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  • Barnestorming #9990- Dragon Con Post Mortem, Mark of the Ninja, Doom Patrol, Station to Station

Barnestorming #9990- Dragon Con Post Mortem, Mark of the Ninja, Doom Patrol, Station to Station

MB Updated
There Will Be Games

Dragoncon-banner 20 years of this? Really?.

On the Table

With moving and settling into the new place going on, I haven’t really played anything lately and I’d like to get another game of Lyssan in before writing about it. So I turned in my annual Dragon Con report for this week’s Cracked LCD, and if you’ve read the past five years’ worth of writing about the con, it’s pretty much more of the same hateful, intolerant, and brutally honest coverage I’ve afforded the events in years past. I had a great time in spite of the convention. And I got to, for a few brief shining hours, be Steve Avery.  It was crazy. Free drinks at the bar. Women would look at the badge and immediately proposition me. Game publishers solicited new game ideas from me. Lou Ferrigno asked for my autograph. Hotel staff greeted me as “Mr. Avery” and asked if I was staying in the Executive suite again. It was crazy.

I did wind up buying Netrunner, but not at Dragon Con where one booth had it priced at $85. It looks pretty good, and it does seem like it’s all there…but that LCG thing is going to be a problem for me. Back off you vultures, I'm not selling it just yet.


On the Consoles

I thought Shank was one of the biggest embarrassments to the video game medium to be released this console generation. The guys that made it have gotten their act together and with Mark of the Ninja they’ve turned out one of the best games of the year. It’s a 2D platformer. A 2D stealth platformer. It borrows mechanics from most of the great stealth games- the Arkham titles, Thief, Metal Gear Solid, Splinter Cell, etc. but puts them on one plane and the effect is kind of amazing. It totally works, and there are some very innovative, fun features. I’ve only played the first two levels, but I’ve played them multiple times to try to get all of the collectibles and goals like the vaunted “no kill” one. I’m totally digging it, well worth $15, and the best new game I’ve played since Witcher 2.



Super Hexagon. Go buy it. 99 cents of psychedelic insanity that reminds me of Tempest and Reactor. The guy that did VVVVVV is responsible for it. See if you can beat my 40 second time.


On Comixology

Sometimes I feel like I’m reading way too much Grant Morrison. But then I realize that it’s for good reason because a) the man is prolific and b) the man is generally pretty great.

So I read all of All-Star Superman, and it was magnificent.  The last act sort of lost grip on the sweetly melancholic tone and humanity of the rest of the series, but by and large I think it’s the best Superman story I’ve ever read. It’s like a victory lap for the character, summing up almost every aspect of his character and setting.

Started reading Invisibles again, and I don’t think it’s aged well. Or maybe I haven’t aged well. It’s so very 1990s, and having not been earnestly interested in occultism/estoricism/secret societies/conspiracies in years sort of distances the work for me. I never finished the series, I’ll try to make it through this time.

Doom Patrol, on the other hand, is emerging as one of my favorite comic books of all time. I just finished the Painting that Ate Paris storyline, and it was flabbergastingly incredible. What an awesome moment…Booster Gold, Animal Man, and Blue Beetle are looking at the painting and then the Doom Patrol shows up and just kind of takes charge.

Dragonstout will probably smugly say “I told you so”, but the later issues of the new Aquaman run are running out of steam. I loved the first story, but now it’s getting into some junk I just don’t care about…which is weird, because I like Black Manta and it’s mostly his fault why it’s boring.

May start looking at Fables soon.


On the Screen

I’ve barely watched anything. I’m probably going to start on the Matt Smith Doctor Who episodes soon, I’ve got a taste for some Who right now. I’ll probably watch Prometheus next week as well.

River is totally into the Green Lantern animated series right now. It’s a lot of fun, all-ages fare with some cool sci-fi. The CGI is oddly dated, but it looks better than Clone Wars to me.


On Spotify

My annual Bowie pilgrimage continues. Lots of Station to Station this week. God, that title track kills. It’s like a whole album’s worth of hooks and song ideas in one epic track but it’s totally cohesive. What a great line too- “it’s not the side effects of the cocaine/I’m thinking that it must be love”. As for the rest of the album, I love how effortlessly it meshes krautrock, plastic soul, hard funk, sci-fi paranoia, and balladry. It’s such an artful, eternally chic record. It’s some of Earl Slick’s best work, as well, the man just cuts loose on some of these tracks.

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 and 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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