Monday, December 29, 2008
Now, I tried Spore and played for 4 hours in amazement the other day. Sure customization could be better and sure the PC it was on kept crashing but it entranced me none the less. Today I decided, "Hey, why not buy Spore? They have a discount on it." I clicked and purchased it. Then I saw after all this, they only allowed the PC version to be downloaded from the main store at the discount. What the hell EA? I have to pay full price on another site to get the Mac? I sent a complaint to the EA Support team asking to let me trade. I sent it a while ago but I really hate their support team.
My sister, the hellspawn and bane of my existence is a Sims addict. I'll admit I love playing the cruel god locking them in pools so they would drown and preforming other malicious acts of evil. Anyway, my sister recently received the Open for Business expansion pack. She complained about not being able to get it to run. Now, she is 14 or so now and she can't install a game. I decided that in the spirit of the holidays I would give it a look. She was worried about saving over her files so I assured her nothing was wrong and to not worry. The game finished installing and she goes to open it. It tells her to open Sims 2 Pets. I tell her to do it and nothing happens. I uninstall the game and then reinstall it. Same thing. I do this again to be sure everything non essential is off. It still doesn't work. I send an email to EA explaining my problem. They say they can't identify it. I reply asking what they need from me to solve the problem. No response. The day after leads to the weekend. Still nothing. Meanwhile my sister wanting to play clicks the normal Sims link. Not what the program says. The game opens up and everything is hunky dory. She starts a pretzel company or some crap I don't care about. EA still does not respond.
My hopes for this situation ending easily and with me thinking better of EA are very low. As are my thoughts of PC computers.
Webcomic reviews in a week.
I'm a Mac and I make blogs.
Update: Got my refund or at least they canceled the order. I picked it up from the Mac version of the store where they have it online after emailing about a registration error. Still, the game is downloading now which is sweet.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Ever been on AIM and suddenly received a message from *word*coho/salmon/trout? If so, you've been caught up in a social experiment of sorts. You and another person get an IM like "Hi" each with a disguised name. They expect you to talk to this person and become friends or contacts. Personally this has not happened yet. Most are freaked out.
While a lot is generally positive, you can quit using this guide:
You can stop the messages by typing:
Then it will respond with:
OPERATOR: Are you sure you want to opt-out? If you do, you will *never* be contacted again on the account “
”. There is *no way* to opt back in and undo this.
If you are sure, type “$optout DADD”. Remember, this is permanent and irreversible!
Type what it asks:
And you will receive one final (hopefully) message:
OPERATOR: You have opted out. The account “
” will *never* be contacted again. Good bye!
I like to pretend that everyone is John Hodgman though. If you want to contact me though, my IM is Koltreg.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Bear & Kitten
Originally reviewed in the very first blog the comic fell into the death trap of not updating and sure its only been a bit over a month but not even a notice has me pissed. I'll get back someday when I see the comics getting posted again.
Dick moves and tv rumors do nothing when the content people originally came for vanishes. Frankly, I used to really like the comic but the prima donna attitude has to go before I come back. Why can't you be more like Kate Beaton?
Drunken Philosophy should be here but it is going to be back I am assured by Coroidan. Expect new comics at February-ish. Except it won't be DP.
If I wanted to read the strips week after week I'd read newspaper comics.
His art changed and then his humor died. We've all waited for something good to come from what had once been a sublime comic but frankly I've waited long enough.
If you are going to go off to Italy and vanish for several months, you could at least tell us.And you could come back with an update.
Looking for Group
Frankly, the new storyline is taking too long. I don't even know or care what is going on and what happened to Richard doing funny things. Sure the gags got stale but at least they tried to be funny.
PVP almost, just almost got on here but I see them coming back at least for a bit with this years Kringus arc. But they are on watch.
The Nineteenth-Century Industrialist
I mourn the loss of a comic as great as this.
Updates like, once a month? What the hell?
Our Future is Red
I think Allan let this one die.
So yeah, thats my weeding of the comics. Until next time!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Every webcomic has about 1 year from its inception period to easily make it big. When I say inception though, I more so mean that they have a year to get their act in line, set a basic structure and continue going on strong. Frankly with this setup, a majority of people die out. They either don't feel compensated enough or they find that they really didn't give a shit about doing comics. This is just the natural evolution and the people usually just go back and sit by the pool commenting, hopefully in a more positive manner seeing the difficulty to creating some form of entertainment. If they continue after not making it in that year, chances are they are devoted but unskilled. When I say this, I do not mean they can't draw or whatever but for some reason, they have difficulty reaching an audience. Maybe it is more of a fetish cartoon, maybe they just can't write well. The path for them divides into trails of continued obscurity, an unlikely discovery or death. Most of the comics continue in obscurity staying off the lists of most readers but having a devoted following. Usually this is because they aren't humor comics or because they aren't mainstream. Frankly, I feel sorry for these comics the most because they could be high quality but because they don't retort lines from games.
If you do manage to make it in that year though are subjected to the marathon. The long distance run in which if you don't pace yourself or slow down for too long, you get attacked by people who had supported you. If you do an arc that you really wanted to do, you are going to catch hell. If you stop regularly updating and still expect to make money, you are going to catch hell. If you change your art style, you are going to catch hell. If you don't change at all over time, you sure as shit are going to catch hell. You have to pace yourself, plan ahead and either heed or ignore your fans (and that point where you decide which to do can be a lifesaver or a death knell).
I wish I had some formula for making it in a year or at least dedicated comic artists. I wish I could find out a way to easily make every webcomic better. I read about 50 right now and I am prepared to drop about 10. I'd not mind reading more but frankly, the cesspool is growing, we have a bunch of asses and the monkeys seem to be dying off.
Monday, December 8, 2008
I made the poor choice of another night of not sleeping. At all. I figured that I owe you, my fans, some more comics to occupy your time though.
Pixel by Zappit/Sean Conchieri
Pixel is one of those story comics that follows the general belief that wacky situations and wacky reactions will result in great lolz. This rule has so many exceptions in the webcomic world (aka probably all of Drunk Duck - calling you out- I'm an angry non-rested person!). Pixel does skirt the edge quite a bit though but I've laughed at it so its okay. Essentially it follows a pretty generic wacky character as he tries to go about his life with random shit happening. The comic only has about 30 or so strips if I remember correctly so it is hard to tell where it is going. With the art, it is pretty solid stylistically but being the art student that I keep getting remind that I infact am, I must criticize the fact that the character design could be better. Overall, it has room for improvement to seperate itself from the rest of the pack but it earns a solid B.
Ugly Hill by Paul Southworth
In my generic struggle to keep tabs on the Internet's supply of web comics, I ran across PvP which apparently has an animated series (done by the same company which does the CAD: Animated Trainwreck). I watched the previews and was forced to remind myself that PvP is essentially a comic for the newspaper in which it doesn't push any boundaries in any humor class. Then my buddy Coroidan told me to go read Ugly Hill. Frankly, I was apprehensive at first. The same party with Evil Inc and PvP? How can this be good? (I really am planning on dropping strips). Surprisingly it has since become one of my favorite strips. Let's face it, PvP is running stereotypical characters (though I realized they created the stereotypes) and the average storyline is crap. Ugly Hill on the other hand has some pretty awesome variations on the archetypes and overall it just frankly blows me away. The storylines show planning and forethought and the art is delightful. My only problem is that he frequently reairs old comics but if it allows him to keep updating daily, that's good enough for me. Ugly Hill earns an A.
Nedroid by Anthony Clark
It falls between the simplistic style of KC Green and the imagination of a kid with ADD making the comic epic. I can't really say much more except that the navigation can be a bitch starting out. It earns an A+.
Next time I'll do the Koltreg removal of comics/rereview because I have 50 comics to check. Gosh!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Amazing Super Powers by Wes and Tony
Two of Koltreg's rules of life. 1: Talented art in no way promises a good comic. 2: Koltreg still can't spell nonsequitur without spellcheck. Both of these apply as Koltreg has once more been thrown onto reviewing another nonsequitur comic. Unlike my apathy towards Truck Bearing Kibble last week though, I must confess that I totally have a hardon for Amazing Super Powers. Simplistic but refreshingly fresh art combined with humor ranging from surreal to slapstick makes the comic on a higher tier for me than the now as-good-as-defunct Perry Bible Fellowship. Bonus comics and hidden text make the comics even better and it was worthwhile rereading the comic for the bonus comics. Give this comic some love as I give it an A+.
