the time (‘72/’73). He says some of the stupidest lines it. But whatever, it’s a classic cartoon and obviously it made an impression on me when I was little. Kids have already watched it like 30 times.
I also picked up the DVD set of Challenge of the Superfriends, more Hanna Barbera/DC madness…if you haven’t seen it, you have to. It is unbelievable. Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom live in a swamp inside of Darth Vader’s helmet. The thirteen MOST POWERFUL VILLAINS in multiple galaxies, such as THE RIDDLER and the TOY MASTER come up with ridiculous schemes to thwart the Super Friends/JLA. I guess Darkseid didn’t return their call.
Anyway, it’s hilarious. From Braniac’s knee-high athletic socks (looks like he’s about to play a little tennis) to Solomon Grundy’s southern drawl (I was just rolling when he says “I got you now, Supaman!”), this is funny, funny stuff and definitely not for people who take comic characters too seriously. For some reason, River really like the ones with Cheetah in them. I had to convince him that she wasn’t Catwoman though.
I’ve been rewatching Gangs of New York since that came up in the forums thanks to Mr. Jeff White…I’ll have more on that later. But my thinking on it is that it could have been one of the best movies ever made if it weren’t for a couple of complete and total blunders. Such as the casting of Cameron Diaz.
The funny thing about The Pixies is that there are THOUSANDS of bands that copied them and continue to copy them. Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, any number of crappy teen-emo bands, countless indie pop acts, and so on. But not a single damn one of them has ever produced ANYTHING remotely on par with Surfer Rosa or Doolittle.
Those two records are just astonishingly great, and are arguably two of the very best records of the 1980s. I don’t know that there’s ever been a better “college rock” single than “Here Comes Your Man”.
It’s strange though, whenever I get onto listening to The Pixies I rarely venture into the wilds of Bossanova or Trompe Le Monde…even though there are great songs there- Alec Eiffel and Velouria, of course. Maybe I’ll listen to them this week.
My favorite memory of Trompe Le Monde was buying it on tape because I really liked this girl called Katie in high school that often wore a Pixies shirt. I was trying to talk to her and I was all like “yeah, I got that new Pixies record, it’s really good”. She said “I hate it, it’s heavy metal”. I knew then that we were never meant to be.