Magic the Gathering #1. A Planeswalker’s Review

8 02 2012

  Magic the Gathering #1

Magic the Gathering nerds unite!  Don’t take offense nerds, I say that in the nicest way possible.  I have nothing against card gaming, I actually tried Magic and it almost made my brain explode.  As soon as my friend started turning cards sideways I was like “whoa, officially too much” and ran out of the room screaming.  True story.  Anyways, Magic the Gathering #1 has arrived and it comes with a “Treasure Hunter” card that allows you to look through your library until a nonland card…blah, blah, blah I have no idea what any of that means but trust me you want this card, and the comic.

I’m going to call this first installment of Magic the Gathering “Treasure Hunter” because that’s the name of the card that came with it.  IDW has big plans for this series and they start off with a bang in issue number one.  Dack Fayden has stolen an artifact from The Cult of Rakdos and they’re rightful pissed.  Fayden, a Planeswalker and spells thief, isn’t interested in the artifacts physical value, instead he wants to know what the strange treasure has done in the hands of the cult.  He finds out that the piece he stole actually has history closer to home than he ever fathomed.

Fayden isn’t a super sorcerer by any means, he’s quick and intuitive, like Indiana Jones or Nathan Drake.  His plans don’t always go accordingly, but he accomplishes his goals.  Much like a detective he’s in search of something, something darker than he hoped, but was exactly what he was looking for.

Magic the Gathering #1 is surprisingly tense.  I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but found myself very curious about what Fayden had stolen.  Do not miss this one because it’s building up one helluva story filled with deceit, revenge, and a lost city.  Plus it comes with a collectable card, just sayin.

Burke

This comic was graciously given to me from the guys at Cosmic Comics in Las Vegas.  There’s this one and whole lot more there to choose from.  Expect to see their full blown site soon from the guys at Fat Beard Studios.

 

 

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LA Noir, Not My Cup of Joe

6 02 2012

My recent travel back in time didn’t involve stolen uranium, 1.21 gigawatts or even a time machine.  I was thrown into the year 1947 as a green cop on the streets of an ever expanding Los Angeles in LA Noir.  This isn’t a review of LA Noir since I couldn’t get myself to actually finish the game.  The fault wasn’t for lack of trying though, LA Noir just isn’t my type of game.

LA Noir was defeated early on because I’m just not into the era of the 1940’s and 50’s.  I don’t like the music, slang or fedoras.  But LA Noir is highly regarded as a creative IP so I took my chances and tried my hand at detective work.  News flash!  I blow at being a detective.  I’m terrible at it apparently.  After proving myself on the streets I was given my first chance at interrogation, have you seen that video with the zeppelin going up in flames, yeah that was my interrogation… six times.  I could not read the suspects “emotions” at all, leaving me with 1 out of 4 questions answered correctly.  Knowing that I’m missing something in the game that could eventually lead to an undesirable outcome infuriated me.  I wanted perfection and I couldn’t achieve it.  Plus investigating crime scenes was boring and I really wanted to actually arrest people not shoot first and ask questions later.  Did no police officer or detective in the 1950’s actually arrest anyone who ran from them?  Because I had to shoot even the pettiest of felons.

LA Noir did have positive marks.  The Los Angeles landscape is beautiful and the facial animations were incredible.  The voice acting could have used some work but were good enough that you could genuinely hear the emotions the actor was trying to portray.  Although frustrating as hell, I couldn’t stop playing LA Noir.  I kept telling myself, “one more case,” like there was some light at the end of the tunnel and all my problems would be solved, but they never were and my lack of interrogation skills continued to actually get worse.  Fiance forced her hand and made me give up on being a detective.  Plus Cole was just way too intense, how can he live with himself when he’s a jerk to everyone.  How do you yell at a wife who’s husband is missing and possibly dead?  Cole Phelps is a dick.

Burke





Action Comics #6. Poisoned by Kryptonite! Review

1 02 2012

Action Comics #6

Poisoned by Kryptonite! is exactly as it says.  Superman does in fact get poisoned by kryptonite.  But how?  That’s where this little story gets you sucked in.  Not only does it have the “man of steel’s ” one weakness reek havoc inside of him, it also dives into memories of his first meeting with a different “Legion of Super-Heroes” and his first flight with them, apparently he needed a ring back then…

Writen by Grant Morrison and drawn by Andy Kubert the book definitely has a classic feel.  The “Legion of Super-Heroes” all have tacky names (Cosmic Man, Saturn Woman and Lightning Man all make their appearances) that I would expect from super-heroes of yore.  The story is “out there” with time travel and telepathy, but never strays too far from the storyline or become difficult to follow.  I’ve been out of the comic book super-hero scene for a long time, but Action Comics #6 was a nice transition back into it.  Knowledge from the previous 5 volumes isn’t necessary, but if you’re curious about what lead to Superman meeting the “Legion of Super-Heroes” feel free to head over to Cosmic Comics in the Las Vegas area to pick those copies up.

