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.

 

 

Yay 2012: Thumbs Up!

The myriad forms that excellence took in 2012:

How is it already 2013?

How is it already 2013?

Borderlands 2 – My pick for game of the year. While maybe not the most technically daring or graphically beautiful, it’s the game I had the most fun playing this year. Handsome Jack may be a Hall of Fame villain. I sure hope Butt Stallion is ok.

LA Noire – Yeah it’s old, but I just got around to playing it this year during the Summer Gaming Drought of ’12. This game indirectly contributed to my subsequent non-playing of Sleeping Dogs.

Black Ops 2 Multiplayer – the Pick 10 system was a welcome change to multiplayer this year, allowing for greater class flexibility.  Also nice: Prestige’ing doesn’t reset all of your progress!

Portal 2 – (see LA Noire)

The Walking Dead – both the game from Telltale Games game & AMC’s third season. TTG did a masterful job with it’s Walking Dead game; cannot wait for season 2, whenever that’s slated to hit.  Every chapter had at least one holy shit moment (and I’m only on chapter 3!). Season 3 of AMC’s The Walking Dead was surprisingly strong as well, as I’d all but given up on the series after the Sophia/Farm heavy second season.  When in the HELL does Rick get his trusty hatchet?

The Avengers – best superhero movie of the year. Spider-what? Dark Who? I want to see a buddy movie with Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner & RD Jr’s Tony Stark. But only if it has at least once scene where the Hulk throws a bear

Hulk_vs_Bear

Marvel NOW –  I stll have no idea what the deal is with Marvel Now. A reboot? A renumbering? A sales trick? What I DO know is that Marvel’s ratcheted up its game (possibly due to the New 52) and is churning out very, very strong series especially Thor God of Thunder, Indestructible Hulk, The Avengers, Uncanny Avengers & All New X-Men.  Leading me to…

Hawkeye – comic of the year? Perhaps. Fraction/Aja/Hollingsworth’s take on the character make him a compelling everyman that bounces between outwitting Marvel’s arch criminals to defending his NYC apartment building from a horde of Russian bros. Doesn’t sound like your bag? Trust me, it is. Check it out.

Ski Safari – I have a bad habit of bying mobile games, playing them for a day or so and then moving on. So far, Ski Safari has not only kept my attention but actively looking forward to the commute to/from work so I can play it. I hate skiing but I love doing monster backflips on a yeti. If you feel the same, pick it up.

Rawrs Shirts – the first & third best thing I bought at New York Comic Con this year. Cool designs on shirts that fit great.

Comic Con 2012’s poster orgy – The second & fourth best things I bought were from Mondo. Plus a totally sweet Thanos/War of the Gems poster from Capcom. Plus this:

anigif_enhanced-buzz-17399-1350312774-11

Saturday Night in Atlantic City – bachelor party shenanigans & a solid 6 hour of poker.

Finally getting rid of my shit iPhone4 – you suck bro and I’m glad you’re gone.  

Very Near Mint & Double Barrel – Not going to lie: I’m not an indie comics guy.  I’m just not. But I took a chance on VNM at NYCC ’12 and on Double Barrel on the advice of the CEO of comiXology and I’m glad I did.  I actually went back to NYCC to pick up additional copies of VNM.  Both are worth at least taking a look at.  And since the first few issues of DB are like $.99 on comiXology, definitely worth the expense. Just buy them already.

Max Payne -a great surprise. This was more of an impulse purchase, as I’d never played the first two. But Rockstar’s been on such a roll lately, I thought it would definitely be worth it  The single player was great, standouts being the first level and any of the levels running around in the Brazillian favelas. What really shocked me though was the multiplayer. If there’s one thing that’s already bothered me about Rockstar games, it’s that their multiplayer efforts seem kind of tacked on and frankly not very good. I didn’t get that from MP3 at all; the level designs were top notch, the game modes were all interesting spins on established multiplayer staples, the weapons seemed balanced, and the customization’s were pretty fun (I love dress up, shut up).

120117062349513958