Monthly Archives: September 2012

Torchlight 2

Torchlight 2 shows us all how it’s done.

The original Torchlight is the game that I point to as being influential in my leaving the world of MMORPG playing where I hadn’t actually had much fun for years. So I’m sure you could imagine that I had the sleepless anticipation of an energy drink addict when it finally came time for Torchlight 2 to launch. It’s now been nearly a week since launch and I definitely have some opinions to share about this incredibly well done game.

Leading the genre

Torchlight 2 is clearly up against some rather stiff competition in the current market. While there is some chiding from Kotaku about mentioning Diablo 3 in reviews of Torchlight 2, I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. Continue reading

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Not to be confused with either Avatar movie.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender. Not to be confused with either Avatar movie.

Why do you watch television?  If you’re like most people it’s because you enjoy it when oddly orange tinted people poke you in the eyes with their abject terribleness.  Or possibly because you like the commercials.  For myself, I like something a bit more nuanced than the entertainment equivalent of eating Valtrex.  And from experience, we all know how well any show with depth does on the networks.  Anything that presents shaded viewpoints, poses challenging moral and ethical questions, or just tries to tell a long term story not filled with bullshit “What’s the smoke monster?” unanswered mysteries just gets dropped on the floor.  I’m not even going to name the show you’re thinking of right now – we both know what you’re thinking. Continue reading

inspectres

InSpectres: A Peek into “Ghost Adventures” Table Top

Having hosted a few successful evenings of Fiasco (the perfectly palatable link between “traditional gaming” and “touchy-feel-y story gaming”) I’ve been looking for more out-of-the-box games to test on my group. If Mouse Guard and Og taught me anything, it’s that broadening your horizons as a gamer is always a worthwhile endeavor, especially when those endeavors are hilarious alcohol fueled one-shots! One game has come across my radar thanks to RPG.net, and I can’t wait to bust it out for my guys: InSpectres by Momento Mori. A quick peek at the Startup rules and I’m already in love. Continue reading

Mysterious bloke in a trenchcoat. Yeah, it's like that

The Felix Castor Series

Initially, to open this article, I had a long and freewheeling description of the evolution of the Hellblazer comic series, its lead character John Constantine, and the process that led to the books that this review is about. It was kind of fun to write, but it was also strictly unnecessary. So let us dispense with the rigamarole: there’s some comics about a blue-collar British magician in a trenchcoat. One of the writers who worked on that comic series had lots more story ideas, so he invented his own blue-collar British magician in a trenchcoat (as many others have done since Hellblazer began in the late 80s) and started writing books about him. Continue reading

BL2 Skagg Title

Borderlands 2 uncovers more hidden treasure on Pandora.

Update 9/26/12: It seems that a lot of people are coming here to find secret things hidden in Borderlands 2. This is my review / opinions of the game. For a rundown of in-game secrets check out this Kotaku article. Now to the review:

The game that every intrepid vault hunter has been waiting for is finally out. Borderlands 2 returns players to the world of Pandora with a new set of hunters, a new villain, and a seemingly unending supply of weapons with which to rain violence down upon the heads of anything that gets between them and their treasure. I haven’t had a lot of time to sit down with the game as it was just released on Tuesday, but what I have seen has not disappointed. So here are my early impressions with the disclaimer that I may need to add further depth to my opinions later on as I get to spend more time with the game.

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Romancing the Monkey Man: Og Unearthed Edition

This past Friday my friends and I gathered around a table for some serious roleplay. We got our character sheets out, our dice out, pulled up chairs, and immediately started grunting, flailing, and romancing. I ran a one-shot of one of my favorite games: Og, Unearthed Edition, written by Robin Laws and published by Firefly Games in 2007. It’s one of those “humor games”, but trust me when I say that this clever humor game delivers in a big way. A big, shiny way. Continue reading

Michael Chabon's Gentlemen of the Road. Go read it.

Gentlemen of the Road

Michael Chabon’s Gentlemen of the Road. Go read it.

Due to time constraints, Reuben was unable to acquire and read a copy of Mockingbird before print time, so today’s review is something from the back catalog instead.

Michael Chabon ought to be a quiet hero to dorks everywhere. He made his name as a Very Serious-Minded Literary Writer, writing Very Serious-Minded Modern Literature. Short stories that got published in the New Yorker, novels about creative struggles, joblessness, Judaism, sexuality, divorce, frustration, alienation, and failure. They were good, of course, but nobody was ever going to side-eye you and shake their head if they saw you reading Wonder Boys or The Mysteries of Pittsburgh on the bus. They were…respectable books.

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