Action Comics #6 is a look into Superman’s past, his fight with an evolutionary monster, his mental and physical battle with death, and even comes with a small mini comic at the end titled “Last Day”.  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Burke

Pick up more new releases at Cosmic Comics Las Vegas and get even more great reviews coming soon from our friends at Nerd Junkies and the Leet Ladies.

 





Genki Bowl VII DLC Review Is Here!

30 01 2012

Saints Row: The Third‘s first mission based DLC has arrived and conveniently so has this review.

Genki Bowl VII is here to deliver more pain for Saints Row: The Third.  For 560 Microsoft points ($7.99 in real moneys) you can have 4 added “mini-games” and 3 new homies.  Every  “mini-game” has two missions and is as explosive and exploitive as you’d expect it to be.

  • Apocalypse Genki is essentially Super Ethical Reality Climax, it’s just enough to get you excited for the what’s in store next.
  • Super Ethical PR Opportunity is an escort mission where you take Professor Genki himself from the airport to a “meet and greet” of sorts at the local Let’s Pretend.  Professor Genki is hilarious, he was always punching random citizens when I would pick him up.  His car, which you receive for completing the missions, charges up 4 flame throwers on the vehicle that charges up by hitting people on the sidewalk.  The more damage you do, the more pleased Genki is with you.
  • Sexy Kitten Yarngasm is the Mayhem mission where you destroy as much sh*t in your way as possible.  The more things you destroy in a row, the bigger combo you get, and the more subsequent points you earn.  Maybe one of the more frustrating games because apparently yarn is a difficult material to roll around.  It’s no American Gladiators cage ball…thing.
  • Sad Panda Skyblazing is a completely new game.  Sky dive through burning rings, blow up ethical tiger hot air balloons, land on rooftops to chainsaw unsuspecting mascots, then blast yourself off the roof via a cannon.  You know, normal day to day stuff.

If you just can’t get enough Saints Row, these added missions are well worth your time and money.

Saints Row: The Third’s Genki Bowl VII scores a B+.

Burke





Battlefield 3 Back to Business as Usual.

14 12 2011

Gulf of Oman

Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand DLC

Yesterday was the complete launch across all platforms for Battlefield 3’s first DLC, Back to Karkand.  This DLC is free to all pre-ordered and Limited Edition copies of BF3.  If you weren’t lucky enough to get either of those, this DLC is only $15 and well worth the dough.  DICE has been working hard to make BF3 a fun and competitive experience and Back to Karkand brings 4 classic maps, 10 new weapons and 3 vehicles from Battlefield 2.  For those of you that may remember, Strike at Karkand, Sharqi Peninsula, Gulf of Oman and Wake Island get a facelift and make their triumphant return thanks to the new Frostbite 2 engine. 

All experience gained in this DLC rolls over into your BF3 character.  The addition of class assignments to unlock new weapons has been added and the Conquest mode has been changed to the classic Conquest Assault where the defending team starts with control of all bases.  This does force advancement of the attacking team, but it felt uneven with only 15 extra tickets at the start of the match.  Gulf of Oman proved very frustrating with defending teams just camping floors above each base. 

The DLC is just a little over 2 GB and also has some BF3 patch fixes, matchmaking improvements and weapon balancing.  The flashlight still burns your retinas like the fires of hell, but I’m sure DICE is still working on that too…well I hope so because I’m really tired of my own teammates blinding me. 

Pick up this DLC soon and get to sprinting, driving, flying or whatever it is you crazy kids do these days.

nerdfarm  

 





Is Battlefield 3 the “Real” Deal?

1 11 2011

Battlefield 3 Review

The hype machine has been grinding away for the past year, and has been running on overdrive months before Battlefield 3’s release.  With “Above and Beyond the Call” and the “Is it Real” campaign, BF3 has been boasting stronger graphics, a better solo campaign, and superior multiplayer to it’s self proclaimed rival Modern Warfare 3.  Can BF3 live up to all this hype?  The answer: very uncertain.  I know WTF?  I understand that’s not a straight answer, but without having MW3 in my hands, it’s very difficult to say where BF3 will stand.  I will say in certainty that MW3 will far exceed BF3 sales, the COD name is just more known.  It’s a fact.  While BF3 first week sales of approximately 5 mil is impressive, I think MW3 will trample these numbers in comparison.  But I digress, this is a review of Battlefield 3, not a grudge match between two titles.  So how is BF3?  Impressive.

Battlefield 3 comes with 2 discs, a solo campaign and multiplayer/co-op with an added option to download the HD shading on your HDD.  Does the “Is it Real” campaign live up to the hype.  It does.  I had never played any previous solo campaigns in the Battlefield franchise, usually opting to dive straight into multiplayer, but with XBox servers down (a whole nother can of worms), I jumped feet first into BF3’s solo campaign.  And I mean you jump feet first into the action.  The graphics engine is just beautiful, well as beautiful as Iran can be.  The experience spans beyond the graphics though, as you’re battling the PLR you can hear echos of gunshots in the background, bouncing between buildings, sirens can be heard in the distance, and the ever ominous loudspeaker with prayers from an unknown speaker bellow from within the city.  You’re a normal marine, not a special operative or secret agent, just a marine with your squad following orders.  I really liked the concept that BF was going with, it made the game feel so much more real, and really actually made me feel scared and proud of our soldiers oversees.  That shit is for real, and BF3 nailed it in my opinion.  You get to use a bevy of modern weaponry, both firearms and vehicles.  Both are equally impressive, but the F-18 mission was just amazing.  I had continuous goosebumps as I was gunning down enemy Migs and firing off flares to avoid incoming missiles.   And that really explains the whole solo campaign in general, simply amazing, leaving me grinning from ear to ear the majority of the time.

