Barnestorming- Homeland in Review, Mega Man 3, Auro, The Oscars

Barnestorming- Homeland in Review, Mega Man 3, Auro, The Oscars Hot

Michael Barnes     
 
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Four for four.

On the Table

It is my understanding that Sons of Anarchy somewhat underperformed at the box office, so to speak. This is unfortunate, because the game is awesome. Apparently, Gale Force 9 only makes awesome games. Homeland is their latest awesome game. Do not be an idiot. Buy this game. After you read this review.

It is very much a “next gen” Battlestar Galactica. It’s streamlined to the point where it makes BSG look cluttered _without_ expansions. It basically takes the crisis resolution (playing secret cards into a stack and then resolving them) and makes the whole game about that part. As well as the espionage that goes on around playing secret cards. It’s a game about getting, using and creating information, and few games have handled this theme as well. I also especially like the real world setting and very modern theme (which is not, by the way “the Homeland TV show”).

I didn’t mention it in the review, but be advised that this is a 5-6 player game. With 3 or 4 you can play and it’s fun, works, etc. but you want an “all hands on deck” table for this one. I would actually prefer not to play with less than six, and I would probably pick something else over a 3 or 4 player game. Solitaire is only possible if you just want to see how the mechanics run. Which is actually pretty cool, but it’s not the intended experience. Great stuff.

Luchador and Super Motherload are in-bound, as is Assault on Doomrock all the way from Poland. I’m trying to get Apex Theropod because it looks bad ass.

On the retro tip, I traded into a copy of Rune Age with the expansion, I’ve been curious about trying it again with the add on and with some distance (four years?!) from it. Also got a copy of Flashpoint, which I’m thinking my kids might be able to play with some help.

On the Consoles

Monster Hunter 4, Majora’s Mask, blah blah blah.

In between those, I’m playing a host of Virtual Console titles off and on. Still working on Metroid Fusion, which I just absolutely love. Just got Wario Land 4, which is completely nuts. Apparently some critic wrote a 600 page analysis about the game. So far I really like it a lot, but not enough to write that much about it. This will do.

Got in the mood for Mega Man…I have a weird thing about Mega Man. When I’m NOT playing one, I’m all like “nah man, not really into Mega Man”. But when I am playing one, I love it. I went with 3 because that’s the one I have the fondest memories of. My god, the difficulty. It’s so freaking unforgiving compared to current games, even “hard” ones. It’s like you go on to a screen and there’s three things that you can’t reach immediately shooting you. But I love that feeling when you FINALLY break through and beat one of the masters. I think I might look into Mega Man X at some point, I never played any of the SNES titles.

Also hitting up Super Mario Bros. 3 pretty hard. Gosh, as much as I love Galaxy, SMW and SM3D I have to say that design is just near perfect. It was really where Miyamoto and crew nailed down what Mario is, what the games do, what they look like, etc. But the really interesting part to me is that the stages are REALLY short.

On IOS

I dug into Auro more and I think there’s possibly a really good one there. The tutorial is obnoxious, but the game is also unusually complicated. Each enemy has a unique behavior pattern and each spell has very specific effects not only enemies but also on the board situation…and they can have multiple uses. Ice spell is great for freezing guys…but you can also use to create an ice floe in the water around the board to escape. What makes it REALLY complicated is that each game creates entirely unique scenarios based on position and there is also a wilful restriction of your field of view. It’s not dissimilar to Hoplite, but it is far more intricate.

On the Screen

I don’t know why I always watch the Oscars, but I did it again. I guess every year I need to be reminded that the movies…they make us laugh, they make us cry. They show us the world we live in, and the actors on screen reflect our souls. Here are the nominees.

Travolta fondling Idina Menzel was the most painfully embarrassing and awkward thirty minutes of television I think I’ve ever seen.

Patricia Arquette hollered something about wage equality while wearing a dress that costs more than some people make in TWO years to an audience full of people taking home goody bags with tens of thousands of dollars of gifts.

Terence Howard- ???

“The eyes of the world are on me as I announce the most prestigious award in cinema. I bet a racist joke would go over well now”- inside Sean Penn’s mind before the Best Picture announcement.

On Spotify

Tape adapter broke, so not really anything this week.

Barnestorming- Homeland in Review, Mega Man 3, Auro, The Oscars There Will Be Games
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Posted: 26 Feb 2015 11:39 by ubarose #198360
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no high scores appears to be down again.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 11:45 by charlest #198361
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Interesting, I find Homeland very compelling with 4 or 5 players.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 12:57 by Egg Shen #198366
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Homeland sounds pretty awesome. You've pretty much sold me despite having not seen a single second of the show.

