The End of Days…

… have come and gone, yet again. I survived Y2K some 12 years ago, and so did you let’s face it- some of your siblings might have even been born because of Y2k and the supposed end of days to come. For a moment, let’s take an inventory of what we’ve survived so far:

  • Haley’s Comet back in 1910- supposed poison gas in the comet’s tail enters out atmosphere and would kill us all…
  • The Jupiter Effect in 1982- “perfect” planetary alignment would cause untold natural disasters that would kill us all…
  • Y2k/2000- a computer bug with a chip on its shoulder could spark accidental nuclear launches, that would send us back to the stone age, and or kill us all…
  • The Rapture of May 22, 2011/ October 22, 2011- rapture… um, that would kill us all? Kill those of us left behind, I guess… We’d still do our damnedest to entertain you guys though.
  • Finally 12/21/2012 The End of the Mayan Calender- a rogue planet “Nibiru” would hurtle at us from its hiding place behind the sun, and you guessed it: kill us all

But look on the bright side, we all live to fight/ live/ exist/ love/ game for another day. 

Happy Holidays from 8bit

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Tabletop Spotlight: Sentinels of the Multiverse

For those of you familiar with this site and its contributing writers, this will come as little surprise. I have decided to begin posting more often (as my associate Siskipedia has already begun doing) with a new segment I’ll call Tabletop Spotlight.

I work in a board game store here in the greater Seattle area, so I am fairly close to the heart of what’s shiny and new in the board game world. While my tastes may differ from yours, I thought 8-Bit could use a little more perspective from the tabletop genre. We are gamers, after all.

Today’s spotlight shines on a game that is up-and-coming amongst board gamers and is one that I must admit I am totally hooked on: Sentinels of the Multiverse. This is a deeply thematic, fully cooperative card game for 2-5 players from Greater Than Games. Debuted in 2011, this game has already warranted one full expansion (with another in the works!) and was one of the top 10 board/card games funded on Kickstarter. The upcoming expansion, Infernal Relics, will have contributions from Richard Launius of Arkham Horror fame. Needless to say, it’s getting big.

What really attracted me to this game at first was the theme. I am an enormous comic book nerd, and I have already had a lot of personal success with other cooperative board games (e.g. Pandemic, Castle Panic, and Forbidden Island). When I saw this box, the art and theme immediately jumped out at me. One of our regular customers came in to play a game on a Friday night and I had a chance to sit down and watch the way it worked. It’s accessible to the point of learning how to play in five minutes.

Players select a deck of hero cards for one particular superhero. Once each player has taken a hero to fight with, the group selects a super-villain to battle against, and then an environment to serve as a backdrop to the action. All of the heroes have rich backstories, and echo one (or more) existing superheroes in our own pantheon of comic book heroes and heroines. You can choose Legacy (a Superman/Captain America type brawler), Tachyon (a female scientist version of the Flash), Tempest (think X-Men’s Storm combined with Aquaman), and many more.

Through play-testing this game, I have learned that some of the best parts of it are the epic moments where the heroes come together in a seamless motion and bring down their enemy. For example, a group of us played recently where we were fighting the Grand Warlord Voss, an alien conqueror posed to take over the planet. His minions faced us in Insula Primalis (a Jurassic Park -esque battlefield where dinosaurs and plant life could help or hinder us). At one point, our battle was interrupted by a huge volcanic eruption which threatened to kill two of our three heroes! My friend, controlling Ra (the Egyptian god of fire and badassery), played a card that made us all immune to fire damage for the next turn; the volcano blew its top, annihilating all of our enemy’s minions in one fell swoop as we stood by in the pyroclastic flow, happily immune to the destruction around us. And this is just a card game!

https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=ffb191dd82&view=att&th=137ec92b891e0d50&attid=0.1&disp=thd&realattid=1404781313525622710-1&zw

If you’re into cooperative games, or even if you just like superheroes and think it’d be cool to feel like you’re on a team of them, check out Sentinels of the Multiverse. You will not be disappointed. The upcoming expansion adds new heroes, villains, and mechanics to an already lush game of luck and strategy. I might be a little biased, but I definitely think this game deserves the buzz it’s receiving lately. It is really quite fantastic.

That’s all for this week’s Tabletop Spotlight! Stay tuned next week as we discover yet another boxed wonder!

 

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Sports Balls

So this is officially old news – the NFL officially launched their new line of Nike uniforms. I must say that I’m impressed. I really like the Seahawk swag. Now the question is – do I get a custom jersey or a player name? What color?

How the hell can the packers refuse changes that weren’t made?

This stuff keeps me up at night.

As if that’s not enough money down the drain, I need to buy two!
“But siskipedia, why?!”
– Because freaking Tebow is on my other team, the Jets. It already annoys people that I’m a NYJ fan in Seattle AND a Tebow fan. Getting a green #15 jets is now essential.

You may have also noticed that baseball season is under way. Thus, if you need me, you’ll know where to find me.

GO M’s!

(here’s where you can actually find me.)

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Well This Didn’t Go the Way I Planned It.

So I haven’t posted on here in quite some time and that’s because I’ve been lazy. You know it’s bad when people actually start to email you months later saying that they miss your smart ass postings.

