Saturday, November 2, 2013

My Reaction to Ender's Game

Boy has it been a long time since I posted! I apologize, but life has been taking priority, well, life and my first attempt at completing a novel. It's going well though, and I'm almost done with my first draft, so that's pretty exciting. I have recently started writing periodically for the Roleplayers Chronicles, and my first review was for the Fate-driven horror steam-punk game The Demolished Ones. You can read my review here (and I encourage you to do so!).

I'm writing today because one of my absolute favorite books ever was released as a movie yesterday. I had low expectations walking into Ender's Game, but nothing could prepare me for my disappointment after its almost two hours running time. Rather than write a full review, I've written up my own proposal for how I would have rather seen the movie (movies, in my case) been made. I'm generally against what Peter Jackson has done with The Hobbit. The novel doesn't need 9 hours, at least not these 9 hours, but that's beside the point. I think Ender's Game should have been two movies, which you'll see more about below after the jump. 

Just a quick warning. There are plenty of spoilers ahead, so if you haven't read the book or seen the movie yet, you might want to hold back on reading my thoughts on the movie.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Gencon Report: The Saturday Night Charity Auction

The single event we look forward to the most every year since the Gamer Wife has joined us for Gencon is the Saturday night charity auction. The Gencon auction runs for most of the day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All items are brought in by attendees of the convention, and it's certainly possible to make a good chunk of change by selling items through the auction.

Friday night is the big collector's auction. We had an epic game of Call of Cthulhu Friday night this year, so we couldn't make it, but we never schedule anything for the charity auction. This year was no different.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gencon Report: Fantasy Flight Games

This year was one of the best Gencons the Gamer Wife and I have had for a long time. We played three 4-hour RPG sessions that were all satisfying in their own way, demoed some games, found some new games to love together, and picked up some amazing deals. We weren't planning on getting much this year, but this really felt like the year of the bargain, so we ended up getting more stuff than we have in the past but still not spending all of our budget. Not a bad deal!

Today though, I wanted to share what I learned about and saw at both the Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) booth and in-flight report seminar I attended Friday afternoon. It was the first year I actually attended the seminar, and the room was packed. I felt a little bad for FFG because I think a lot of people were anticipating something BIG and FREE after last year's seminar where Stormtroopers flooded the room and they gave each attendee a free copy of the beta rules for their brand new Star Wars rpg Edge of the Empire.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Morning Gencon Rush!

This morning was probably the biggest cried to get into the vendor hall in my 13 years of attending Gencon.

It was a mass of people and heat, and toy can see the crowd in the attached pictures.

So far the Con has been great if not busier than ever before. We are very impressed with the Will Call line which seemed to move just as fast as people joined it.

In now standing in line at event registration to pick up some generic tickets for some games-on-demand which seems like the perfect time to write a blog post. Gencon originally inspired the creation of this blog, and every year it reinvigorates me to want to write more.

More to come in the future.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Reaper Kickstarter Delivers Part 3! Ridiculously Gigantic Dragon Edition!

Welcome to part 3 of my series on the Bones Kickstarter from Reaper Miniatures. We've already looked at what the massive lot of miniatures looks like right out of the box, and last time I posted a series of horrifying, sanity-questioning pictures of the gigantic Cthulhu that we ordered as an add-on.

Today I wanted to spend some time posting pictures of the monstrous bone dragon Kaladrax. I was not prepared for the size of this thing upon opening it. If you've seen my Cthulhu pictures, you'll know how big he is. Well, Kaladrax is at least twice the size. He's a big bastard, no doubt.

Just like with Cthulhu I included my stalwart adventures, three other miniatures that were included in the basic Kickstarter level we backed at just to give you an idea of the terrifying size of this guy. He's not a miniature. He very clearly crosses the line to statue. That's pretty cool.

Anywho, check out the pictures below. They'll do the big guy more justice than I could.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reaper Kickstarter Delivers Part 2! Giant Cthulhu!

The Gamer Wife and I took some time this weekend to tear open our Bones Kickstarter care package which arrived late last week. Over the next couple of posts, starting with today, I'll be throwing up some huge picture posts to share with you all.

Today I'll be focusing on the gigantic Cthulhu we ordered as an add-on to our backer level for the Kickstarter. If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you can probably guess that we're pretty huge Cthulhu fans, specifically the Call of Cthulhu RPG. Granted, it doesn't use minis, but I figured it couldn't hurt to have a giant, imposing dead, but dreaming monster at the table for those games we play.

Enjoy the pictures after the break!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Reaper Kickstarter Delivers!

The Gamer Wife and I were extremely excited yesterday to receive our Reaper Miniatures Kickstarter care package in the mail. The box was nice and huge as we backed at the Vampire level and purchased a couple of the larger mini's (and that's a loose term for those big guys - more on this later though).