Couple of quick questions...how does it stack up against Dead of Winter? Where does it rank in with the rest of Gale Force Nine's games?
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 13:23 by jpat #198367
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Am I in a time bubble, or is Homeland actually "the first great game of 2015"?
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 13:37 by Michael Barnes #198368
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Ha, let me fix that...

Charlie- it's not that it suddenly becomes a bad game with four or five- it's still great- but it's the kind of thing where you want the most possible vectors of douchebaggery. The more, the malcious-er. Three does feel lacking.

Egg- I haven't played Dead of Winter, I just don't have any interest in it. But from what I've read/seen, I would think that this game is thematically VERY different since it is about espionage/information and not survival. I would imagine that it is also more streamlined and direct.

It's really hard to compare GF9's games because they've all been totally different and offer completely unique themes and settings as well as mechanics. I would say that Homeland is definitely their most social title to date, and in some ways I think it's their simplest. I think I'd still rank Spartacus as the best of their work with this second, then Sons of Anarchy, then Firefly. But all are damn good games a far sight better than what a lot of other publishers are doing with these kinds of designs.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 14:28 by logopolys #198372
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I'm all about some Rune Age. It works well with or without the expansion, but dwarves are cool and the 1vsTeam scenario is rad as hell. Looking forward to your remarks.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 15:15 by Joebot #198376
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Michael Barnes wrote:
Also got a copy of Flashpoint, which I’m thinking my kids might be able to play with some help.

One of the neat things about Flashpoint is how modular and configurable it is. You could definitely play with your kids and simply leave out some of the more complex features like Hot Spots or Vehicles. It's also very simple to dial down the difficulty. Great game, I like it a lot.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 16:47 by Sagrilarus #198379
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So who the heck is Gale Force 9 and how are they able to punch out one game after another that brings it? Is this a team of seasoned designers? One seasoned designer? Anybody we've heard of?

S.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 19:45 by VonTush #198383
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GF9 started off with miniature gaming modeling and conversion accessories (base flock, static grass, sculpting tools, green stuff, pin vices...etc.) I want to say that was at least 10 years ago and later they branched into acrylic markers and templates.

It's the same three guys and the same artist are credited on all four of their games. And none, from my quick glace at BGG, have any other games to their credit. Their biggest asset is they appear to work outside the BGG sphere of influence and have more of a miniature game sensibility about them. I think that's what makes them stand out.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 20:02 by Msample #198384
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VonTush wrote:
Their biggest asset is they appear to work outside the BGG sphere of influence

.

Let's hope it stays that way.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 21:43 by slayerming2 #198389
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Hey Michael

Just wondering if your interested in the new Underworld Ascendant?
www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidega...ndant?ref=nav_search

Seems like it could turn out to be a pretty interesting game!
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 21:45 by ThirstyMan #198390
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With the exception of rules queries, I have no idea why anyone would even want to go to BGG.

Logging your games played? Why? Filling in your For Trade list? No thanks. Informed comments and fun to contribute? No.

Mostly, I think BGG think they are more influential than they are and assume that anyone, who is anyone, must be part of their sphere of influence. Garbage.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 21:46 by ThirstyMan #198391
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slayerming2 wrote:
Hey Michael

Just wondering if your interested in the new Underworld Ascendant?
www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidega...ndant?ref=nav_search

Seems like it could turn out to be a pretty interesting game!

And you wouldn't, by any chance, happen to have a commercial interest in this game? Shill elsewhere please.
Posted: 26 Feb 2015 22:12 by SuperflyTNT #198392
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Mega Man is incredible. 3 is easily the best of the first 3. The whole game industry has lost their "Japanese edge" which forces players to put up or shut up and now puts out "Soft Amerikan" titles which are more tuned toward the small, instant rewards (READ: DIABLO 3) that keep you addicted without actually challenging you all that much.

It's like the losing team getting a trophy. It's about putting in the time.

I fucking hate that.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 08:37 by Egg Shen #198426
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I still think that Mega Man 2 just barely edges out Mega Man 3. It's just the more iconic game. It has the better robot masters and I think the stage design is a little tighter. Also the music in that game is so fucking good.

