Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shards of Alara Prerelease Review

So, I got back from the Shards of Alara prerelease over at Columbus. It was a good going away party. Besides having a deck and a binder of cards stolen from me, it was very enjoyable. (If you were the jerk who stole my type 1 binder, may the DCI find out and ban ye!) Luckily I have my type two and a box of rares.

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

Do We Need Game Review Magazines?

Ever since I saw the documentary-of-sorts Zero Originality and its harsh criticism of Game Informer, the thought about our need for published gaming reviews has been weighing heavily on me. I, like many people, signed up for Game Informer to get the "benefits" at the local GameStop which I began to hate after I essentially payed $40 to borrow a copy of Mario Party 8 for 15 hours since I didn't like the game and they wouldn't give me a full refund which I can partially understand. The magazine Game Informer was for me, something I might thumb through if I saw a game I wanted. Then I realized, "I'm not buying video games anymore." Looking through to an ad pretty much every page, I began to get pissed off.
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

Webcomic Review Part 8: The New Conclusion

And so in here, we end a chapter of web comic reviews. I am glad to say that I think this journey of web comic reviews will hopefully be done for a while or at least until I get some more.

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

A Few Small Things

Some things have been bothering me, might as well get them out.

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

Webcomic Review Part 5: Hot Tauntaun Action

No idea or desire to know if I spelled tauntaun, those ice beasts from The Empire Strike Back, correctly.
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.

First off
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.
Side Notes.
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

Random Brief Update

As today is 9/11 apparently I'm not able to go and make phone calls about political choices and such as I would rather do so double update this week.

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

Webcomic Review Part VI

So, I didn't bring Albert Einstein back to lif....wait, he'd be where he was bur.....ummmm.
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.

Koltreg out.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Webcomic Review Part 5

Since last reviews, Lego Robot and Lackadaisy came back. I'd like to take credit, but I can't. Yet.

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.