Monday, October 7, 2013

[Geekly Weekly Report] Steam sales, Resistance 2nd Edition and other things...

I'm a bit late with this post because I stayed overnight at Heather's to watch stuff (which I'll chat about shortly), overslept and then had trouble getting a bus home because of a charity run of some kind that was on in Glasgow. I'm wondering if I should maybe write up my Geekly Weekly Reports (I really need a better name for them than that) on Fridays and post on Saturdays instead of on Sundays, since I'll likely be delayed in writing them up on Sundays if these TV/movie marathons become a weekly occurrence. Well, I'll work that out later, but right now here's what I got up to last week.

The Bindings of Issac, which I've seen some friends playing on Steam, was on sale for 79p last week, so I decided it was worth checking it out for that price. Haven't played it for much more than 20 minutes yet (which was how long I lasted before dying), but it looks like it should be fun.

I also bought the We Are Dust fiction anthology for Our Last Best Hope on Kindle for about £1.90. I've only read the first story 'Red Sky in the Morning' by Matthew McFarland so far, which portrays a group trying to seal off cracks in reality which have allowed demons to invade the Earth. It really reflects the kind of stories that Our Last Best Hope aims to create during gameplay, so it's a decent tie-in to the game.

Achievements Unlocked
Speaking of Our Last Best Hope, as mentioned in Wednesday's actual play, we played a game using the Zombie Apocalypse playset which wound up running into overtime, so we wrapped things up in a second session yesterday afternoon. I'll be posting the actual play report from that session tomorrow evening.

After that, we played some Cthulhu Fluxx while waiting for another group of people to wrap up their game to join us in playing The Resistance 2nd Edition. We managed to get through a couple of games of The Resistance, and I really enjoyed both games. In the first game, me and Heather were the spies; I got sniffed out early on, because the 'Mission Success' voting card I didn't use was accidentally seen by others at the table. Since people pretty much knew I was a spy, I just used my team approval/rejection votes to mess with the other players' heads and make them wonder why I approved certain missions and rejected others. Even that was fun. The second time around, I was loyal, though I was convinced Heather wasn't because she asked if we were sure the ID cards had been reshuffled after the last game. She said she was joking, but I couldn't be sure. I figured out one of the other players (Sandy) was a spy when I saw how he was looking at the playmat to check our success/fail ratio before voting during a mission. I was right about him, but I was wrong about Heather. In both games, the spies won. I want to play it a few more times, and maybe use the 'The Plot Thickens' expansion before doing a proper review of the game, but it was every bit as tense and fun as it looked on Tabletop.

As for stuff I watched this week, earlier in the week I watched S2E06 and S2E07 of Warehouse 13 on Lovefilm Instant. The first, 'Round The Bend', has Pete - as the title implies - driven nearly insane with paranoia when Miss Frederick gives him a secret mission to uncover a traitor within the Warehouse. The twist in the tale is no great surprise, but the episode works well enough. The next episode sees the return of HG Wells, as she offers to help Myka and Claudia - tagging along as Myka's apprentice while Pete is assigned to desk duty - track down an artifact that is imbuing members of a college wrestling team with extra strength, with the unfortunate side-effect of spontaneous human combustion. There's some nice interaction between Myka and HG, and episodes that give Claudia more to do are always fun. There's also a subplot with Pete and Artie back at the warehouse, with each of them coaching the other in pursuing their romantic interests. Artie's really growing into his role as a paternal figure for the agents of Warehouse 13 this season, first with Claudia and now sharing a familial moment with Pete. I actually aww'd at the scene in question. I liked this episode a lot, but maybe I just love seeing Jaime Murray play as HG.

Then, finally, there's last night's movie/TV marathon. We started things off by watching S1E02 of Agents of SHIELD on 4 on Demand. Once again, I felt the episode was pretty average. It was really about the characters getting used to working together as a team, but the plot was fairly cliched and predictable. An ex-flame of Coulson's shows up as a comandante in the Peruvian military; I find it really hard to swallow when old flames show up so coincidentally. And then...well, to say what happens later would be spoiling things, but suffice to say you'll probably see it coming a mile off anyway. I'm loving most of the characters so far, though Ward could stand to loosen up a fair deal. He's so straight-laced and asocial, it makes him very hard to like as a character.

Next, we watched the latest episode of Tabletop, where Wil Wheaton plays Shadows Over Camelot with voice actress Tara Strong, and the writer/artist team behind Penny Arcade. There's been a lot of speculation over the reasons for this episode being held back; the popular theory being it was delayed due to controversy over recent comments made by Mike Krahulik at PAX in September. Well, whatever the reason, it was fun to see the group playing - with some semi 'in-character' chatter between the players and some voice gags from Tara Strong - and I'm glad they didn't reveal who was the traitor until it was revealed in play this time, unlike with The Resistance. I may add Shadows Over Camelot to my ever growing 'As Seen On Tabletop' wishlist on Amazon, as it looks like it'd be fun to play. And I'm looking to build up a decent collection of collaborative board games.

After that, we went on to watch a couple of movies. First, we watched Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo which was...interesting. I think I'll have to rewatch it at least a couple more times to understand what the hell was going on - it's Evangelion though, so that's to be expected - but it was alright. I was a little irritated by the way Misato and her crew were portrayed in the movie, particularly with regard to their treatment of Shinji. They could have been a bit more forthcoming about WHY they were so pissed off with him, especially as it was clear he hadn't a clue what was going on. The second film we watched was Ghostbusters, which is one of my old childhood favourites. Even though the effects are a bit dated now, the gags are still great and there are some jokes in there that make sense now that I'm watching as an adult, but probably would have gone over my head as a child. And, yeah, I will admit I indulged in some head-bobbing to the variety of 80s songs featured in the movie, especially the Alessi brothers' Savin' The Day.

We finished off the night with the first seven episodes of Attack On Titan. Attack On Titan is an anime series which doesn't pull its punches, and that's probably why I enjoyed these first episodes so much. It's pointless to say not to get too attached to characters - because you will - but be prepared to either watch your favourite characters get put through the ringer, or even die unexpectedly. (I'm still not convinced that latter thing actually happened and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Please, let that character not be dead!) It's also a show that keeps you hooked for more, with cliffhangers or mysteries that beg explanation like 'where did the Titans come from anyway?', so I was sad that I had to get some sleep after episode seven. I'll have to contain my curiosity until next time I visit Heather...which won't be for another fortnight, sadly.

Anyway, there should be more geekiness to look forward to this week, as we'll be doing character creation for my upcoming Doctor Who campaign, and the GUGacon will be happening this weekend, and I'm hoping I'll get to join in with the board gaming tournament that's to be held there on the Saturday.

I'll be back tomorrow with the actual play report for part two of our zombie apocalypse game of Our Last Best Hope. Be seeing you!

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