Does Battlefield 3’s multiplayer live up to the hype?  Can it succeed as the COD killer?  Ready for the shifty answer, both yes and no.  They may both be first person shooters, but they are two completely different games.  I thoroughly enjoy the Battlefield 3 experience.  The maps are huge and highly detailed, vehicle combat works, plenty of weapons to work with, and game modes promote squad cooperation.  Unfortunately the 2.2 million people playing the first day crashed the majority of the servers, so I was forced upon the single player campaign, and there continues to be lag and server issues.  I must admit that DICE are on top of most of these issues, resolving a majority of these server issues really quickly.  The lack of game modes may be discouraging to some, but I don’t mind not being overwhelmed with choices.  Game modes include: Team Deathmatch, Squad Teamdeathmatch, Conquest, and my personal favorite Rush.  BF3 should stress the importance of squad cooperation, games can be changed by one well trained squad, and watching a squad of 4 dudes teabagging your lifeless corpse via kill cam is always rewarding.  That’s something that can’t be found in the previous Modern Warfare games.  There are plenty of weapons to choose from, but be sure to have fun progressing in the game to earn a majority of them.  I do find the weapon progression often confusing, and customizing weapons on the fly isn’t the easiest thing to do.  I would have liked to see a cleaner weapon customization/loadout screen.  And there are plenty of other ways to customize your perfect soldier, camouflage and dog tags being some of them.

All in all, Battlefield is a very strong title.  The single player, lasting a little under 8 hours, may feel short in comparison to other titles on the market, but the campaign’s story felt complete and was a stress inducing thrill ride.  Multiplayer, while still needing a few fixes, is a fun superior alternative to any other FPS out there.  We’ll know on Nov. 8 how BF3 will fare against the juggernaut MW3, with the fallout of players leaving BF3 to play MW3, or quite possibly vice-versa.  I can see BF3 stealing a lot of MW3’s thunder, and I feel DICE has made believers out of a lot of skeptics.

Battlefield 3 scores an A.

nerdfarm





A whole new world!

17 10 2011

Ok folks, while I know both you and I are standing upon the precipice of Arkham City, I wanted to give you a bit of information about a game I have been playing the past couple months:

This game has been out for just right around half a year, for those already subscribing enjoyed the “Half Birthday” Celebration with increased xp, pvp currency, and prestige points ( much like C0D). Rift is an MMO which is to say it contains all the prerequisite monsters of any RPG such as goblins, forest animals turned violent and a mix of other colorful would be assailants. There are 6 races to choose from in 2 factions:

Defiant and Guardian respectively. For the WoW players among us, think Horde (red) Alliance (blue). This is probably the only area of Rift I really take issue with is that in 2 factions i have 6 humanoid type races; Bahmi, Eth, Mathosian, Kelari, High Elf and Dwarf. Thats it. No beasts, no hybrids, nothing. But where it lacks diversity in character design it makes up for with the freedom it allows players to have with how they play their characters.

Rift works off of a class system akin to WoW in some ways but think like this: Each class is its own separate talent board. You pick your archetypal character design (ie. Rogue, Warrior, Mage or Cleric) then you receive over the course of your tutorial zone 3 souls with 6 more you can purchase later in game.

This soul system allows for a lot of diversity among each archetype, giving players a certain level of ownership lacking from most games of this genre.

I like to think that where Rift really shines is in two main areas: The Devs are constantly updating the game to fix problems and balance issues as well as to add more in game events which require no fee to use and the name sake of the game Rifts. Rifts (like the death and water ones listed above) serve as the main focal point of the game, allowing plane-bound creatures access to the world of Telara attempting to breach the ward protecting it and enable the Dragons (the games main bad guys) to roam free, unchecked in their power. The Players job is to close these rifts in a series of objective based spawn areas and players are rewarded with a second currency known as Planarite which allows for the purchase of plane based items and character enhancements.

Now I know this is a lot to take in during just one sitting but I highly recommend doing the 1 week trial and see how you like the game, or if you’re cheap..it is available through Steam and generally speaking comes on sale quite regularly for under $10. Truly there is so much to do in this game: Dungeons, crafting, Raids, Quests and Rifts. I have found it to be much more enriched game play with a lot less of the WoW type community playing.

So if you are looking for something different, something new or would like an introduction to the MMO genre, I totally recommend RIFT as your first jaunt into fantasy.

SRSBIZNIZ