On the Table
I actually have nothing to write about this week. I’ve sent feelers out for review copies of Myth, Galaxy Defenders and a couple of other things but I’m being ignored. And every other new game I’ve looked into is a Kickstarter and I don’t review Kickstarters until they are at retail. The review backlog is empty except for Mushroom Hunters, which I want to play with a couple of select people before I review it (not like I don’t already think it’s one of the most artful and unique games I’ve ever played).
So how about a There Will Be Games HD? It’s been a while. I can’t believe it’s been ten years since all of this stuff was going on. Time gets shorter and shorter…
Got in a three player game of Infiltration the other day, like I said in the forums, I think that game is stupendously underrated. I almost think it was somewhat mismarketed in the same way that Kingdom Builder was…in that Donald X. Vaccarino’s name is on the box and that is almost like putting “Dominion 2” on the there. Whereas Kingdom Builder is a smart abstract Euro-style game, Infiltration is almost like his attempt at doing a 1980s adventure game. It’s obviously very inspired by Dungeonquest. The theme is _almost_ pasted on- swap out data for treasures, lab workers for monsters and all the items for fantasy junk and you’re in a different world with it. But the cyberpunk thing works with it just fine, and it makes the game feel different. I was also thinking about how this kind of game- self-contained, inexpensive card game that takes about 45 minutes to play- is almost extinct.
Lots of Race for the Galaxy on the Keldon thing. It’s good. I’ve got the physical game and Gathering Storm to check out next week. We’ll see if I have goodwill toward it with live people, that was always my sticking point with it. Watching is not interacting.
On the Consoles
So I’m now further into Dark Souls than I made it before, which isn’t very far I don’t think. Mostly hanging out around the Darkroot Basin. I just beat the Moonlight Butterfly, which was shockingly easy. It seems like that’s a common theme with Dark Souls bosses…the “oh shit” first meeting where it seems impossible. The second time you say “hey wait…what if…” The third time you try the plan and die. Times four through ten you try to make it work, refining it. Then it does.
I totally cheesed Vaclav the Rock. I popped into his room, lured him out, let him swing, then clobbered him with the Zweihander. Took about 30 chops, but it worked.
I’ve been farming those crystal golems, totally cheesing those guys too. I found a spot where they get stuck and I just sit there and beat them to death.
I have no idea what to do about that hydra thing. Last night I took off all my armor so I could just run around and scout him out. Found a ladder, but then he blasted me. I also have no idea where to find the green shard to make a divine sword. And those drakes are just way too tough for me at this stage. I’ll have to sort it out tonight what to do next.
It really is like the best game ever made.
If you think the Souls games are hard, try playing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze co-op with a four year old.
Zork, believe it or not.
I also picked up Kahuna, a game that I am notoriously bad at. My buddy Peter used to routinely destroy me at this game. I forgot that it’s a really cool abstract with some particularly aggro gameplay. The app is really good and either the AI is BRUTAL or I am really just that bad at it. I finally beat the first level the other day and then got completely steamrollered by the next opponent.
On the Screen
I’ve watched about all of the first season of Game of Thrones. I want to like it more than I actually do, I think. I really like the idea of it being a more “realistic” fantasy thing, I like some of the characters even though there is some SERIOUS moustache twirling and hand-wringing hamminess going on. The setup is good, the intrigue is good. But just like the book, this shit is SO FREAKING SOAPY it’s not funny. Just because there’s dudes in armor, barbarians, and ice zombies or whatever does not distance this program from Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest or any other prime time soap opera. I actually think that is why it’s so popular…it’s fantasy that’s not really about heroic adventure, it’s about family/dynastic bullshit and soap opera affairs.
Sometimes it works…other times it’s Harlequin romance level trash. I’m glad it’s moved on (mostly) from all of that silly “taming the savage” crap with Danerys and Dave Navarro. I wonder if the Dothraki have trade routes set up so that they can exchange horse hides for eyeliner.
I’ll carry on with it
So this week in Clone Wars…Ben Kenobi fakes his death to impersonate a bounty hunter that gets locked up in a maximum security prison so that he can infiltrate a plot involving Cad Bane and these other hardasses…bad ass. You get to see Bossk in jail!
Mostly a bunch of pre-punk 1960s garage stuff…The Sonics, Wailers, The Monks, Blue Cheer, ? and the Mysterians, Shocking Blue…if you haven’t heard “Send Me a Postcard” by them, you should. Damn. Especially if you like The Hives.
The Sonics are probably the best of that entire genre/era…their stuff was so ragged and raucous…take a listen to “Strychnine” (later covered by The Cramps) and “The Witch”.
Thinking this week is going to be a Sonic Youth retrospective…got a massive hankerin’ to hear Daydream Nation…