Jul 012011
 

These posts are starting to be dominated by the Doctor!  Can’t say that’s a bad thing, though.

Something else that is most definitely not a bad thing is the new Doctor Who TPB, Ripper.  This collection contains the first four issues of the newest Doctor Who ongoing series, which introduced Matt Smith’s Doctor into the comics.  In these initial issues, the Doctor deals with uncovering the true identity of Jack the Ripper and helping Inspector Abilene catch the culprit.  Tony Lee, the author, has an excellent grasp on the voices of the Doctor, Rory, and Amy, so it feels like you’re reading an episode of the show.

I doubt anyone reading this likes comics (those things are for kids, right?), but we’ll push our luck and talk about a couple more new ones on here.  The first being a dark Japanese samurai graphic novel called The Last Ninja.  At base a revenge story, The Last Ninja follows Kenji, a wannabe ninja, from childhood to adulthood as he seeks vengeance on the corrupt government.  After the death of his grandfather, a trained ninja, Kenji seeks training and revenge against the government agents who killed his grandpa.

One more, if you please.  Mysterious Ways mixes the comic and video gaming worlds as Jason Rubin of Iron Saint and Crash Bandicoot fame teams with Top Cow to produce a dark mystery book about the hunt for a serial killer.  An ex-cop becomes tied to a series of murders which then leads him into being chased by the FBI.  Funny how that happens, right?  The mysterious part?  Magic.  Come on, what else?

Oh, okay, since you’re begging, one more.  Reprinted from the classic French serials is the first volume of comics master Jacques Tardi‘s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec.  Some of the more worldly folks out there may have seen the Luc Besson film from last year based on this wild material.  I say wild, because not only do Adele’s adventures take place in an alternate reality 20th century Europe, but there’s a pterodactyl, too!  Basically, Adele is a writer he gets into crazy, sci-fi adventures dealing with mummies, mad scientists, and, as stated, dinosaurs.  The art is obviously terrific as Tardi is legendary in the industry.

Okay, enough comics.  How about some oddly deformed little superhero people?

Yes, tonight we end with two new sets of vinyl offerings from both Marvel and DC.  First up, is the first set of DC Mez-Itz.  These chunky little guys come two to a pack (paired in hero/villain combinations) and contain some of the greatest DC characters including Batman, Joker, Superman, and Green Lantern.  Look at the pictures to the left and marvel.

Speaking of a transition, Marvel also has some large headed vinyl dudes releasing this week.  They include the Pop Vinyl versions of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and two Thor Movie figures (Thor and Loki).  Feast your eyes on the two pictures below.  FEEEEEAAAASSSSST!

May 142011
 

Hopefully you have about a month to kill, because this post is going to be like the War and Peace of game posts.

Let’s jump right in with a restock (sort of) on the freshly reprinted Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG.  The classic Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone created series has been picked up by Arion Games, updated, and reprinted.  Based around single player adventuring, this core rulebook contains everything you’ll need to start up.  That’s hero creation rules, game rules, spells, powers, and all the monsters, dungeons, and adventures you could shake a battle axe at.  A perfect way to get into roleplaying, if you’re looking to start.

Just in time for the Thor movie, YggdrasilZ-Man games (so you know it looks a’very nice) releases this one, which has players taking on the role of gods in the defense of the world tree, Yggdrasil.  Yes, Ragnarok is on the way and you have to take three actions each time your turn comes up.  Actions include conversing with dwarfs, elves or Valkyries for benefits, fight frost giants, and/or venture to Asgard and fight against the baddies.  If you dig Norse mythology and smashing things, this is for you.

Okay, here’s a short one.

Age of Steam:  Germany & France Expansion pack.  It combines the maps of Germany and France for you to play on…that’s it.  Done.

D&D The Shadowfell:  Gloomwrought and Beyond has dropped onto the shelves.  Inside its box-y confines are all the contents giving you the ability to play in the city of Gloomwrought.  These contents include:  a campaign guide, a 32-page book of encounters, a lovely map of the city and other areas, character and monster tokens, and 30 cards to enhance your encounters.  D&D knows what’s up, so these box sets always treat you right.