The Zombie Hunters by Jenny Romanchuk
My god, this is almost like an alternate universe report of last weeks reviews. Nonsequitur comic and another zombie comic? The Zombie Hunters is the Day of the Dead meets Half-Life of zombie comics compared to the Army of Darkness-esqe zombie comic that is Dead Winter. It moves slowly like a movie and its got a lot of background to it. Its worth a look but the major downside to is its slow updates but you quality in them. It earns a A-.
TGSA by Austin Throop and Kimmo Lemetti
TGSA falls somewhere between Mac Hall with the art expirementation and generic gamer comic. It's worth a try though. I've gotta wrap this up, I mean, I don't have much to say about it for now. It gets a B+ as it needs to define itself more but it is well on its way.
Going to go get some food.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The NaNoWriMo was ended early after 10,000 words at which point I mentally rewrote what I had a dozen times before calling it quits and so because of that, a random reader and the fact that I am now another year old (11/21) I decided to drop another blog.
Anyway, two quick reviews to tide you over.
Truck Bearing Kibble by Jeremy Kramer and Eric Vaughn
Truck Bearing Kibble is a good strip but I don't care for it. My main problem is that it is unlucky enough to exist in a world with Perry Bible Fellowship, the now essentially defunct comic that stopped creating comics when it figured out how to turn a profit. TBK is a nonsequitur comic seeming to focus more on pop culture references (or nerd culture/childhood memories) than anything else. The jokes have humor but some are much weaker than others especially if you miss the reference. The art itself is very solid and well done but its always the same and I hate to say it, but after PBF's variety of art styles, it is hard to deal with the same overly complicated stuff time after time. There are a few comics that would actually be better if they were drawn in another style. Another small thing is the lack of an update plan which is a pet peeve of mine. My final comment though, is that the site really bugs me. Too many comment areas are dispersed throughout the pages, the controls for scrolling are difficult and it bothered me enough to remember it a week after reading through the comic. Overall it earns an A- and its worth reading. My complaints were mostly personal issues so go and read it now.
Dead Winter by S. Dave Shabet
College has literally destroyed me sleep schedule so I am writing this at 5 in the morning after reading through Dead Winter. Dead Winter is a zombie comic. Plain as that. I myself am a zombie fan. To celebrate my birthday I went to the mall where they filmed the original Dawn of the Dead (Good trip, visit the zombie museum in the toy store!). It annoys me though that there are several zombie comics, or I might just be crazy right now. From the start the comic seemed a bit generic writing wise but then again I had the voice of Yahtzee (Zero Punctuation) voicing the female lead which made it a bit tedious. Once the comic gets going though, its an okay story, you have your generic lucky characters and the overall badass and all of them doing things to make Max Brooks (Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z) cry himself to sleep. I will note though, I was surprised to find myself in 100 in what seemed like only 40 pages of reading so that means that it actually moves effortlessly. The art sort of bothers me because throughout reading it, I continued to tell myself, "Wow, does Ant draw this?" because the two styles are similar. I am fairly certain though, that Dead Winter was first but that gives you an idea. The comic is mostly greyscale with some bits of color ala Sin City speckled throughout. The art changes though which is mostly an improvement, except where it suddenly looks like done in a half hour on MS Paint. Overall though its not bad to read and I don't hate it despise its genericness. Looking back I am also pretty sure there are no other zombie comics (that actually dead with normal zombies) though so disregard that section and feel free to the give the comic a shot. I give it an A-.
Thanks to those people who actually chat with me on here in the text box. I do need to fix my IM links though so you readers can contact me (since I apparently have readers!). I have a good list sitting but I might do some graphic novel reviews just because I paid money for them and such.
Peace out for now.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I've added .... 6 webcomics (8 if you want to be technical) since the last review so its a super jam packed review tonight. Plus you get two from people who apparently watch me on Twitter. Why? I have no idea.
Brawl in the Family by Matthew Taranto
Normally I don't like video game comics with my levels of hate for them eventually reaching epic levels like the time I dropped Dueling Analogues mid post. Good times, good times. It takes a special kind of gaming comic to hold my attention and to make me laugh. Brawl in the Family is one of those comics. Simplistic art with characters mainly drawn from the Kirby series (with a few other Nintendo stars) combined with classic gags makes Brawl in the family similar to those comics you and your friends (or at least me and my friends) used to draw all the time. Quick, funny and something that you'd think would probably not do well on the Internet. Still, this comic has kicked that level of writing up sew notches making your average gaming comic with a heavy dash of XKCD. Frankly the comic is one of my top ones to read and I think we as readers can expect a good future from it. The downside though is the art which could be better but on the other hand adds a level of charm to it with its flaws making it better than the copy pasta work of CAD. I'm going to have give it an A-.
Eegra by Patrick Alexander
Back when I originally saw the comic on forums, I thought KC Green was doing a secret project. Then I ran blindly to the actual site and saw the Black Monolith (like in 2001: A Space Odyssey) of a webcomic that Patrick Alexander has created. A revolving cast of misanthropic beasts that should have never seen the light of day illustrated by hands that have probably dealt with large amounts of drug money create a comic that scares me, disgusts me and brings me back for more. To call it a gaming comic would be like calling... Menage a 3 a gaming comic, except that this actually has gaming references. References that tear the soul of a man and make him hide from sleep. Frankly I fear giving it a review as if it were some book from a Lovecraftian horror story that would make me go insane so I will end by saying simply, read it, fear it but overall enjoy it. It gets an A.
The Gun Show by KC Green
Its KC Green. Seriously. Just read it. This and Birdworld. I'm not giving full reviews of them because my love for him is too powerful now for a nonbiased review.
Kukuburi by Ramon Perez (add accent marks where necessary.)
Remember Dresden Codak? The prentious comic that I loved so much for its art? Imagine that but with a bigger fantasy world, better art and a storyline that you don't have to be a jerk to understand. Welcome to the world of Kukuburi, a world where the imagination comes alive and... It's like I'm describing a animated film. Frankly, you just should read the comic already. It's fault is one that is reasonable being that it only updates once a week driving some associates of mine away. The fault being reasonable because the author/illustrator is a professional artist. Give the comic a shot and read through the archives, then wait a few months for it to build its archive back up with new comics and you will not be sorry. An A+ is well earned here.
Roomies!/It's Walky!/ Joyce and Walky! - David Willis
The three part continuing epic of David Willis, guy who does Shortpacked! is not something to be triffled with. With an archive beginning in '97 and leading up to an update every Saturday with Joyce and Walky!, the story will do your mom and pay her a nickle cause she's cheap that way. Roomies! is the weakest of the three stories starting as a generic college comic with some sci-fi moments. It does a good enough job establishing the characters that you see throughout and it has its moments but it never really becomes ungeneric. It's Walky on the other hand takes you by the balls to the bathroom where it shows you some pretty awesome shit. I mean really. Sure the comic can be seen as something filled with Mary-Sue and Marty-Stu characters but I really didn't care. Walky and Mike are amazing enough to power it through its storyline ending with an epic climax fitting the series and leading into Joyce and Walky!. Joyce and Walky! earned every right to be a gag strip. It did some serious shit (seriously, you should go look at it) and its kicking back now with an occassional break for some story development but in many ways, its a second wheel to Shortpacked! which is all right. It also apparently has some monthly subscription thing showing the Willis is only in the business for the money (actually its a good deal, gotta try it out). Frankly, the comic is shit loads long, took me about 12 computer restarts with my bandwidth limits at college and about 10 hours of reading but it was worth it. David Willis, I salute you. It earns a B-/A/A.
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella by Justin Pierce
Frankly, I don't get the hype of the comic which disappoints me. Almost every comic I read has a link to this somewhere, maybe 60% of the ones I'd say. Maybe I've grown tired of the long format webcomics. Maybe the art doesn't do anything except remind me of early Scary-Go-Round art. Maybe the writing just tries to hard. It's made me guffaw once or twice but I don't really get the deal. Blah blah blah superhero with problems, wacky situations. I have no idea why but it does nothing for me. I'll leave it up though. It's on notice. B-
And now because I have people watching me on Twitter, they have opened up the torrent of reviews that lie within me. Fun fact: I watch people on Twitter whose comics I don't read. I'm looking at you Lesnick!