Let’s fix that, shall we? (this is where you say, “let’s shall”)

Recently, I’ve started working on a new company within my company with some associates. We call ourselves Creately Design. Our goal is to make small business thrive in the Seattle area. We’ve started working on a few local eateries who’ve recently discovered the need for improved traffic and online advertising. Should be fun and successful. Best part – we have the full support of Ecommerce positioning.

Another business has also been launched in my name. http://www.siskipedia.acnrep.com

Why not. If you need essential services; cell, Internet, cable, or whatever….call me.

Society has backed me into a corner so I’m come out swinging.

In funny news, Adam from top gears appreciates me and the security camera at Beth’s caught me in a bad way.

Plans are still in the works to start a podcast.

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Sonic: The Blue Blur Is Back

You may not believe this, but I think there might not be a more relevant game to our cause at 8-bit than Sonic the Hedgehog. I realize some of you may groan at the mention of this particular blue speedster but there is a legacy here that deserves mention… and redemption.

Sonic might actually be the first game I remember playing. I remember hours of Duck Hunt, Zelda, and Mario Bros. on my NES but when Sega’s Genesis console moved into my upstairs neighbor’s life back in the day, I was hooked. The unforgiving speed of Sonic onscreen and the cartoon-like action during boss fights made me an instant fan. I still remember how freaking excited I was when I found out you could play through Sonic 3 as Knuckles when you had the Sonic and Knuckles cartridge.

Sega has finally listened to years of fanboys crying over the travesties of more recent Sonic titles and have finally come up with a game that has something for everyone: Sonic Generations.

I think the coolest part of this whole thing is the fact that Sega has finally come up with something other than Smash Brothers that Sonic can be cool in. This new adventure stars a classic style Sonic and his more streamlined (and taller!) counterpart, with environments familiar to both of them respectively. Lots of cameos from Sonic’s usual suspects are to be expected, as well as some of the craziest animations for a boss fight I’ve ever seen.

The release title for the Dreamcast really blew my mind as a kid, and seeing something on that scale now is, well, exciting. I think it says something that places like IGN are giving this game marks above an eight…. especially since their analysis of the 15th anniversary game was literally half that score. Even the folks over at Game Trailers have given it a pretty solid score. Here’s their full review if you’re interested.

All of this to say: if you’ve ever missed the old side-scrolling days of Sonic the Hedgehog, look into this new gem. I want to pick it up myself… I’ll take six hours of gameplay on Sonic over twelve hours of dying in Battlefield 3.

 

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Posted in Entertainment, Games, News

Cross Mojination

Let’s be honest.
We all have something, that’s really nothing, that we stand behind and care about.

I’m talking about the little things that really don’t have an impact on your personal health, finances, or family situation. (unless you’re overly insane)

One of those things, for me, is sports. I don’t care how bad my teams are in Seattle, I will always support them.

Right now, Pete Carroll is flirting with LeBron James over his interest in joining the NFL. In case you’ve been under a rock the last few years, LeBron is one of todays heavy hitters in the NBA.

As a fan of drama, the Seahawks and general awesomeness; I AM IN FULL SUPPORT OF KING JAMES IN THE NFL.

I think he could do well. After that Aaron Curry BS that just went down…we could use him in Seattle.

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Isengard Has Risen!

As I sit here watching the sham of Two and a Half Men with Ashton Kutcher (I’ll save that for another post), I decided I would check on my usual fallback game, Lord of the Rings Online. Then I figured I would probably write a new post because the newest expansion is out and live today!

Now, I’ve been playing LotRO for almost three years now, and I have got to tell you it’s pretty fantastic. Let’s get to the nuts and bolts about the game itself, and then I’ll talk about the fresh content.

As far as LotRO goes compared to other major MMORPGs, I think the two biggest factors to consider are a) the aesthetics of the game and b) the player community. Unlike other MMOs *cough cough* WoW *cough*, the major player base is not twelve years old. Sure, there are younger players, but I think the Tolkien lore has drawn a somewhat smarter gamer than its competitors. Speaking of the Tolkien lore, I have got to hand it to Turbine; these guys have done a bang-up job making Middle-Earth just as amazing as I always imagined it reading the books. Drawing from all of Tolkien’s major works (English nerd coming out here), LotRO has references and quests going through the Hobbit, all three of the Rings trilogy, and even bits and pieces of the Silmarillion. The game looks incredible, and every detail of the game, even on a low-grade machine like mine, create a full immersion into the story and characters of Middle-Earth.

Mechanically speaking, the game functions similarly to other MMOs. There are tank classes, DPS classes, and caster classes, as well as some further hybrids between the three. Last fall, Turbine sold the rights to WB Games and made the first major game change: LotRO was now free to play! The subscriber base (myself included) grumbled a bit at first, but I think it’s been a good change overall. New players are everywhere and I think, as the game continues to grow, that things will only get better from here on out.

This latest update, entitled Rise of Isengard, takes us all the way into Dunland and into the realm I’ve wanted to see the most since day one: Rohan. Those of you not familiar with the Tolkien-lore may remember this area from the movies… they had lots of horses and *SPOILER ALERT* save the day in the third movie. This update (which just finished downloading!!) raised the level cap to 75, changed up certain classes in some sweet new ways, and continues the quest to Mordor.

I’m off to check out the new content…. if you’d like to check it out, I play on the Brandywine server with Chester (yes, the Chester who writes on this blog!), my Dad, my brother, my girlfriend… and a shit ton of other people. If you’re interested, check out lotro.com and download the introduction. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

For Frodo!

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