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Barnestorming- Super Motherload in Review, Super Fantasy, Shadows of Malice, More Japanimation

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12 Mar 2015 15:48 #199372 by magicbus1966
Long time reader, first time commenter!

Currently loving Super Motherload. It kind of fits into my "pleasant activities" game category. That is, its really fun to play without the sense of direct competition. Kingdom Builder is another I enjoy for the same reason.

Long Term - Perhaps Shadows of Malice will take the Arhkham Horror path: Published -> Picked up and revised by a major publisher -> Rebuilt into a masterpiece (Eldritch Horror). Can't wait to try as is.

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12 Mar 2015 16:39 #199379 by charlest
Paul (Frohike) and I both gave Shadows of Malice a very positive review.

Beyond the monster generator and banding, I really love the artwork and aesthetic. I also completely dig the way the Shadow board works. Very refreshing hitting something that doesn't just regurgitate Orcs/Goblins/Elves/Dwarves.

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12 Mar 2015 16:39 - 12 Mar 2015 16:42 #199380 by hotseatgames
Season 2 of Death Note really drops off. Season 1 is great though.

I'm enjoying MH4U, although I still am plagued by accidentally putting the 3ds into sleep mode. I really wish they had moved the power button to the middle of the bottom edge. I keep bumping it when I am busy circle strafing to avoid being chomped by jaggia.

I originally wanted to figure out all the systems by myself. I've since realized the pure folly of that and have been looking online for info. For example, I only just today learned how to tell my palicoe to come along with me.

Barnes- why on earth did you not mention Hotline Miami 2? Surely it's got you in its grip by now.
Last edit: 12 Mar 2015 16:42 by hotseatgames.

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12 Mar 2015 18:56 #199391 by Michael Barnes
Welcome, Magicbus! Yeah, "pleasant activity" is a good way to describe it...but it COULD be a nasty one with just a couple of additions. Kingdom Builder is a couple of classes above it in weight though, IMO.

The rough edges of Shadows of Malice are part of what make it so exciting. It's when you've got that loose, sloppy 10% that you also find innovation and experimentation.

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12 Mar 2015 19:05 #199392 by Michael Barnes
I'll get Hotline Miami 2 when it goes on PS Plus, which it will. It looks great, can't wait to see where they go with it. I heard the soundtrack is actually BETTER, which I find hard to believe.

There is no way to sort out MH on your own. It requires going to Gamefaqs, and even then you usually walk out of there more confused. You really do have to use this combination of experimenting, community knowledge and observation to figure stuff out. Back when I was playing 3, I remember having this revelation about setting up traps and using the knowledge I had gained before about where monsters will likely go. There's a lot you do have to just piece together yourself, and some of it is actually more rewarding if you do it yourself. When you can.

I still don't really understand Wycoon and trading to multiply goods. I don't really understand the Insect Glaive's upgrading, even though that's become my favorite weapon. Being able to vault up on to the monsters is an awesome ability. It's become my main, along with the Charge Blade, which I pretty much have down pat.

Wait...you can make your Palicoe follow?

There's a lot in the game that is just by chance, which is sort of annoying. I'm almost 20 hours deep and still haven't gotten a King's Frill from a Great Jaggi, despite hacking at their heads and riding those bastards into the ground, chopping away at them.

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12 Mar 2015 19:23 #199397 by magicbus1966
"The rough edges of Shadows of Malice are part of what make it so exciting. It's when you've got that loose, sloppy 10% that you also find innovation and experimentation."

No doubt - that's why the stuff Nate Hayden is doing is so exciting.
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12 Mar 2015 23:57 #199402 by hotseatgames

Michael Barnes wrote: I'll get Hotline Miami 2 when it goes on PS Plus, which it will. It looks great, can't wait to see where they go with it. I heard the soundtrack is actually BETTER, which I find hard to believe.

I still don't really understand Wycoon and trading to multiply goods. I don't really understand the Insect Glaive's upgrading, even though that's become my favorite weapon. Being able to vault up on to the monsters is an awesome ability. It's become my main, along with the Charge Blade, which I pretty much have down pat.

Wait...you can make your Palicoe follow?

There's a lot in the game that is just by chance, which is sort of annoying. I'm almost 20 hours deep and still haven't gotten a King's Frill from a Great Jaggi, despite hacking at their heads and riding those bastards into the ground, chopping away at them.


I can't say at this point if the soundtrack is better, which does seem crazy. But it definitely rocks, and often has a really creepy vibe since the game is just so weird.

I did the tutorial for the insect glaive but really didn't get it; so far all I've really used is what I believe is called a charge axe? Changes from axe to sword and boy did I feel dumb that it took me a really long time to discover that it did that.

Go to the bulletin board in the back of your house. There you can set your palicoe to "deploy."

I had been wondering how I was going to get a king's frill. Jeez. How do friend codes work? My id is Veinman.