Sticky Figgers by Beau Watson
Now I might understand that through my correspondence with Slackerz, an association of sorts between fans might occur. This is my only reasonable explanation for this association.
Sticky Figgers tries to be XKCD except even less artistic. With XKCD you get the feeling that Randall Munroe actually understands art and just goes for the minimalist style. With Sticky Figgers, this is far from the case. Its essentially stick figures done for shits and giggles and I see as I am writing that there are high levels of hate flowing through me. I made it through about 20 or so comics before my headache began and my Chinese food was getting cold. I ended there with the conclusion that this was yet another person hoping to climb aboard the train of fame that XKCD rides up. Frankly the art is...crap. It shows little or no effort to it. It's like, "My heroes of the internet do stick figures and so can I!" This is only true when and only when you have the writing to back it up. Maybe this comic isn't for the reviewers. Maybe it's just for a bunch of friends. I don't know. All I do know is the comic needs to learn they are not XKCD, learn to draw by hand. Seriously, I don't care if you have a Wacom pad and Illustrator. If you use it like MS Paint, you might as well save money. It earns a D+ only due to the fact that it may suddenly pick up after where I quit reading.
THIS IS WHY I HAVE HELD OFF REVIEWING COMICS I DON'T LIKE SMITH!
Fantasy Story by Ming
What I like about this comic is that he confesses that he is still learning and that he doesn't over inflate his ego. The comic is essentially him learning to comic which I am fine with. The art has potential though I am not sure if he is solely restricted to his current style or not. The writing seems to be his biggest downfall with characters that I know nothing about and that I don't want to learn about. Frankly he could use a writer to make his characters say more than essentially "Hi (insert noun) I am going to (location)." So yeah, he needs to work on writing. Luckily the Internet has tons of writers willing to write. I'll check up on this every once in a while though so it's got my attention at least that far.
Currently I'm busy doing NaNoWriMo so talk to you later.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
5:30-7:30 Setting up the board, getting people together, making characters, getting internet connections. Had to bring down the cable internet adapter-y thing.
7:30-9 Group consisting of level 2 characters- centaur, human gold dragon shaman, human ranger and hengeyokai -hare ninja are traveling towards the fabulous city of Drakesport, home of the magical mafia, catacombs and several fine shopping areas.
Heavy storm hits the ship. Centaur wakes up, attempts to kick down the door, not seeing the latch. Ninja wakes up, turns into rabbit. Attempts horribly to start fire considering the fact that he lacks opposable thumbs. He fails. The centaur opens the door and heads out to the hallway, rabbit hiding in there also. Ranger wakes up, goes to the top deck and inexplicably rolls all 19s and 20s getting across the deck. Decides to try to steer the ship.... Crew is nowhere to be found. Shaman goes up the stairs followed by the rabbit. The ship is picked up from the water and shaken, rabbit holds onto the shaman, entire group somehow survives crash landing. Really lucky rolls.
The party wakes up to see the ship destroyed. Rabbit attempts to rob the ranger, fails and runs towards nearby cave. Dragon shaman wakes up along with centaur. Attempts by shaman to wake the ranger fail. Eventually group mobilizes. The group sees the rabbit who tries to attack... ( The rabbit is a first time player. FYI). The rabbit goes to left fork in the cave, rest of the group goes towards the right. The group enters airy water (water you can breathe in.) I forget to apply water modifiers for the whole game. The party ties a rope around the shaman, send him in. Rabbit meanwhile jumps in not caring. Party finds myconids (mushroom men.) They ignore them. Suddenly a yellow cloud enters the pool as the rabbit in human form tosses a rock hitting a myconid. Rabbit-ninja runs from oncoming myconids after taking small damage. He has like, 5 hp total. The party is surprised by the suddenly aggravated seeming myconids. They see the ninja-rabbit who the centaur grabs by the neck and interrogates. Realizing the group hasn't introduced each other yet, they decide to run through introductions. Security guard stops by and listens in for a moment. Walks on. Meanwhile, encroaching myconid swarm keeps coming after ninja who has been set down. The group decides the ninja deserves them coming after him. Ninja in a fit of luck and DM-ex Machina, rolls a natural 20 to jump. I let him jump from the water but it causes him to use his last transformation leaving him in hybrid form. The myconid spores leave him once he leaves water and they return to being docile.
The part is annoyed but decide to continue on in the former direction. The run into three aquatic goblins. Goblins are swiftly killed by the group who finds a magic bastard sword and long bow. Ranger claims the longbow, shaman claims the bastard sword. Group finds sea goblin seamen on the goblin beds and some gold. At this point, we are hungry, call for pizza, take a break. Darkbadness, secondary DM/NPC-PC complains about use eating while he is on Skype. Lololol
9-1 We return our bellies full of pizza with possibly an hour left. The basement is supposed to close at 10. The RA comes by and is placated with pizza leftovers. The group continues in the cave running into aquatic kobolds. Kobolds mention something about building and working for
a druid. Tell us to leave, one goes to talk to the boss. Meanwhile, the ranger goes back to the beach. He sees giant tentacles drag the ship, and whoever else was in the boat, underwater. For ev er. Decides to take a nap. Rabbit ninja decides to try and steal the bow. Meanwhile the shaman and the centaur kill the remaining kobolds. Sees another kobold claiming to be trapped, he has a riding dog with him. Also has a wall of normal water that causes drowning. Almost kills the two with that and magic missiles. Uses a thunderstone critically deafening the shaman. The two return to find the rabbit trying to aim the longbow (+2 str) with crossbow bolts at the sleeping ranger. The group starts fighting.
Meanwhile a myconid elder comes by putting resurrection spores on the dead goblins. Annoyed, he uses calming spores so the party stops arguing and the ninja breaks the longbow and changes from NE to NN since it was to help the party and he also did some other "good deeds". The group suddenly sees the kobold from before talking to the myconid who summons the now undead goblins and kobolds to fight. The kobold sorcerer enlarges the myconid elder. The shaman runs over killing the kobold sorcerer. The centaur kills the myconid elder thereby defeating the undead goblins and kobolds. Bodies are looted.
The ninja runs back to where the kobold mage had been and loots the room finding fat stacks of cash. He also adopts the riding dog as his own pet and finds the kobolds kitty familiar, dead. Then a half-orc comes and declares his intentions to rape said ninja and then proceeds to beat the crap out of him and his dog. The rest of the group shows up and the centaur is also knocked out. The half-orc goes into a rage and starts getting pissed. Then the shaman kills him and uses his healing aura to bring the others back to half of full life. Loots the half-orc.
With the group back at half full health they head back to the final corridor. Here the secondary DM, Darkbadness takes over his character sending a snapping turtle and stingray to spy on the group apparently. They all roll horrible spot checks not noticing the druid doing this. They then run into another half-orc who beats up the centaur, shaman and dog before they decided to vamoose. The druid does the evil, "Until we meet again." The ninja and ranger then heal the party who except for the ninja heads the exit the druid and half-orc and turtle and stingray didn't go. The ninja finds a book and a fancy pipe and that the exit is blocked by driftwood. The group then exits to find the city of Drakesport and somehow all climb the ladder to the main part of town.
Thanks to Darkbadness for helping out with the starting adventure for the city. It was a good way for the group to work together. They all pulled in over 2000 (2006) exp causing them to level up and we called it a night since the RA kicked us out.
This didn't have all the stuff they pulled but enough of the important stuff they wont just sell.
Up next in two weeks, Jail.
The Adventures in Drakesport is copyrighted sort of me, if you would like to try the campaign, send me an email or an IM.
Edit: Myconids, not Mycoloths
Monday, October 13, 2008
First off, checked out MA3 again. Still crap, still glad I dropped it. So person who somehow sent me a suggestion to look at the recent updates, >:|
Next, I apparently have a StumbleUpon. Somebody signed up using my name and my email so I got notified and felt obligated to activate it. I won't use it though. Too damn confusing.
As for ads for cash, I have the email from Google, I just really don't want to do it. I barely have readers as it is and I feel I would alienate them by posting ads when my content is sparse as is. Also I'd hate to IM those of you who contact me and then have to tell you to click the ads so I could make fat stacks of cash and by that I mean $100 ever few months. (Just like child support!)
Now for the nerding report- Kingdom of Loathing
As anybody who reads the blog every once in a while could confess (since reading this blog is a sin in the eyes of the Internet) I am not a video gamer. Sure I just spent about 12 hours over the weekend playing Brawl (three achievements left!!!) I rarely play except in bursts. It takes something astounding to keep me continually playing, or at least something I don't need to focus on.
