Image Comics Final Thoughts – Rat Queens, Vol. 1

Witty dialogue, intriguing world-building, amazing art, and just plain fun action and characters make Rat Queens the best start to a new series I’ve ever read.

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With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

image comicsWriter: Kurtis J. Weibe

Artist: Roc Upchurch

Issues: Rat Queens #1-5

 

Over the last few months I’ve been branching out from my Marvel bubble of comic reading – mostly into the open arms of Image Comics. Saga was my first love, but even its alien star-crossed love story greatness pales in comparison to my new all time favorite comic – Rat Queens.

It may be a tad of a knee jerk reaction considering I’ve only read the first five issues that compromise the first collected Volume, Sass and Sorcery. Never before have I been so pleasantly delighted by a combination of witty dialogue, intriguing world-building, amazing art, and just plain fun action and characters. Rat Queens may just be the best start to a new series I’ve ever read, and I’ve read quite a few. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – Rat Queens, Vol. 1”

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Child of Light

Ubisoft effectively distills all the best elements of a traditional JRPG into a fun and beautiful 10-15 hour package.

I have finished another backlogged game via Rogue’s Adventures. You can read my latest Final Thoughts below and also on my gaming blog on Game Informer.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher: Ubisoft

Release Date: April 24, 2014

rogue's adventure

Charming, fairy tale-like indie games are all the rage right now – even AAA publisher Ubisoft had to get in on it. Child of Light isn’t an indie game at all. Instead it cleverly distills the best parts of the normally long and bloated JRPG into a tight 10-15 hour experience. It’s lovingly wrapped up in a beautiful hand-drawn art style and expressed through a constant rhyming structure throughout the whimsical dialogue. The story is a bit basic and linear, but overall the condensed RPG experience works remarkably well. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – Child of Light”

Introducing our Dungeons & Dragons Characters

Each of my players introduces their unique characters as we begin our new D&D campaign.

d&d

As I mentioned last week in the final recap of our Shadowrun role-playing campaign, we’re moving on to Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition for our next online role-playing excursion.

I’m really excited to dive back into D&D, and the Fifth Edition ruleset feels nicely refined and intuitive. We spent our session last Sunday building our characters and learning the rules and character sheets for Roll20, and we’re ready to introduce them. Below I’ve included a picture, character sheet, and a brief backstory written by their respective players.

We officially begin our first campaign, “The Lost Mine of Phandelver” this Sunday. Like Shadowrun our sessions will be broadcast live beginning at 9:30pm Central time. Unlike Shadowrun we’ll be broadcasting to my YouTube channel rather than twitch. Be sure to subscribe! Continue reading “Introducing our Dungeons & Dragons Characters”

Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Cable, Vol. 1-2

In the dystopian future Cable’s on the run and Bishop’s on the hunt in this effective follow-up series to Messiah Complex.

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Thanks in large part to trade paperbacks and the digital convenience of Marvel Unlimited I can make relatively quick progress, and I’ll write down my Final Thoughts for each collection here on my blog. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

marvelWriter: Duane Swiercynski

Artists: Ariel Olivetti, Michael Lacombe,  Ken Lashley (King-Size Cable)

Issues: Cable (2008) #1-10, King-Size Cable #1

 

I watched the first two Terminator films at a fairly young, impressionable age. I fell in love with the concept of a badass warrior-soldier from the future, and Cable was essentially Marvel’s version of that character. He quickly became a very 90stastic creation, with overly convoluted plots and ridiculous situations. He was also extremely powerful, and for while it seemed like Marvel didn’t know what to do with him.

In the mid 2000s we were blessed with Cable & Deadpool, where our future soldier was paired with an equally ridiculous 90s creation, and it worked beautifully. Towards the end of that series, the X-Men went through the epic Messiah Complex event, in which Cable would finally play a major role – taking on the sole burden of protecting the mutant hope for the future, the first mutant baby born since the House of M and Scarlet Witch decimated the mutant population.

Cable received his first solo series in years in 2008 as a direct follow-up to the events in Messiah Complex. While it’s heavily broiled in X-Men continuity, Cable mostly stands on its own as the effective story of our hero protecting the child from the dangers of dystopian futures, and from the unrelenting hunt of former X-Men Lucas Bishop. Continue reading “Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Cable, Vol. 1-2”

The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw, Vol. 1 Review

The concept of a magic-filled world of complex animal societies that sprung from a dystopian sci-fi world of humans is absolutely fascinating.

Read the full review at CG Magazine

autumnlandheader-1280x720

My experience with anthropomorphic animal-creatures is mostly positive, but also rather childish. I loved Saturday Morning Cartoons like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ducktales. Creating humanoid animals and assigning them familiar human traits and livelihoods is a classic story-telling device that speaks especially well to children and young adults.

The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw eschews most of the familiar trappings by throwing its huge variety of creatures into a far-flung future of magic spells, floating cities, and racial divides. The new series from Image Comics also contains a decidedly mature tone with language and violence akin to your favorite swords and sorcery HBO show. While the story-telling feels more suited to a traditional novel format (complete with mini-short stories accompanying each issue), the incredible artwork and intriguing world-building create a visual feast and a fun introduction to this strange new world.

Read the full review at CG Magazine

Classic PC Games Find New Life on Mobile

If you grew up with PC gaming in the ’90s and ’00s, the mobile marketplace has suddenly become one of the most exciting spaces in gaming.

Read the full article at Pixelkin

classic pc games

It was the summer of 2000. The summer of Diablo 2, one of the most anticipated games in my teenage life. It was also the summer my family vacationed in Hawaii. That was a magical experience, but I mostly wanted to play Diablo 2. Being away from my PC meant I had to settle with reading the latest issue of PC Gamer. I poured over the review and the few tiny screenshots to get my fix.

I distinctly remember sitting on the plane, clutching my Game Boy Color, and wishing I could be playing my growing library of awesome PC games like Diablo, Starcraft, Fallout, and Baldur’s Gate.

Fifteen years later, as I load up Heroes of Might and Magic III on my iPad, I realize that dream has finally come true.

Read the full article at Pixelkin

15 Great Indie Games That Shouldn’t Be Dismissed

Here’s a list of 15 indie games that shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed.

Read the full list at Playboy

Deceiving Indie Games Intro

We’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but we do it anyway. Our brains are wired to make snappy judgement calls, from the people we meet to the media we consume.

With so many great indie games out there it’s easy to quickly judge them based on their cutesy art styles or fairy tale stories. But you’d be missing out on some incredibly deep, rewarding gameplay if you didn’t give these ones a deeper look. Here’s a list of 15 indie games that shouldn’t be so quickly dismissed.

Read the full list at Playboy