Hiatus Is Over, Suckers — Here’s What’s Up.

PS3 GAMESBlack Ops 2, Yer OutDishonored, Yer In! Far Cry 3, Yer On Deck – I’m starting the new year off right, by walking off of the field of combat (populated mostly by petulant children & quasi-adults with some serious anger issues) to pursue a solo mission of revenge in the city of Dunwall. Still, I spent a solid 96.5 hours in BLOPS multiplayer, killing my way through 8,289 of you while mastering both the Skorpion EVO submachine gun, the FAL OSW assault rifle & getting pretty damn good with throwing cooked grenades at wads of defenders in Headquarters.  See you punks next November for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 4: Future Warfare 1: Past Tense.

558938-the-walking-dead-windows-screenshot-episode-1-meeting-clementineTelltale Game’s The Walking Dead is a masterpiece – I know that Cloud & Aeris are the gold standard for heartbreaking video game character interaction, but I now submit that you substitute Lee & Clementine in their place. This game is the reason to get an iOS device (if you don’t have a 360 or PS3 to play it on). Wonderful voice acting, top notch animation, extraordinarily compelling gameplay. A must play (props to both viciouspjurahead & The Pwn Ranger for insisting I pick this up.)

 reg_1024.lewis.ls.10412Homeland, Season 2 – Binge watched the entire season over the New Year’s break. Three key take aways: 1) Mandy Patinkin’s beard should get the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor. 2) Damian Lewis’ mouth is too small for his face/head & it freaks me out. 3) Morgan Saylor is most likely a lovely human being but her Dana Brody is one of the worst characters on television. Let’s all pray for some kind of inter-show/inter-network wormhole wherein Dana meets The Walking Dead’s Carl, they date and one night they are exploded via a carbomb full of zombies.

ChampionChampion! Magazine – Woe is me & woe is you; what looked like the successful heir to Wizard is no more. I thought it was really going to make it to; bunch of ex-Wizard staffers, backed financially by billionaire Sam Simon (most likely procured via Ralph Cirella), gorgeous tablet based interface, affordable, plus funny & charming in the way that old schoool Wizard was. But after almost six months with no new issues, I took to Twitter to get an answer from @TheChampionFeed, who then directed me to customer service who let me in on the bad news.  They say “hiatus”, I say “What startup ever comes back from hiatus”? Up side: refund. Down side: I’d rather have a fun, clever magazine about comics.



Booo 2012: Four Thumbs Down!

The myriad forms that crapulence took in 2012:

Thumbs Down(1)

Black Ops 2 campaign – WHO are these people again? WHY do I care? Oh, right…I don’t. Negative bonus points for shoehorning in that RTS nonsense a third of the way through (though glad I could skip it).

Sleeping Dogs – What the hell, guy? I really wanted to like this game.  But for whatever reason (possibly because I played it right after LA Noire) the ugliness of the people was a real turn off and the story wasn’t enough to grab me.  Wasn’t all bad though! The driving was really solid; Rockstar take note!

The Dark Knight Rises – My expectations were too high, of course. Everyone’s were.  How could they not be after Dark Knight? Still.  I tried to watch it a second time and just couldn’t do it. Granted, I was trying to watch it on a 4″ screen on a plane, so that may have colored my perception a bit. The Bane outtakes are decent though

No time – to play Dishonored or Far Cry 3 or to give Sleeping Dogs a fair shake or to spend more time with the Mechromancer in Borderlands 2 or …

Spider-man 700 – that’s  a big ol’ WTF to Marvel & Dan Slott over this one. I’m not trying to be cynical here but…there’s no way this sticks. No way.

The end of The Defenders – biggest downer of the year (and I read both Underwater Welder AND Essex County). How could a series that started off with such a powerfully interesting hook turn into such a nonsensical mess so quickly?  Infuriating.

NY Comic Con Pro Badge uselessness – if you’re going to let in every other chump at the same time as the Pros, what’s the point of the Pro badge? I demand special treatment!

Sunday Morning in Atlantic City – ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh…………..my head.

Losing half my stack with pocket kings – So in addendum to the above….I was in a poker tournament in AC and after about 5 hours, was the clear chip leader at the final table. 9 people left, including me.  Pre-flop, the guy in second place pushes all-in. I have pocket kings and have beaten this guy up all night.  Why wouldn’t I go in?  So we flip and he has Ace – four. I’ve got him beat, right? WRONG. Jerk hits an ace on the flop and I see zero kings. I was out 3 hands later (equally disastrous hands: post flop I was on a straight, flush & straight flush draw, none of which I hit = lost 1/2 stack. Ace 10 suited I go all in, lose to pocket 4’s.) 5th place ain’t bad, but when I was looking at first…not great.

Mass Effect 3 – I’m sure this is heresy, but I’ve always been underwhelmed by Mass Effect.  Being a Sony guy, I never played the first one, but that shouldn’t curtail my enjoyment of the series THAT much. When it comes right down to it, I don’t particularly care about games set in space (with the obvious exception of Ratchet & Clank). Maybe if I’d realized my Space Bastard plans from the beginning I would’ve liked it more. Also, what was up with that multiplayer? Max Payne 3 multiplayer = unexpectedly good & fun. Mass Effect 3 multiplayer = unexpectedly bad & super unfun.

John Dies at the End – I WANTED TO LIKE THIS MOVIE SO BAD. I loved the book; so clever and funny and weird, it totally struck a cord.  Then I heard it was being turned into a movie and Paul Giamatti was involved, it seemed to good to be true…and then I watched it last night. UGH.  What a mess.  Chase Williamson (as protagonist David Wong) looks like he’s just smelled a monster fart before every scene. Rob Mayes (as partner in crime John) is a good-looking dolt. Everyone else is just window dressing. The climax of the movie, which takes up about the last third of the book, takes up about 10 minutes of the film. It’s rushed and you can tell.  What a bummer.