Kingdom of Loathing is in many ways a little from column A and a little from column B. It is an artistically-unastounding free online text-based role playing game where you take the role of a generic hero and point and click your ways through a myriad of humorous settings attempting to defeat the Naughty Sorceress and save the King only to save him and have to restart the entire buggering process again.
I used to be a person for this sort of thing. Heck, when I played Diablo, I restarted a few times if just to go through and train more before I killed Diablo. KoL (as the fans call it) is essentially a run through 12 prescribed levels with corresponding tasks till you reach level 13 and kill the foul harpy she beast that is the Naughty Sorceress. What drives the game though, is that fact that it is for the most part humor based and that the community is actually helpful to new players, unless you happen to be an asshole unto which your house gets toilet paper'd and bricked.
I started two years or so ago on suggestion of a friend who has since quit the game and bequeathed unto me his character (who is looking for a good home besides me.) I was drawn into the game but easily stumped early on. The difficulty is not so much intense, as it is the boredom due to the occasionally annoying text walls topped by a single stick figure failing to enthrall. At that point I invoked the ancient strategy of multitasking in which I would hold the window to the side and just click, click the last adventure area and run through my adventures until it became time to eat for more.
Eventually everyone settles into habits of either running through ascensions (each round of leveling up over and over) or mining meat (the currency of the game) or grinding (because you have no life.) The game counteracts this as much as possible by making it a living game. Every few days is a small holiday, the moons (Ronald and Grimace) effect the gameplay slightly and then you get the updates. Over the past few months, loads of new content has been released from NS13 (upping the level to fight the Naughty Sorceress to 13) to Hobopolis (clan based warfare against hippies) to the weekly updates that are beginning now and everything in between. The game is one that if you quit but still have an account, it is worthwhile to reenter. Or you can send me (Koltreg #1161814) your stuff.
I've been playing for about two years and when I started I ran one of each of the classes. You have the fighters (seal Clubbers and Turtle Tamers), the mages (Saucerors and Pastamancers) and the rogues (Disco Bandits and Accordion Thieves). Each class is different enough to make the gameplay and experimentation worth while. I lost most of my accounts to either banning or inactivity leaving me with my main account. Each run allows you to save one skill though for future use between classes, mostly resulting in you saving some dumb skill for your first run and then probably Torso Awareness and then who knows what else. It will depend if you found out about the Kol Wiki yet.
Now there are downsides to the game. You have limited daily adventures, there are times when the server lags and the server closes down nightly for rollover for a half hour or so (it is longer on Saturdays). The Mall is also unfair to new players based on the fact that they likely don't hold the rare items worth fat stack of meat but if it truly concerns you, you can always donate $10 and get a Mr. Accessory which allows you get an item of the month and support the game (or you can earn about 4 million meat and buy one at the Mall.) Pretty much the flaws of all long spanning games are the big problems and the limits are made to help the server and to stop gaming addictions which I support. I lost a friend to World of Warcraft.
Until next time, keep on nerding.
PS. Join Team Majorca and help me get through Hobopolis
PPS. Jake, if you read this, your friends and family miss you. Please stop playing WoW and come home.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
NEWS FROM THE WEBCOMICS REALM
The webcomic Holy Bibble is apparently quitting in the next few days. There loss will be felt by people who knew they still updated. Frankly, I am sad. I wanted to see the Book of Revelations comic.
I'm dropping Menage a 3 from my list. It had originally claimed to be full of nerdy humor and tits. Both of those were intriguing to me. Then it became a nonstop battle between two characters which frankly doesn't make me give a crap about the characters. Yes they love whatever the big tittied woman is named but frankly, if you want a nerdy romance comic, I'd base it more like the now defunct No Pink Ponies. Yes the art is nice but the story is crap. I gave it three weeks to improve- nothing changed. :|
Allan over at Allan needs your support so go on and stop on by. Donate for some color and/or vote for Top Webcomics.
Also, you might just read some Supafine now. READ IT.
I've also been working with Hero Labs for my upcoming D&D games. As much as I love the program, the execution is pretty hard to use at times, the tiers system isn't fitted for epic level characters and frankly, I'm annoyed that I took so long to use it. In attempting to create the Ghoul/Ghast Monster Class from Libros Mortis, it took about an hour, mostly since there was no undead traits, I misnamed the attribute or something and even then I still have errors. If you are only going to have stat adjustments for 20 levels or tiers, don't make them start with 0! I know somebody out there would think "Oh, my guy can take hundreds of level 0 classs and be the biggest bad ass ever. Fuck yeah!" Now, I also have yet to make a hero with it since I want to upload tons of stuff. I have no idea if they will find this but if they could also do it for the Mac, that would be nice. I hate having to use two laptops on the top bunk where only one can connect to the Pittsburgh internet.
Well, I need to get going now. Might have ads up later. I want to get me some fat stacks of cash.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Also if possible, I'll try and do some Q&A weekly. Any questions, comments or other things that you want to say? Sorry, Macs can't use Digsby but my AIM is Koltreg or you can comment. Back in a few days I hope.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I did the free play and ended up getting two Jund decks (bringing friends along is awesome.) Jund essentially plays like a token deck on crack. Mycrosavant is a towering rape beast as long as you are smart enough not to eat all of your defense and the fact that it comes with a giant dragon that uses Fireball whenever it attacks, the deck is amazing, fun and easy to play. Glad I got a second one. Just need to worry about eating all of your stuff though with devour. Or worrying about trample or kill spells.
I also got a Bant deck but I didn't play it and Ajani is amazing. Glad I have two of them.
Overall though, I look forward to playing Shards in the future if possible. I need some money first and for that, I'm going to be hooking the blog up with the ad thingy so I can make some fat stacks of cash. Or enough to compensate myself for my time. Even if it is just a few cents a day. Stuff ads up.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Now, I have nothing against gaming magazines, I used to be an avid PC Gamer fan when my brother used to get it and I'd love to reread articles and the captions and it would get me pumped for a game with its exclusive content that was actually exclusive. The magazine respected gamers, took their integrity as journalists seriously and had a good writing team. I didn't even buy computer games and I loved it. Then it fell to pot somewhere between the point that my brother stopped getting it when they were giving Morrowind hints and when Oblivion came out. When I got it back, things had changed, I had become a being of the Internet. I got my news from forums where there was actual discussion and where news came quickly. I stopped getting the magazine with no pain in my heart about half a year ago with the reasoning at the time that "I don't want to read something that keeps changing editors, there are less tits in the pictures and I don't buy games that often now". I still don't care that it is gone.
Now like I said though, when I want to find my gaming news, I go to forums or to other sites. There you have discourse, you have multiple views, some of which are published for free online. You are also less likely to have people getting paid for good reviews, using less likely since there was the whole Kane & Lynch Gamespot fiasco where they fired a worker for giving the game a real review with pressure from Eidos (supposedly). I'd rather trust a few people on the Internet than one person being printed now a days (except for a few magazines).
I mean, look at what I really liked about PC Gamer. Re-readable articles- you get that on forums when people quote other people. I've actually reread more articles online though that I have in PC Gamer and Game Informer. Funny captions - you have Halolz and the rest of the Internet for that, just look around. Getting me pumped for games - I don't play games but I can't relate all of the times on forums that people say, "I'm so pumped for this game now." Exclusive content- lololol. Seriously, I found pdfs of the 4th edition D&D books 3 days before they came out. I still hesitantly bought mine though, mostly to support the local game shop, not because I like 4th edition.
I mean, there is pretty much no point to buy gaming magazines anymore. Maybe you like the people who write the articles? Is that reason enough to buy a magazine? If nothing else, go to the library to read it for free! For me, people aren't a good enough reason to buy a magazine and it shouldn't be a god enough reason for you. Spend the money on a subscription to something like Gamefly instead, try for yourself and then tell what you think. This is the age of the everyman reporter and you just got hired. Time to clock in.
See you Friday in Columbus if you'll be at the Veterans Center for the prerelease of Shards.
Luke "Koltreg" H.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Now these comics are comics I have picked up over the period of time that I have been reviewing web comics but luckily I only need one of these. Lets get turn on the breaks so I can get back to reviewing whatever I reviewed before.