I snapped some pictures last night opening up the box, and while we knew from a quantitative perspective just how many miniatures we were receiving, both of our jaws dropped as soon as we popped open the Vampire level box to see how many were packed inside.

As you can see below, this is an obscene amount of miniatures. Reaper did not disappoint. We didn't have time yesterday to start popping each individual mini open, but I'm so excited to just lay them all out on our table and see them all together.

I'll probably be posting some more pictures in the next week or so as we begin to unpack our Kickstarter reward. I will say for now that I like the feel of the plastic used. It's different than other plastic miniatures I've held in that it has a little bit more give. They're some where between Games Workshop's plastics and the plastics WOTC used for their D&D and Star Wars miniatures lines, tending more toward Games Workshop's plastics.

Enough with the speakin'! I'll let the photos do the talking.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Metal Gear Solid

I apologize in advance for this almost-entirely video game related post. I try to avoid blogging about video games, but this has been burning in the back of my brain and I had to get it out.

I've had a long-time obsession with Metal Gear Solid. The original MGS on the original Playstation was the first video game that really made me love video gaming in general. It had a modern story full of crazy characters and amazing twists that gave you the impression that there was a gigantic amount of secrets to be plundered hiding just under the surface.

I played through MGS2 when it came out on the PS2, and as much as I loved it still, with its better graphics and evolved game play, I had a hard time adjusting to both the tonal shift in a much much more complex story and the addition of playing Raiden instead of Snake through most of the game. I still loved it, like I said, but it doesn't hold that same place in my heart.

I tried playing MGS3: Snake Eater at the time it was released. I was a bit skeptical of playing MGS in a jungle, but we were back to full-time Snake (which I wouldn't realize until years later was actually the original Snake that the one we love from MGS1 and 2 was originally cloned from), and I was ready to jump back in. I was immediately intimidated. The game play was challenging, and I felt like I would be dead in the water just trying to get past the first guard without my little map to guide me through the level.

I had to give up on MGS for a while, and it was a dark age for me. Sure I still played and loved tons of video games over the years, but nothing captured me quite like the original MGS.

Fast forward to a couple years ago when we get our PS3 and I find out I can download the original MGS and play it straight on the PS3. Sure the graphics have aged, but the story was just as engaging, and I couldn't wait to play to the finish.

More recently I picked up the HD collection of MGS2 and 3 for my Vita, and I think I found my all-time favorite video game in MGS3. It hit everything just right. I had heard for years that MGS3 was the best both from real-life friends and on the internet, but I hadn't experienced it for myself. Now I'm looking to get the big Legacy Edition soon that will allow me to play the entire saga right on my PS3. I can't wait.

So what's with this Konami commercial of a blog post anyway? I just wanted to give some context, and would love to hear other people's experience with the series, when I say that Metal Gear Solid 5 looks like a massive leap in story-telling and, just from the director's cut of the trailer alone, is something you'll want to be emulating for your tabletop games.

Watch it below. It's a red band trailer, so probably NSFW, and it does have some pretty intense scene.

Seriously, Hideo Kojima, the writer/director of the franchise, is really going to be pushing some boundaries and looking at some really ugly questions. This looks to essentially be the "Episode III" of the series (or at least what we all hoped Episode III would depict) in that it shows one of the series' main antagonist finally make his fall and make some poor decisions that put him into the position of not being that great a guy to be around. I can't wait for this game.

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Easter Bunny brought me Science Fiction!

Thank you Easter Bunny! And no, I'm not trying to relive my high school years with Nausicaa and now Gundam. Why do you ask? The gundam book is incredibly adorable though. So happy it's gotten a state-side release.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Missing Setting: World War I

I've recently made my way through the 1,000+ page collection of the Nausicaa of The Valley of the Wind Manga and have been blown away. It's good, and by the end reminded me of the Lord of the Rings in its scale and depth. If you've read anything here, you'll know that I don't throw that compliment around lightly.

Another property I love is Valkyria Chronicles. It was heavily influenced in its look by Nausicaa, and that's one of the reasons I love it so much. I don't usually buy art books or design books, but I couldn't pass up the technical manual for Valkyria Chronicles.

Why am I talking about these things? It's made me realize that I love the dirty, grimy trench-ridden setting of alternative World War I settings. The technology is still primitive, air force isn't so much of a factor, and cavalry still plays a role. Tanks are primitive but exist, and everything has a post-steampunk, traditional Victorian steampunk of course, feel to it.

We're missing out! I can't think of a single game setting that focuses on World War I level tech. Everything is either too primitive, putting it squarely in that steampunk camp, or too advanced putting it into World War II territory. I don't even need a game that is based on our own era of World War I. I'm just asking for something like the aesthetic.

Hell, just give me a Valkyria Chronicles RPG, and I'll call it a day. It already has classes all ready to go!

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