On the Table
In the aftermath of another Ken B. return, let’s review Kings of Air and Steam this week. I think this has been one of the better Kickstarter titles I’ve seen- it’s a novel concept (trains AND blimps), it looks good, and it doesn’t smell like it was made in a Chinese mildew factory. Pity about the Steampunk thing, but so it goes. The thing is, it’s a kind of game I like a lot (simple train/PU&D) and it has blessed, glorious paper money. So I think it’s a winner.
Almost ready to review Pax Porfiriana…maybe next week. I think it’s good, but it’s definitely a niche game in the end, like all of Eklund’s work.
Still trying to figure out where my copy of Legends of Andor is, lost in the mail somewhere. Boss Monster is on the way. Requested Duel of Ages II but they’re being finicky about reviewers.
On the Consoles
Still playing Ratchet and Clank, which I like very much but I went off on an unexpected detour the last few nights and got really, really into playing Wipeout HD and Wipeout Fury. I tend to forget that Wipeout is like my favorite racing game ever and these are the best editions of it to date. There’s nothing quite like getting into the zone with this game- the speed is ridiculous, the skill-based gameplay is great, and tapping those airbrakes just right to make it through a S curve without losing velocity is so satisfying. Hope they do a new one for the PS4.
I tried the Gran Turismo 6 demo and wasn’t particularly impressed overall, but the handling feels better and the physics feel really, really nice. But it just doesn’t seem that much different than 5 overall, much more of an incremental thing than the gap between 4 and 5.
I also tried the D&D Chronicles of Mystara thing, talk about a game that doesn’t hold up. That was meant to exist only in arcades.
I got Oddworld: Munch’s Oddyssee since it was free on PS Plus. I don’t know that I’ve ever hated a game as much as that. I hate every single thing about it.
I picked up this funky little roguelike called Dungeonism that’s worth a look. It’s pretty simple, but it adds some interesting concepts like…facing. The visual design is awesome, highly polished and minimal. The app description compared it to Pac-Man and Temple of Apshai so I couldn’t pass it up.
Magic…Magic Magic Magic Magic. I beat the full campaign (not Revenge yet) with the red deck, which I have tooled up to be ridiculous if I can survive about five rounds and get a fat land draw on the first hand. Three Lava Axes is just ridiculous. I’m playing with the Ajani white deck now, and I think it’s almost brokenly unbeatable. I’m just plowing through everybody with like one or two enchanted-up creatures. All the Lifelink, Spirit Mantle…crazy powerful deck.
On the Comics Rack
My “let’s read classic Chris Claremont X-Men” idea ended. I just can’t do it. That stuff just doesn’t hold up well, and I think most of the fond memories people have of that stuff are originating from not having read it in 20-30 years. The storylines are good, but the writing is so…very…tedious. Pages and pages of confessional “here is everything I am thinking right now” text.
Much more compelling this week was Satellite Sam, a new book from Matt “sometimes I’m OK, sometimes not” Fraction and drawn by Howard Chaykin. The art, of course, is bad ass. The concept is really cool too, it’s about 1950s television production and in particular a live science fiction program that runs into an unexpected hitch. The pacing of the issue is awesome, the producers and showmakers scrambling during a live shoot while the star doesn’t make call time and doesn’t show up. Could be a really neat book. Could be a really neat film, actually.
Greg Rucka’s Lazarus has potential after its debut issue…bad future stuff where feudalism has made a big comeback and these families in power have these special protectors, one of which is the principle character. Definitely a “hm, will read more” title.
New Batman ’66 was good too…references to the Batusi, one “old chum” line, and enter: Catwoman.
On the Screen
Not really much of anything other than kid flicks this week. It was pretty funny when River asked to watch “Hobat and Motorman” and it took me a while to figure out that it was The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.
All I really want to watch right now is The Simpsons, so I guess I’m hitting up Half.com for the “good” season box sets. I watched a couple of recent episodes on one of those free on demand things and they were OK, but still just not anywhere near as good as the show used to be. The one where Granpa was revealed to be an old time wrestling heel was pretty good though.
Odd mix of things this week- going back to Fields of the Nephilim, a side of Queen, and the recent Kavinsky LP, which has no songs on it as good as “Night Call”. Kind of disappointing. I also listened to the newest New Order live record since I’m seeing them in a couple of weeks…it’s Hook-less, but whoever they’ve got on board sure sounds like Hook. Sort of strange to hear Sumner feebly yelp “COME ON!” during “Love Will Tear Us Apart”.