Allan by Allan Wood
To tell the truth, I don't give a crap about the lives of most people and I think most blogs are self serving pieces of crap that are written by people with over inflated egos seeking to scrounge a bit of fame without putting in much effort. My journal is one of those. Allan is not. Allan is an auto biographical comic and actually entertaining. Now, I have a very small social life, I'm a nerd who fearfully follows the law and is governed by a pretty strict morality. Reading Allan is in many ways, a way of conveying with my opposite. Allan's take on his daily events are an enjoyable read and you are easily able to connect with him and fall into his mind in a way. Allan has a simplistic style but really, it makes it more readable. Allan earns an A.
Elsie Hooper by Robert Krykowski
As it is with me and web comic artists, as soon as I read through I like to review and they are greatful almost all of the time, some exceptions, some people ask "How the bloody shit did you get my name?" Those people have been reviewed though and I didn't bring that up. Still, some turn you onto new comics and Allan (reviewed above) hooked me up with this. Essentially a black and white storyboard in a Johnan Vasquez style about an alien invasion, a girl and her pissed off unstoppable killer of a brother. The story is great and works well with the art though it definitely stretches the whole suspended disbelief with how much shit he goes through but people love heroes like that. Indestructible and unstoppable. Sucks to have one of those without the other. It looks like the comic is wrapping up soon though so catch up for the conclusion. Elsie Hooper earns an A-.
Not So Distant by Elizabeth Maxwell
Ant turned me onto this comic during a nerdy funk of mine and I really took to it. A story of space travel, time travel and the human psyche. The art is clean and almost reminds me of a more realistic, as much as that means, Dresden Codak. Stylistic and adventurous, the comic can be rather slow paced and wordy which means that half of the web comic readers of the Internet will bitch but really, its worth a try if you like science fiction. It had been on a hiatus but apparently my preparations returned it to life. :| Its worth a look but reviewing it can be hard. As much as I like it, it hasn't inspired me in the ways that other comics have to look forward to it. Maybe because it took a break after I started reading, maybe my mood when I went through the archives. Give it a look, I'll give a B+.
Red Future by Allan Wood
Two Allan Wood comics in one review? Who does he think he is, KC Green? A survival comic told in between blogs from the characters and comics. The problem I have with comic is that I have no idea what is going on. Apocalypse, alien invasion, communists? No idea. If anything though, he should get props for that. The art is simple like Allan with some more frills but Allan is great so far when it comes to story writing. Its to early to give it a full review though but it is off to a really good start.
That wasn't too painful was it my friends? You know what I read now, what do you read that I don't? I'd be glad to check them out? Do you do comics? Tell me and I'll give them a more supportive shot that other bloggers do. It'll be a while though. Shards of Alara comes out this weekend for prerelease and I'll be in Columbus for that. If you will too just drop me a line.
Sign up for the feed to not miss out when the next update comes out.
Friday, September 19, 2008
1. The last blog was webcomic review 7, not 5 and so far, I haven't been able to change it.
2. Shards of Alara, while it looks awesome, will probably suck for drafting, seriously. :|
3. I've been wasting tons of time on the original Diablo. Still an amazing game but I want to find a copy of the sequel somewhere.
4. I'm actually reviewing these a bit more thoroughly before posting after the fiasco with the last posts' spelling errors and lack of continuity flow.
5. I noticed that I've improved my writing skills over the past few weeks almost to the point that I want to redo the early reviews. Might as well just deal with it for now
Like I said, just a few things.
Peace out for now.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Anyways, this is the second to last webcomic review for webcomics that I enjoy and suggest so I'm looking forward to getting done with this.
Slackerz by Scott Smith and Scott Hepting
Fun fact: To help with journalistic integrity for this article, I totally dissociated myself with this site over the past weekend including but not limited to quitting the forum which I was a frequent poster on and by abdicating my spot as a shoutbox mod. Yeah. That is the real reason people involved with Slackerz forum who read this. The whole time thing-just a lame excuse. I am a dedicated blogger.
Anyways, I was dedicated to giving this a critical review. First off, if you hate long winded comics that take over a minute to read, not 8-bit Theater long though, Slackerz is probably not for you. The humor variates between current and ancient (in Internet terms) pop culture references and most of them require back information and the lack of a news article archive can make understanding old archived comics hard since they usually were linked to a video originally, or the recent ones were. The art in and of itself is very minimalistic, adding to the absurdity. Occasionally, Hepting the artist takes full control and the comics can take a give or take turn but he has proven himself strong and a writer for Slackerz, though he was proven back with Goobs. Still, when the humor is spot on, it is profound and I stay up late every Monday night waiting for a new comic. Slackerz gets an A overall.
Sore Thumbs by Owen Gieni and Chris Crosby
Gaming comics for me are give or take and it usually comes down to things like art and overall humor. Sore Thumbs is mainly on my list for the art, where somewhere with basic male urges to click on anything with giant tits in the ads grabbed my attention with the strength of a full strength tractor beam. The comic mostly runs on current events and the art overall is very stylistic and the characters are pretty much archetypes but somewhere, the story has taken turns to save itself from the quagmire of other comics anf while it rarely makes me laugh in real life, it satisfies me enough. Sore Thumbs earns a B+.
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja by Chris Hastings, Kent Archer and Carly Monardo
Theoretically this should have come muuuuuuch earlier but Firefox, you magnificent bastard of a web browser, doesn't count The as a word to ignore unlike Itunes. Wherein most farce of genres in the webcomic industries fail, Dr. McNinja rises above the others like the noonday sun beating upon the rest of webcomics like....the sun (again). If you like action comics and humor and nerdy references, check out the comic. The art is amazing and with the inclusion of Carly Monardo adding color, the color has gone up another notch. Dr. McNinja sneaks behind me, stabs me and earns an A+.
The Nineteenth-Century Industrialist by Renee Katz
The Nineteenth-Century Industrialist is a return to a day when over exaggerated characters and slapstick humor could entertain. Except that now the classic humor is topped with a crunchy intellectual crust. With a easily distinguishable and original art style, enjoyable characters and more, its worth your watching and with a print novelization out now (which I need to get around to buying...) the comic is one of my favorite stops. The downside is that I don't have reason to stop there often enough but with another comic it gets me by. The N-C I gets a A-.
Now a commercial break.
KC Green has an art blog.
Back to the blog.
Three Panel Soul by Ian McConville and Matt Boyd
Graduates from an amazing art school (or the school of hours of practice) and Mac Hall present a weekly combination of sublime art and surreal-ish humor. (Its past 2 am, I really should think about doing these in the morning.) The comic has amazing art proving the value of a good art degree and frankly, almost make me weep at the beauty of the art. I mean, the art in and of itself is reason enough to read the comic. Three Panel Soul earns a strong A+.
VG Cats by Scott Rasoomair
Honestly, chances are you already have your own opinions of the comic. Yeah, furries, gaming and more are in here but it is forgivable. When Scott actually updates his comic, its comedy is superb and the art is great, he improves it, tries new things and has proven why he is apparently able to live off the comic. As usual, my criticism involves updates, he's gone months without anything but now that he's running two sides comics, I can accept this. VG Cats earns an A.
A: I didn't quit the forum on here because I don't spend much time on there. :|
B. I wonder how Rasoomair will react to this since he apparently watches my Twitter. :|
XKCD by Randall Munroe
Slackerz led me here and by god, I've stuck onto the comic. Even though the art is simple to the point of being amateur, he is able to justify it with nerdy humor. Its another one that you should already be reading. I don't have much more to say. XKCD earns an A.
Other notes of interest include the fact that I pimped out my blog, you can contact me almost 24/7 in that box to the right and such. Give me a comment, I can to hear what you think.
Peace out until now.
Edits: Made some flow and spelling changes. Thanks Toads.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Now, I've had this blog for a few months and I've had around 67 or so views which I am happy with, I'm not doing in depth reviews and I'm not trying to flame people. I've gotten a link from Ant over at Amazingly Average since I reviewed him and because we are buddies I suppose, and probably a few from people who were looking for "kc green morningwood average" or "dewitt looking for robot Einstein comic" neither of which apply to my site though, especially since the whole Einstein being reanimated in his coffin put a damper on my resurrection ego trip and his robot webcomic. Apparently though, I decided to search on Google for "Koltreg webcomic review" somebody found my blog and mentioned it. Now, normally I would be delighted until upon further exploration, I discovered this is done by a group of webcomic podcasters. I'm actually happy that I've gotten mentioned but the whole incident has spooked me especially since these people apparently have dozens of sites that host their podcast and even though I was not mentioned in a podcast as to my knowledge, people are apparently reading this stuff if I don't invite them.