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13 Mar 2015 00:26 #199404 by Frohike
I tend to fall for aspects of games that betray a sort of "outsider art" in the design, where it feels like the creator has missed a segment of contemporary game design history or simply ignored it and constructed something that they just needed to see realized. I know that the design that Jim Felli initially presented was more complex and a bit slower and that he took all of the feedback he got at conventions and honed the game down to its current form, but I'm glad that the off-kilter aspects of the game weren't entirely lost in this process. What we're left with is something a bit alien, and very interesting. It's not perfect. The randomness can be crushing. But it seems to short-circuit so many of the common representational tendencies in contemporary fantasy board games toward more van art, more giant PVC miniatures, more amateur narrative text, all of which alternatively feels like a masking of over-simplified games (Cthulhu Wars), or thematic dressing to maintain the player's engagement in an infinite recess of rules (Mage Knight). Shadows of Malice sort of cuts right to a core fantasy conceit and just smugly stays there, with some minimal art and a wonky true-false coin flip system of dice mods, and the responsibility of building interesting actors, world, monsters is laid right at the feet of the player. It's really nice to see for a change.
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13 Mar 2015 11:23 #199431 by charlest
Is it just me or is this review not available from the front page or the reviews section of the site?

I noticed his earlier but didn't say anything thinking it would sort itself out.

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13 Mar 2015 11:34 #199435 by Columbob

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13 Mar 2015 11:47 #199438 by Space Ghost
Well, the positive comments for Shadows of Malice from Michael, Charlie, and Frohike have moved it to the top of my interest pile and kicked Myth to the curb. I love the notion that it feels like a game from "ages past". Sounds like I would love it, actually. I might order from the designer just to support him.

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13 Mar 2015 14:21 #199459 by Michael Barnes
Doug, you are one of the people I would say would likely appreciate Shadows of Malice. There are WAY TOO MANY games today that just regurgitate the things FFG has been doing for the past five years, recycling plug-and-play Euro mechanics, or straining to try to simulate what it was like to play Warhammer Quest in 1995. This is a game that feels like all of that stuff never happened. I've exchanged email with the designer, he is definitely coming at this from a new angle.

>>>No doubt - that's why the stuff Nate Hayden is doing is so exciting. etty brilliant. There's a vagary about the game that is almost enigmatic. It can be frustrating but mostly because this game is working at a different level than most these days are. It really does feel like something from an alternate reality.

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13 Mar 2015 16:46 - 13 Mar 2015 16:47 #199492 by veemonroe
.ll"

charlest wrote: Paul (Frohike) and I both gave Shadows of Malice a very positive review.

Beyond the monster generator and banding, I really love the artwork and aesthetic. I also completely dig the way the Shadow board works. Very refreshing hitting something that doesn't just regurgitate Orcs/Goblins/Elves/Dwarves.


We tried Shadows of Malice (twice) and, genuinely, it isn't retro. Or cool. Or innovative. It's simply a very sluggish game where not much happens. You wander about (slowly), there isn't really many things you can do each turn. It's all a bit dull. I wasn't impressed. I traded it for Chicago Express, which I didn't even want, to get it out the house before everyone else realised it was c**p and it became unsaleable.

Bear in mind, I have thrown fantasy novels into the dustbin - without reading - because they feature elves. I'm the founding member of the generic fantasy hate club and the 'please do not give me excessive art because I can't use my imagination on your game' society. I spit in the face of zombies and I think superheroes are an insecure male power fantasy. I should be the audience for this game, but - actually - it was just bad.
Last edit: 13 Mar 2015 16:47 by veemonroe.
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13 Mar 2015 17:53 #199495 by Frohike
I've heard this from a couple of people and I've gotta say, I don't get it.

I'm on my 8th play, usually with two avatars, and it always feels like there's not quite enough time for us to find the wells between getting to the Cities or lairs for treasure, battling any shadows that are too healthy for comfort and rushing the strongholds (leaving the small ones to smash themselves to death), or getting a Mystic for potions etc, let alone prepping for the nasty Guardian battles. If I don't have enough movement as I'd like on a turn, I just burn some shards and/or split up our band. If I'm not going to make it to a lair, I try to provoke and hope for something that's not too nasty but healthy enough to drop more shards. And yeah, some turns, I have to just stay put, rest, and watch yet another shadow do something I don't want.

I don't think I've ever looked at the board and said to myself "meh, there's nothing to do and this is taking too long." Maybe I will at some point, but I just have not hit that wall yet.

I think part of it requires not looking to the rules and mechanics to evoke and motivate. I know that sounds like a huge WTF and a weird expectation but that's exactly why I'm enjoying it. I'm getting the impression, though, that this can cause the game to just step beyond people's patience or investment. By the way, there's an expansion on the way that will include some questing, if that floats your boat.

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