Very inventive game here.  Pastiche revolves around art and its creation.  Players select a card that displays a famous work of art, underneath it is a set of colors that were used in the palette.  Players then attempt to “mix” colors by placing tiles.  Simple yet strategic and, yet, still fun for the whole family.

Another Call of Cthulhu offshoot, The Legacy of Arrius Lurco is set in the Cthulhu Invictus universe.  The story follows Arrius Lurco who has vanished and returned recently only to start having nightmares.  This softcover contains a campaign divided into four sections set in ancient Rome, Rome, and Cyrenaica.  Expect all the creepy, disturbing monsters and horror of any Lovecraft offshoot.

If you’re Jonesing for a good screw-your-opponent game, then you’ve just found FaceEater.  A card game, FaceEater involves time travel, face melting, nerve gas, and a number of other horrible tortures.  Each player tries to earn the most points while screwing their opponents up as much as they can.  Inside the box are 192 cards to create a deck from.  Dark, funny, and addictive.

The rulebook for Mercs, a new futuristic miniature game, shipped, along with a number of the stats cards that are necessary for play.  As always, the rule book, through detailed instruction and bright, stylish pictures and artwork.  Why not check it out?

Merkator is next.  Players control merchants during the Thirty Years’ War who are working to complete contracts based around requested goods.  After you finish a contract, you gain another, more lucrative, one.  But you’ll find that global travel may be necessary to locate the goods you need.  Above all, though, time is of the essence.

More traveling in this travel game about traveling called Travel Blog:  Europe & USA.  That’s lots’a travel.  And, as I said, the game is about traveling across the world, but hinges on your knowledge of the globe.  You pick up cards that link countries, basically choosing the route of your trip, and attempted to do it quicker than your opponent.  The game can be used as a learning tool, as well, because it focuses heavily on world geography and the names of countries.

Troyes is a game divided into card and dice control.  Centered around the construction (over four centuries) of Troyes, France, the game has players controlling a portion of the population (the dice) which will fall into one of three categories, civil, religious, or military.  Through them, players choose what options to perform that will assist them in building the city.

Another perfect family game, Simpatico, is all about strategic movement of cards.  The game consists of 84 cards that have various images and colors on them.  Placed on a game mat divided into three sections, gamers move the cards up to the top row, where they’ll gain points, by placing them on top of other cards that have the same shape, color, or quantity.  A fast, portable game like Treehouse, Fluxx, or Archeology.

Winner of a New Worlds of Gaming Spiel Des Jahres award, Space Alert is a game that demands your attention.  Suitable from one to five players (always nice to see a single player game), Space Alert is similar to Red November, but with one major change:  CDs.  Yes, included CDs control how the space mission the players are on occurs.  Also, the game is team based, so the crew of the ship needs to work together if they have any hope of surviving.

An investment, currency control game, at heart, Airlines:  Europe has gamers bidding, buying, and controlling the beginning stages of the commercial aviation business in Europe.  If your airline performs better than others, investors will flock to you, earning you further influence and success.  Of course, the most impressive profit is always the end goal.

The Secret of Monte Cristo builds off of Alexandre Dumas’ famous story.  The game’s premise revolves around searching for hidden treasure in that the Count left in his former prison.  Turn order fluctuates, giving one active player the chance to place explorers, based off a new marble rolling system.  The game may sound a bit odd, reading it on here, but once you’ve seen it in person you’ll realize the genius in its design.

Another game based on a classic literary tale, The Three Musketeers:  The Queen’s Pendants offers a hell of a lot more fun than reading words.  Heh, who does that any…Oh.  Uh, keep reading.  Anyway, some players take on the roles of the Musketeers while one controls Cardinal Richelieu.  As the Musketeers fight to make it through the Louvre so that they may give the diamonds back to the Queen Mother, Richelieu chases them, attempting to find and steal the diamonds first.  Action, adventure fun.

Bueller?  Bueller?