I'm worried for when Team Majorca actually has readers, even if they don't comment.
Still, thanks to everybody who is checking out the blog. I really want to add in some fun keywords though to help with the searches.
How about: nightgig, night terrors, chiauhua massacre, vampire, bake sale, maiming, toritilla bucket, exploding condom, doctor, ninja, raphaelle, amazingly average, huey louis, objectivism, cognitive dissonance .
Time to watch those views roll in.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Koltreg would like to cordially apologize to Albert Einstein.
Also, I feel the need to apologize for my review of Right Click Studios. I was too lenient on it. I will confess though, this weeks comic is good, except that it crashed my Snapdrive account by sapping its bandwidth. Took that down as soon as possible.
On to the comics
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner
Did I already compare something to the closest thing we have to Farside? I don't think so. Well, this is it, except most newspapers wouldn't print it. SMBC is sublime, underrated by the masses and amazing. Sure the art could be better but it's the guys style and I can accept it. Complaints would be when he culls his archives. Its like ripping out pages of the original books of the Bible. Anyway, read it, read it, read it. A+
Scary Go Round by John Allison
Indie art, offbeat humor and the British people. The long stretching (almost 10 years or so?) comic epic of John Allison may very well be my favorite comic. Starting out as a mystery comic, the comic spiraled out of control (in the good way) into a vast collection of characters and adventures. You don't really need to read it all, it just helps. Seriously though, I spent an entire day reading this and it was so very worth it. It may not be your style though so that is my warning. A
Shortpacked! by David Willis
I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my loathing of YWCIBAYSFB (Your Web Comic Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad) and this is a comic that was unfairly attacked for adding character depth. I tried reading Roomies by David Willis and I got into 100 or so but it didn't stick for me. Shortpacked! is a mix of nerd humor, storylines and other things. I've enjoyed it and its not a challenging comic with overly confusing storyline but it does throw in curve balls with drama storyline but I respect it for that. It has references to Roomies and the other comics which might be my only complaint but once again I respect it. The Columbus-citizens comic gets a A.
Sinfest by Tatsuya Ishida
I've read through all of the archives of the comics that I had read except for this one. With many props to Mr. Ishida for his comic, I don't lose any story plot though. Essentially this is another print comic that is "too controversial" for the newspapers. Its a fun read but its nothing amazing. I just really like the style and I don't mind the daily updates. Plus, tits tits tits. Give it a shot, call me in the morning if you still have a B.
Sins (Venials) by Pip
You know that one relative and or friend that you really don't like to bring up in conversation for one reason or another. This is the comic version of that person for me. Sins (Venials) is a long reaching comic about the physical embodiments of the 7 Deadly Sins. The art is simplistic and in many ways, it directly contrasts the story. The story can be confusing if you don't pay attention and the newsposts aren't usually helpful. Plus this partially falls under the problem that El Goonish Shive does by being partially fetishy. The comic is worth a shot, the characters have depth and its off the beaten track in many ways. I guess its less of the person you don't like to talk about and more of that small town restaurant nobody knows about. I give it a B+.
Almost done with the old ones, maybe two more, then the comics I ditched and then....Shards of Alara. Hopefully.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Theory of ReLOLtivity - Albert Einstein has a good webcomic, except he never updates. A
There, if he comes back, I can get a job or fat stacks of cash. Now onto the comics. Note: skipping over what I picked up recently, also skipping PBF (along with a few more for the retired/dead/dropped sections.)
Penny Arcade by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
Honestly, if you don't already have an opinion on this comic, then continue reading. Penny Arcade can be regarded as one of the founding fathers of all webcomics, mostly due to the fact that it started the gamer webcomics. The art has improved over the years and while I have yet to read all of it, Tycho can write out some amazing journals. Its a classic for good reasons and its improved over the years instead of entering a slouch in talent growth. Giving this one a solid A.
PvP:Player Versus Player by Scott R. Kurtz
PvP was actually the first webcomic I ever read, though not in webcomic format. I was introduced to it in the forum of the PC Gamer comics (a publication I stopped reading last year). The comics were okay but I never ventured off to read further into the comics. Last year about SAT/ACT though, I ran into the comics though and read through them all. In one afternoon. My head hurt. The comics were okay, essentially the same level as the newspaper publications. I still read it though, possibly because its part of my daily routine and because of PvP Makes Me Sad. While I personally don't care for most blog, I do love a review that actually makes helpful suggestions instead of pointless complaints. I'm going to have to give it a B+.
rice boy by Evan Dahm
I love it when art and story flow together. Evan Dahm's fiction-fantasy epic finished its first book with a satisfying conclusion and is now working on building it world further. This comic is not for everybody though. I'd suggest reading a chapter and if it grabs you, thank me in the morning, if not you can go and read something else. There are some complaints over the second book, partially over lack of color, partially over the vastly different story but frankly, I still enjoy it the same. rice boy gets an A.
Right-Click Studios by Socks Mahoney and Derek Zobler
...yeah, I feel conflicted due to my past encounters with Mr. Mahoney and the fact that I did a comic for them last week. I enjoy immature humor from time to time and seeing a new comic every week is good and fine but frankly, don't read the entire archive in one sitting. Its dulls the humor. The humor is usually in bad taste though and Derek is still working on his artistic talents. Still, props to my buddies from another mother. Here's to a long future, B-.
Rob and Elliot by Clay and Hampton Yount
Rob and Elliot is the closest we will probably ever get to the return of the Clerks the Animated Series. A mix of slapstick, subtle and other, the adventures of two roommates has never been done so well. The pair have been doing comics for a while and the years of training show. The comic is just... I really can't understand why VG Cats supports Scott Rasoomiar and yet these two can't live on the comics alone. Probably the lack of video game references. This is going to get an A+.
Adios till later Koltregteers.
Friday, August 29, 2008
For now, unless something else amazing happens, I'm done.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Lorwyn isn't really the problem with me although I loved Lorwyn. Nothing like having your Sliver deck get curb stomped by your opponent playing indestructible treefolk while all you can do is shed a tear because now instead of 7 packs, you can only get 2 or 1 (not even a Friday Night Magic collectors card since the local game store still isn't officiated), but I digress. Lorwyn was like a new Odyssey block (new creatures) trying to play like the Onslaught block with major creature bonuses. My biggest complain was that elves and goblins were involved because if they just been replaced with something new, centaurs and dwarves again per se, the block could have been a lot more self contained. I leave merfolk out though because as a whole, they have been shitted upon in the past except for a few cards and they needed a second chance like dwarves still do. Centaurs I can give or take. As for elementals, they worked well as did the kithkin, who now hold a special place in my heart. Faeries can go off into Glen Eldera or whatever and screw themselves in some sort of dream orgy. Changelings needed to be around in a greater number, I believe.
As a Vorthos player that I mostly am though, what I loved the most was the setting of the world. Lorwyn has produced some very scenic art especially after Time Spiral and I finally have another "Happy Swamp" with brightly colored flowers in the art. Take that emo kids. The idea of twisting around the goblins and elves still was creative, I loved the goblins as sort of sense junkies and the elves as racists( not that I love racists) because it was a step away from what we are used to. Now, I am going to say again, dwarves with their stereotype of being drunks could totally be the sense addicts and the black tinge would still go through and I'd love to see some corrupted centaurs. Elementals fit in well as sort of the spirits of the world and changelings were also a welcome change both adding a innocence in the world. The merfolk kept the basic merfolk "Oh, we are traders in the water, lets go swim" stereotype but that works well. Kithkin for a Vorthos player, didn't do as much for me as they did actually playing the game in this block, a bit too folky for me and the community idea was basically like halflings. Treefolk were treefolk.
Overall, Lorwyn and Morningtide were fun and then everything got screwed up by the goddamn fairies.
I'm preparing to leave for college and so I've been teaching my sister Magic and she has a kithkin deck but she also held some Vorthos like interest in the world. Essentially though, I had to boil down the Lorwyn/Shadoowmoor block to "You have Lorwyn which is your atypical fairy tale world with pretty much everybody getting along well. Then you have then entire world change and everything goes dark."
