Friday, August 29, 2008

Make a Will Save

Normally, I like to keep politics out of what I do because most of the time, they just make things worse. In a recent moment full of lulz though, John McCain aid Michael Goldfarb in response to attacks on McCain's credibility in a story about him drawing a cross which apparently echoed something out of a classic story by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich most likely.. In the blog he says "It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman's memory of war from the comfort of mom's basement, but most Americans have the humility and gratitude to respect and learn from the memories of men who suffered on behalf of others." Now apparently that pulled a torrent of nerd rage from everybody including the President of Wizards of the Coast. The lolz continue when he apologizes stating "If my comments caused any harm or hurt to the hard working Americans who play Dungeons & Dragons, I apologize. This campaign is committed to increasing the strength, constitution, dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, and charisma scores of every American." If McCain and Palin (the apparent VP pick) want my vote, they need to distrubute loot more equally, give out cheaper healing spells and then stop being jerks and let me play that evil cleric. It's my right to choose if I want to bring unlife into this world and the government shouldn't have any say.
For now, unless something else amazing happens, I'm done.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lorwyn/ Shadowmoor Block Reviews

I've been fully playing Magic the Gathering since the Odyssey block came out, but I had bought a few packs throughout my life before then, mostly from Tempest because my brother and I started out in Portal Second Age. Yet, as I may or may not have mentioned before, we stopped for a good deal of time missing out on the Urza block, which many people still consider one of the best blocks ever in the game. When I got back into magic, I'd have cycling decks beating the crap out of me with there life gain and their goblins and even still, that might happen. I'm no amazing Magic player. I think at least a few people would agree with me though that Magic as a whole after that point was a lot less broken.
Until now.
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

Webcomics Review-a-thon 4: The Quest for Peace

After defeating General Zod and Richard Pryor (RIP) our intrepid review continued his quest to review webcomics to the best of his ability in a ...positive manner. In the past week, I've added on another weeks blog. Hopefully after next week though, I'll do a gaming blog. Otherwise I'd feel like a liar.

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

Webcomic Review-a-thon Part 3: The Continuing

First things first, Majorca is getting new comics every few days and I should actually have a series there too. Also, interviews and other fun stuff abounds, interviews and such.

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

Webcomics Review-a-thon Part 2

Last time on the webcomic show, I reviewed some comics in a fair and balanced format and people found out about it. People who I reviewed. Like Ant found out and linked me and then I interviewed "Rittz" and KC Green. Amazing!

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.