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Barnestorming # :-| - Talisman IOS, Bioshock Infinite, Chrome

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Barnestorming # :-| - Talisman IOS, Bioshock Infinite, Chrome
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There Will Be Games

 It's tedious to go alone.

On the Table

So yeah, IOS Talisman finally came out. I played it a bunch last night and wrote about it. Not so much a review as a disappointed observation. Read it at NHS, but long story short, I won’t be selling off my Talisman set any time soon.

Played more Kemet, still digging it. Will review next week. Z-Man is kindly sending a copy of Terra Mystica, really looking forward to it. Trying to get review copies for Triassic Terror and a couple of other things.

Yay, new Star Wars LCG deck this week…ordered it and the BBTM expansion, finally.


On the Consoles

Reviewed Injustice at NHS this week- I love it. It is definitely Mortal Kombat with DC characters, and that works for me even though I’m not really into the “dark” superhero thing outside of characters that were already dark. I mean, how dark can you make Shazam? It’s a great fighting game, TONS of single player content.

I’ve been playing Bioshock Infinite, and it’s terrible. I’ll write more about it later. But never have I seen a game so horrifically blunder that line between movie and video game. The movie parts are OK (even though Elizabeth is exactly a cross between a Disney princess and one of the kids from Akira and her voice actor sounds straight out of drama school) and the Something to Say About America parts are trite but sort of funny in that “oh my god, old timey racism” way…but the gameplay is fucking awful. It’s one thing to root around scavenging in System Shock 2 and the first two Bioshocks because they were places in ruin. In this, I’m literally going into populated ice cream shops and digging in the trash for hot dogs to eat. The looting is tedious, the gunplay is terrible. The vigors are pretty much exactly the same as what was in Bioshock, and the whole “magic left hand” thing doesn’t fit in with the concept at all.

I’m still trying to figure out a) what the hell the Skyhook does, b)how DeWitt can jump like 50 feet to a Skyhook point and c) where the hell Elizabeth gets her Skyhook since she just suddenly has one out of nowhere. What a stupid, half-assed concept. 

The only reason the game is getting such raves is because of the Maxfield Parrish-like visuals, the whole Elizabeth thing (which should read as pretty dumb to anyone over the age of 18), and that it Has Something to Say About America. But what it says is so dopey and worn out that it’s not effective. OMG, America’s history includes bloodshed and racism. I NEVER KNEW THAT UNTIL THE HALL OF HEROES!

Fuck this game. I’d rather be beating down Cyborg with Black Adam.



Talisman, obviously.

I got really into this terrible-looking game called Kingturn last week. It’s a simple SRPG-style game like Fire Emblem or Shining Force, but it’s very streamlined and easy to play on mobile. I’ve really enjoyed it despite the crude presentation…it’s also free to play the prologue and then $5 for the whole thing, which looks like a TON of gameplay. Worth  a look, I like it better than Wesnoth or some of the other SRPGs on IOS.


On the Comic Shelf

I am Kirby’ed out for the time being. I definitely OD’ed.

Playing Injustice lowered my standards somewhat and I got really interested in reading some really mainstream DC stuff. I read part of the Sinestro Corps War thing, and got really bored with people in space surrounded by yellow or green light either barking orders, bro’ing it up, screaming, or making strident proclamations. I don’t get it.

I read some JSA, the late 90s/2000s series. I’ve never read JSA. I kind of liked it, I liked the more obscure, no-investment characters and the more “family” dynamic of the team. Shit goes DEEP into continutity, with editor notes calling out things that happened in issues dating back to the 40s.

I also read Jeff Smith’s Shazam and the Monster Society of Evil. It was cute.

I’ve got a folder with scans of every issue of Challengers of the Unknown, I hope to check those out this week. Never read a single issue of it.


On the Screen

Mostly Django Unchained. I did get River a set of DuckTales DVDs so we’ve been watching those too.


On Spotify

Speaking of OD’ing…”Get Lucky” was officially released and I think I’m OK with not hearing it again until the record comes out.

So mostly I’ve been listening to Chrome. If you don’t know Chrome, they were a San Francisco punk band from the late 1970s/early 80s fronted by Damon Edge and Helios Creed. They did some of the most fucked up, surreal, psychedelic proto-industrial garage punk space rock of all time. It’s total scifi rock, with titles like “Slip it to the Android”, “Pharoah Chromium”, “Planet Strike”, and “Zombie Warfare”.

It’s raw, upsetting, gothic, grainy, lysergic, serrated, future-shocking stuff. If you’re into anything like Voivod or even more experimental Pink Floyd, they’re worth checking out. The main thing you should hear before you die is the “Third From the Sun” LP, although pretty much anything with both Edge and Creed (they split up and both did different versions of Chrome later) is pretty damn awesome. There’s also a Chrome Box that has almost everything you need to hear. And you really should hear this band, because there’s nothing else like them.

There Will Be Games
Michael Barnes (He/Him)
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

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 FortressAT.com and Nohighscores.com 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.

Articles by Michael

Michael Barnes
Senior Board Game Reviews Editor

Articles by Michael

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