I don't know who wrote something along these lines but I think Shadowmoor fits the classic idea of, "the only thing we love to see more that peace is peace getting corrupted."
Vorthos wise, I really missed some of the innocence of the Lorwyn world with the bright pictures and happiness. We got more Magic dark art, which while it can be all fine and good, has been used to much. In some ways, it just reset the status quo with goblins becoming savages again and elves becoming the defenders of justice. That was a bit meh for me. Elementals got all mopey and/or filled with rage and started taking it out on everything. Merfolk went from traders to pirates and essentially followed the "Oh, we are pirates in the water, lets go swim," idea with a dash of elemental rage-mope. Fairies were fairies. Treefolk for the most part died out as did changelings but the kithkin vastly improved. They changed from a tight knit community to one of xenophobic people. I loved the change with their eyes becoming wide open and yellow and I think it helped to make them stronger. They also introduced some new races but really, I didn't give a damn about the story for this world anymore, straight on gameplay time had come.
As for gaming, I refer back to the original section on the Urza block in which it was broken and for many years the playing field was uneven. Shadowmoor went, laughed, and then said "I can't let you do that, Urza blocks," and then proceeded to make cards that have not only insured that they will continue to be used after the block en masse, but that they will also get you to pull out your Ravnica cards and stick them in for fun. When you make a card that gives +2/+2 and flying and indestructable for three mana, you are just asking for shit to go down. Autochthon Wurm anybody? Another great thing was that they simultaneously killed the indestructable ability with wither. Finally your weenie deck can seek revenge against those 12/12s. Also, grandeur is a great idea, but we needed more of it.
Now I realize that I barely wrote any notes about Lorwyn keywords and that is because in my memory, there was nothing too fancy. Sure you had racial keywords and changeling but nothing else that important comes to mind. The two blocks/mini blocks were radically different, to me at least, but a great point to start collecting or drafting. Hopefully Shards of Alara can make a mark too.
Also, new Magic the Gathering site is up. Give it a look and next week I should be back with something else nerdy to talk about.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Now onto the comics.
Kate Beaton Comics by Kate Beaton
As a former history student, nothing makes me happier than a good comic referencing semi-obscure historical moments. A great comic doing this though makes me incredibly overjoyed at it's updates. The simplistic art style and classic (in many ways) humor make Kate Beaton's Comic-blog thingy a site to check daily. If only it had a title and a regular schedule.... A
Lackadaisy Cats by Tracy J Butler
First impression for most people about this comic would probably be "LOL, Furry, No!" As with many comics, the impression is unfounded and idiotic. Tracy Butler's Prohibition Era Gangster comic is one of the best drawn comics out on the wide, wide market with a story to match. If you love bootlegging, murder and aren't totally against furries, this site is for you. The one complaint is the erratic updates, but you can understand why with the art as amazing as it is. A
LegoRobot by Bob
This is the almost pure contrast to the first two comics reviewed so far, at least art wise. LegoRobot is what would most likely happen if a writer for a sketch comedy show got into his producer's drug stash and then found MS Paint open. The thing is, this comic is like those monkeys and typewriters and Shakespeare except that each comic is pure amazingness. At least until he pulls a Dresden Codak. The comic is NSFW on several levels but totally worth several looks. The art doesn't even matter. Once again though, erratic updates.... A
Looking for Group by Ryan Sohmer and Lars Desouza
Hey, a comic that actually updates on a schedule that it keeps! Wooo! Looking for Group falls somewhere between WoW/D&D and a generic parody. The main characters are all pretty much interchangeable personality-wise except for Richard/Dick the necromancer who essentially keeps the strip from floundering. It's wavered in its strength but as of now, it is currently picking up in quality again. Still, I look forward to the updates on Mondays and Thursdays. Heck, its part of why I get up on Thursday. Still, weak characters and over dependence on one character earns the comic a B+
Menage a 3 by Gaz and Dave Zero 1
The comic from what I've gathered was created from an ad campaign about sexually suggestive ads powered solely by the male horniness factor. My main problem is that the comic was toted as a nerd comic about comics and games and such. So far, there is barely anything at all about that. Except nudity. The art is solid and I can reason that the nerdiness may appear after the beginning is done. Personally, I would hate to see a promising comic like this end up like another PvP "gaming" comic. B
Until next week Koltreg-a-teers when I hope to give a hindsight review on the Lorwyn and Eventide blocks.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I have more webcomics. Getting caught up in vacation kept me from almost all gaming over the weekend. I did go to some enjoyable concerts though, met Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley and had some other stuff come up.
Now onto the comics.
Fanboys (Online) by Scott Dewitt - Now, I have respect for Mr. Dewitt's comics if for no other reason than the fact that for a while, he was pumping out some wonderful comics that put VG Cats to shame. Sadly, his comics have notably gone down in quality of humor to almost the standard "Spys sapping my sentry" mentality week after week. There is a time and place for this. The place is right but the time has passed quickly. I can also respect Mr. Dewitt for seeking to improve his art but alienating his audience for months at a time to do it is hard on the loyal fans and makes the relationship almost just one way, by not showing the sketches and asking for opinions in public (might do differently on the forum, I don't know.) I respect Mr. Dewitt for his contributions to the webcomic world but frankly it may have changed too much or too little
for him to keep up. Here is to hoping the comics get better again. B
Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddel - An imaginative world with fun characters and enjoyable dialog combined with a fun and fitting art style? There could be complaints from the high literature crowds about some crap or another but really, it is enjoyable overall. One of the best series out there, unless you hate female characters you shouldn't/can't fap to. Check it out now. A+
Hockey Zombie by Crun - Nert nert nert nert nert nert. Nert nert nert nert nert nert nert nert nert. Nert nert, nert nert nert nert. Nert nert nert nert nert nert nert. B
Holy Bibble by Lucas and Cannan - Do you love some heresy to help get you going in the morning? Does the thought of Jesus being a colored person offend you? Did you forget that Jews are actually the base of Christianity? If you go to a Christian church and got confused by these questions, Holy Bibble isn't for you. Holy Bibble falls into the category of Bible comics except where most banish you to the shadow relam or something for playing D&D, Holy Bibble is essentially straight up parody of the Bible. An easier look at the Old Testament than most of the actual Bible text. Check it out, Chibi Christianity from gender confused comicers. B+
Horribleville by KC (Kills Coons) Green - The biggest piece of crap on the internet drawn by a fat slob except you can't even call what he does "art". I mean seriously. My blind paraplegic uncle could do better. And then the "story" is worse than the average Livejournal. Whine whine whine. D-
Actually I love KC Green and Horribleville is a work of modern art since apparently a book of web slang can be considered a novel. KC Green gets an A+
Monday, August 4, 2008
Cartridge Comics by Chris Jeffrey and Alexandria N.
A comic that has recently come back from being dead with a large nerdy archive. The art has improved since the update but it is still picking up and getting itself together. Hopefully once he comes back the comic can pick up again. B
Dresden Codak by Aaron Diaz
Dresden Codak once held a place in my heart as the greatest webcomic I had ever seen. Unfortunately he has fallen into the dangerous pitfall of internet stardom and has become a mix of mixed updates and an overly long storyline. The art is still great but I miss a variety of topics and frequent updates. Dresden Codak, where ever you are, please come back and bring back the old comic sensibility with you. B-
Drunken Philosophy by Lachlan Moore and Luke Humphris
A pair of Aussies. A comic. Zombies. Unfortunately though the comic has fallen on hard times. They've been missing updates badly and are on vacation. The art still needs some work but the guys are cool and they like to have fun. B
Dueling Analogues by Steve Napierski
....I'm going to remove this from my links now. Seriously, it almost mades God Mode look good. The comic had some good bits but overall you can do much better. C-
El Goonish Shive by Dan Shive
The comic is one of the best ones on the internet. The comic has been running for 6 years and has only moved forward about a month or so. The characters have been well fleshed out over time and seriously, despite it's furry and fetish complaint, all you need to do is act mature. It also has two bonus sections of comics. Give it a look and read a few chapters. A
Evil Inc. by Brad Guigar
In the similar strain as PVP (review coming later) the comic has run over a long period of time. The comic, unlike PVP, usually has a directly apparent joke. Unfortunately this usually involves a bad pun. Its worth a read but you can do better. B-
I haven't been able to try a new game, I do like doing this though. I've got to go expunge Dueling Analogues from my list now though.
