Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Age of Apocalypse

With its sheer volume of content and fantastic world-building Age of Apocalypse remains one of the best X-Men stories ever told.

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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.

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!

age of apocalypseWriters: Scott Lobdell, John Francis Moore, Fabian Nicieza, Jeph Loeb, Warren Ellis

Artists: Andy Kubert, Adam Kubert, Ian Churchill, Steve Epting, Terry Dodson, Carlos Pacheco

Issues: X-Men: Alpha, Age of Apocalypse: The Chosen, Generation Next #1-4, Astonishing X-Men (Vol. 1) #1-4, X-Calibre #1-4, Gambit and the X-Ternals #1–4, Weapon X (Vol. 1) #1–4, Amazing X-Men #1–4, Factor X #1–4, X-Man #1-4, X-Universe #1-2, X-Men: Omega

 

Let me begin by apologizing for the recent dearth of my Comics Final Thoughts series. It’s one of the most popular things I do on this blog, but between moving to a new house and churning out news stories for E3, I’ve been incredibly busy.

But the other reason is because I was tackling a gigantic project – rereading the massive 1995 X-Men event, “Age of Apocalypse!” I was hoping to get it done in time for the X-Men: Apocalypse film, but hey – better late than never.

“Age of Apocalypse” was the insane X-Men event take-over that occurred in the mid 90s. It was also pretty much the only good Marvel comic to come out of the 90s.

“Age of Apocalypse” was incredibly extensive, with dozens of comics, limited series, and an awesome alternate universe playground. We got to see familiar heroes and villains in all-new roles, and a few new characters rose to the occasion to eventually escape the dark reality and enter the regular rotation. Continue reading “Marvel Comics Final Thoughts – Age of Apocalypse”

E3 News!

I’m helping Pixelkin cover all the news and announcements from E3 2016.

Since I’ve been regularly writing daily news posts for Pixelkin.org, I was asked to help write additional news articles for the deluge of gaming news that is E3.

In the last three days I’ve written a total of 20 news articles, ranging from quick new game announcements to lengthy breakdowns of entire shows. Click here for a full list of my news posts. You can also check this constantly updated page here on my blog.

The Pixelkin crew has done an amazing job churning out stories covering absolutely everything at E3. It’s a fun and exhausting ride!

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 18 Recap

Our heroes continue their investigations into each campsite near Scarlet Moon Hall, finding bugbears, werewolves, and cultists.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

I relish each opportunity to turn an otherwise regular combat encounter into a role-playing scenario. My group of players are definitely combat-oriented, and prefer to meet most situations with violence. But if there’s a chance to break up the murderous rampage into something a bit more interesting, I’ll take it.

In this week’s session our heroes continued exploring the various camps set up at Scarlet Moon Hall. Druids and others from around the land have convened to witness a questionable ritual. The party decided to go camp-to-camp questioning each group FBI-style. This put every camp on edge.

Some camps are outright hostile, like a group of bugbears and worgs chillin’ out at the East side, and a simple fight erupted. A fight in which I couldn’t hit a single PC! Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 18 Recap”

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap

The party begins investigating some shady druids performing a fiery ritual at Scarlet Moon Hall.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

No matter how well-constructed your fantasy world is, or how meticulously you run your RPG campaign, sometimes real life can get in the way. Maybe you don’t have enough time to prep, or a player (or you) can’t make the scheduled session.

I’ve been very fortunate to have a stellar group of friends and family that really go the extra mile in coming together every week and always having the best attitude for wanting to play and have fun.

That being said, I’m going through a crazy busy part of my life right now in selling our house and buying a new one all in the same week. Not trying to make excuses, but simply trying to explain why this video is several days late and much shorter than usual. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 17 Recap”

Skylanders Battlecast Review [Pixelkin]

Skylanders Battlecast shamelessly rips its core gameplay from Hearthstone to create a solid and enjoyable digital card game.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Skylanders has dipped its toes into mobile apps before, from the Collection Vault to Lost Islands. Skylanders Battlecast represents a full spin-off that effectively uses gameplay heavily borrowed from Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to create a fun and easy to play digital card game.

Skylanders Battlecast is a free to play digital card game. Cards come in several different types, with the titular Skylanders cards being the most important. Every deck must contain exactly three Skylanders. Each Skylander has attack and health numbers, and gains levels throughout a match. One frontline figure can be used to attack or swap to another on the sidelines. Choosing when to swap and which cards to use is a fun dilemma in every game.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Stardew Valley Tips for Your First Year [Pixelkin]

Helpful tips and seasonal guide for your first year in indie farming sim Stardew Valley.

Read the full tips and guide at Pixelkin

Stardew Valley is more than just a farming game. It’s also a dungeon crawler, a dating sim, and a fun exercise in planning and management. The constantly ticking clock and wealth of content can be overwhelming, particularly when starting out. I’m here to help you make the most out of your first year in Stardew Valley.

General Tips

  • Nearly every activity will level up the relevant skill, from fishing to fighting. If you find the fishing mini-game particularly challenging, keep pecking away at it to get better (and eventually buy better rods).
  • Rainy days are a godsend. Early on much of your time and energy is spent watering crops. Rainy days are freebies that let you focus on fishing or getting deeper into the mines. It rains most often during Summer.
  • Never have a tool selected if you’re not using one. Every miss-click swing of the axe or hoe drains precious energy. And never have bombs selected while walking around your farm…
  • Watch TV every day! Clicking on your TV gives you a couple options depending on the day. Weather Report lets you plan for a rainy day. Fortune Teller might hint at lucky loot drops. The Queen of Sauce teaches you cooking recipes. Finally Living off the Land gives you general tips for the game.
  • See those odd little dirt patches with worms sticking out? Use your hoe to find clay, plants, or even missing library books. The worms crop up most often during Winter.
  • While clearing out your farm try to save up wood to finish the bridge at the beach. It takes 300 wood but is well worth it. The tide pools to the East offer large amounts of coral and sea urchins every few days which sell for a tidy profit.
Read the full tips and guide at Pixelkin

D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 16 Recap

Our heroes are lured into a trap at Nettlebee Ranch involving barbarian ghosts, earth cults, and evil halflings.

Recorded every Sunday night, uploaded on Mondays. Subscribe for our weekly adventures!

Previously on “Princes of the Apocalypse”

Some group drama is bound to crop up in a role-playing world. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to DM for best friends I’ve known since grade school. For the most part we all get along swimmingly, with occasional disagreements being handled courteously and quickly. After tonight’s session the group may need to draw up their own group charter. I suggested “The Nettlebee Accords.”

After our party’s incredibly lengthy journey up a river through a keep and to grandmother’s house they go, I decided now’d be the perfect time to launch one of “Princes of the Apocalypse’s” scripted side quests.

Curse of the Fire Witch is a fun little event that lures our unsuspecting heroes into a trap. They’re called to a nearby ranch run by a halfling family of farmers and ranchers. The Nettlebees are worried about nearby fire cults and their livestock has been recently branded with the fire cult symbol. I used young son Warren (renamed from Watson in the book) as a wanna-be adventurer. An earnest scout that went to town to find help. He found our heroes. Continue reading “D&D 5E “Princes of the Apocalypse” Session 16 Recap”