Both of them are fiendishly hard, but HIGHLY rewarding. I remember thinking when I was a child that getting the boss's weapon to use afterwards was the fucking shit. Then having to figure out the best order to complete the stages using the newly acquired weapon (pre-internet)...god damn. Awesome times. I can still boot up most of the Mega Man games on the NES and have a blast with them. MM2 & MM3 are the creme de la creme though.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 11:05 by slayerming2 #198463
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ThirstyMan wrote:
slayerming2 wrote:
Hey Michael

Just wondering if your interested in the new Underworld Ascendant?
www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidega...ndant?ref=nav_search

Seems like it could turn out to be a pretty interesting game!

And you wouldn't, by any chance, happen to have a commercial interest in this game? Shill elsewhere please.

Good point if I wanted to shill a game I should probably have gone to a bigger site....And definitely not one being run by Michael Barnes.

Anyway I was just interested to know his thoughts on the game since this is probably one of the most interesting gaming projects in a long while.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 11:18 by SuperflyTNT #198466
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Barnes doesn't "run" the site, for starters, and as an aside, I'll take a Barnes over any of the Billy Mays Shillmasters all day long. If I want to be sold something, I'll go to BGG. If I want to hear the truth about something, I come here, where people's opinions aren't smothered by passive-aggressive mockery and sometimes overzealous moderation.

The hype wagon stops here, and you should have a little more respect.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 11:19 by SuperflyTNT #198468
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Now that the unpleasantness has passed, is this a licensed game? Did Origins relinquish title or something, or is this an "in honor of" kind of deal? It does look slick as a monkey's dick, and I'd be really tempted to get in on it if it was a Garriott game.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 12:03 by ubarose #198478
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slayerming2 wrote:
ThirstyMan wrote:
slayerming2 wrote:
Hey Michael

Just wondering if your interested in the new Underworld Ascendant?
www.kickstarter.com/projects/othersidega...ndant?ref=nav_search

Seems like it could turn out to be a pretty interesting game!

And you wouldn't, by any chance, happen to have a commercial interest in this game? Shill elsewhere please.

Good point if I wanted to shill a game I should probably have gone to a bigger site....And definitely not one being run by Michael Barnes.

Anyway I was just interested to know his thoughts on the game since this is probably one of the most interesting gaming projects in a long while.

Since you have been a member here for 5 months, you should be familiar with our members feelings about Kickstarter and our site's policies regarding it. However, in case you need a reminder, here is a link: http://fortressat.com/forum/28-trade-forums/158795-kickstarter-news

If you want to avoid being thought poorly of, I suggest you get yourself an avatar, and post about this Kickstarter in a more appropriate thread. Either the ones listed in the above link, or in the current Kickstarter News article http://fortressat.com/news-newsflashes/5209-board-games-on-kickstarter-feb-27

And Pete, you should probably follow him to where ever he posts to continue to discuss this topic. Let's keep this conversation on topic.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 12:25 by Almalik #198481
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I have to admit, I'm seriously fucking interested to see what they do with Family Guy.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 13:23 by VonTush #198485
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ThirstyMan wrote:
Logging your games played? Why?
I just started doing this myself at the first of the year (seemed like a good time). Why? Just simple I wanted to start seeing what it was I was playing and how long it was since I last played. I was curious and thought it'd be a fun, alternate way, to interact with my hobby.

ThirstyMan wrote:
Filling in your For Trade list? No thanks.
There's been a handful of games that I've manged to snag in trade that are hard to come by. The Bugman's Game (thanks Dogmatix!) and Train Raider (whatever happened to Sgt Dave?). It is also a good way to clear out some games I no longer have an interest in...Like a bunch of Euros I stocked up on early on and later regretted.

ThirstyMan wrote:
Informed comments and fun to contribute? No.
About the only real thing I visit there are the personal comments on games from people - The GeekBuddy thing. The little blurbs from people I know online I find vastly more helpful than someone's random review. Knowing the person's tastes, their rating and a few sentences about their thoughts are vastly more informative than a 10,000 word rules recap "review". I recently started filling mine out as a way to return the favor I guess.

As far as contributing in the forums there...Nah, not really for me.

ThirstyMan wrote:
Mostly, I think BGG think they are more influential than they are and assume that anyone, who is anyone, must be part of their sphere of influence. Garbage.
That I agree, but I think it is because BGG is often an easy sell (if you break the code). Cater towards their tastes, get them salivating about something and you're well on your way to burning through a few thousand copy print run.

Well those be my answers to your questions.
Posted: 27 Feb 2015 15:39 by Black Barney #198501
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lol, great notes on the Oscars. all I caught was Terrence Howard (who I called Cuba Gooding Jr, omg) and Travota's face touching. I turned if off and didn't go back. Oh man.. I'd soon watch Curb to be that uncomfortable.