Monday, July 28, 2008
1. Amazingly Average by Anthony "Ant" Bianchi
Still a developing comic but so far shows lots of potential. Anthony, a graduate of the now in Limbo Supafine shows his comic and storytelling skills based around Doherty Herring, an average girl with a wide imagination. It has been building itself and the art is fun to see. Worth your time if you want something new and different with a female main character. B+
2. Awkward Zombie by Katie Tiedrich
A gaming comic with a recognizable style and a variety of humor ranging from the semi profound to the slapstick. The comic's greatest problem would be the author's lack of faith in what she does. Still, shes good and is able to inspire laughs from video game refugees and the fanboys alike. All she really needs is some more faith. A-
3. Bear and Kitten by Angie and Andy
....if you haven't read it already, read it now. I'm no where near as profound as the comic. Its the fanciest thing I've ever seen thats still able to do a cock joke. A+
4. Bee Power by KC Green
Bee Power should go here but it was ended. Still KC Green is KC Green and I find the guy and comic amazing. A+
5. Boxer Hockey by Tyson "Rittz" Hesse
If Disney from the Nineties had an illegal child with an overactive imagination and a sportsman, it would make Boxer Hockey. The comic is amazingly well drawn and its humor is pretty wide reaching. A
I'm tired now but hopefully I can do a game review in a bit.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
My first choice for a game review is a short lived game series known as Duel Masters which like almost all Japanese cards games, seems to have a show based around it. I myself was introduced to the game by a suave Wizards of the Coast representative who lured me to his table with promises of free Wizards of the Coast stuff about four or so years ago. At the time I was visiting with friend and had nothing better to do so I obliged the offer and sat down. Then the suck started.
One of my main problems with TCGs is when they require you to have a mat. Mainly because it means its just one more piece of crap that you have to remember as you run out the door. That and it's another thing game companies can charge you to buy since they are all made of paper. Luckily Magic never required you to have one (but Portal Second Age did include them in the boxes.) Anyways, looking at the mat that I have retrieved from my room, I see that it is actually very simple and not even required- unless you happen to be the sort of person who enjoys having to chide at people for putting their cards in the wrong areas. Seriously, stop mixing your Magic lands and flipping your cards upside down so I can read them. I learned how to read upside down for a reason and you can stop being such a pussy and do the same thing for you .....but I digress. The mat is divided (and color coded) in five areas, the Battle Zone (god, now the anime theme song is burning in my mind with a drunk Bobcat Goldthwait saying "Get in the Battle Zone." Damn my amazing imagination and memory skills) the Shield zone, the Mana zone, and then the Deck and Graveyard zones. The mas list the steps of the turn and how to tell creature cards from spell cards. If nothing else, the mat has a nice design. 'cept for black-haired YuGiOh. Also kudos on easy turns.
The game essentially follows the generic, destroy life points to win formula that pretty much all trading card games have now. In this game, life points are represented by Shields which are face down cards that your opponents destroy in hopes that after doing that, you don't get a card you actually need (think of that ante crap from Poke'Mon or whatever it was). Essentially you play creatures or spells as lands to pay for spells to bash, bash, bash. The game is fairly balanced in gameplay from the hundred or so cards that I've gotten (I won a deck for beating the Wizard's rep. and then bought a pack or something.) Its one of those that like it or not, it will be hard to make a perfect combo deck as there is a high level of game balance which I like because old and new players are on equal footing and because not everybody is left playing one color or another in tournaments (if they ever had them).
My main gripes, if any, come from the fact that it doesn't take itself seriously. That and the fact that it petered out after a few years making those $20 cards that you were hoping to have appreciate in value suddenly lose all worth. When a game can't take itself seriously in the right amounts and areas, the only thing able to save it is legions of idiotic fanboys which Duel Masters lacked as it was a cable show (I didn't have WB when it was on so I can't be sure) and because it was already facing the established YuGiOh and Poke'Mon TCG markets. Overall I would say the game is actually almost as good as ....Shit. I need some nerd rage here. Okay, the game is essentially Magic the Gathering for newbs from the colors of the tribes being the same as the colors of Magic the Gathering (red, blue, black, white and green with multicolored and some noncolored) with the colors following the same ideas (red= agro, blue = draw cards etc). The main differences are easier combat, simpler playing and the lack of a need to drop $50 to make a good deck. And you can use any card as a land.
Overall the game was one of the better short lived TCGs and probably would have become more popular if it was a basic network cartoon as it tried for humor and had character development -according to Wikipedia at least- and it was the right amount of innocent and adult. Sadly as I said before, the lack of a fanbase killed the game and so now I've gotta go sort Magic cards for a peasant draft.
For future game developers, take a leaf out of this games nature-folio, keep it simple, easy to play and balanced and you can have a good game.
Next time, watch me try and cope with dropping money to test out Bella Sara.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Still, I do enjoy dropping $70 to get a pass to "one of the biggest gaming convention in the world." Especially when the Swag bag is a cheap plastic sack (no art this year!) with just a Poke'Mon pencil, an ad for a free board game to the first five visitors to the booth (I got that!) and then ads and a newsletter. Last year we got tin D&D item cards, a squishy Gleemax brain and tons of other stuff all in a pretty and arty bag. I really feel like a I got my money's worth for that.
In all seriousness though, I come to the con because I love to game. I mainly came for Magic and damn do they have Magic. Nothing like walking through dozens of booths trying to sell your junky rares to get the sweet sweet high from another pack because you know with that next one you are bound to pull out that foil Bitterblossom with a Mutavault also in the pack. I went from the high of getting a really good box of Future Sight (at normal prices that I could have avoided with the right person) to the immense buyer's remorse of the next crap filled box that luckily I was able to empty of commons (by giving them to aforementioned right person who apparently runs a GenCon booth.) All the while, neither Future Sight box gave me a Sliver Legion (which I bought later.)
It's nice to see the nerding community coming together though from the 50 year old men playing Magic to the parents bringing their children in cosplay of Poke'Mon characters. The nerding community gets a bad rap for being a bunch of pale geeks who fawn over any attractive women that they can see. I personally find this to be an incorrect statement as my friend, no offense A., who was without his necessary glasses, was still saying "Damn, I wish I could see her ass more clearly." This was then rebuked by my "A., thats a guy." Back to Poke'Mon though for a sec and those hellspawn who play it. There are apparently parents who drive their kids around to these giant Poke'Mon tournaments. In my day, I had to wait till a holiday to even get money, let alone cards, let alone driving from Arkansas to Ohio to have little Billy McPikachu-lover get his ass kicked by a 40-year old man who would most likely return to his hotel room to talk to his teen friends who address him as Tina. Parents need to invest better in their children's futures. In a few years, these kids will be one of three things 1) kids who are in their teens in high school playing Poke'Mon, 2) kids who hate their overbearing parents 3) or most likely playing another card game since nobody is willing to pay $200 for a foil first edition Charizard. Do your kids a favor and buy them Magic. It's got staying power, street cred (between gamers) and staying power. No reason to resign Billy to a former small fortune of worthless paper when with the same investment, you can make them the buying targets of the convention salesmen for having a Pithing Needle.
Overall though, I've been getting cruel and distracted. I had fun at Origins. I played Morton's List which I'd suggest to every Jackie Any-teen out there tired of living bored in their small town/suburb/inner city. Other people can go play D&D Online for all I care and then write on the forums about how they want to be able to PK. Morton's List is essentially LARP without the RP and its more of Live Action Adventuring through the Meaningless Drudges of the Mortal Coil by Doing Random Crap. LAATMDMCDRC. Add a few ' and you have a name for an orc. I also entered a THG (Two-Headed Giant) tournament of Shadowmoor which was fun. My team came in 5th but got extra packs for helping the winning team. My only problem was the army of Billys and "Tinas" in the same hall as us being goaded on the ever present MC Lets-go-yell-to-annoy-people-with-a-respect-for-nerding. I will say though, I did get a rather amazing Kiki-Jiki statue for $10 (retail 55+) and a box of Saviors of Kamigawa for cheap (60-ish).
Overall, despite the Billys and Tinas in their clusterf*ck group, the missing stores and subsequent Glue Shoppe, the crappy swag sack, the card buying addiction and the general shrinking, Origins was good. I will admit though, I hope that GenCon does die. I'd really love to go to a bigger Origins next year. George Lucas, you have my support in killing them, but you still owe us for JarJar.