Friday, 25 October 2013

News & Nostalgia

Ever since my work schedule got changed around a month or so ago; combined with feeling under the weather; I've dropped from three RPGs a week, to one (occasional) biweekly game. It's been making me ancy for gaming and socialising, especially with all the interesting news lately. In the meantime I've been filling in the void of RPGs with other games, chiefly board games and retro video games:

News

A lot of stuff recently, which I'll try to keep concise:

  • The Strange RPG has broken more stretch goals and released much more setting info. The setting still hasn't grabbed me and I'm still iffy on the value of backing the project.
  • Speaking of kickstarters, the adventure game Obuction by the creators of Myst and Riven is one I'm more inclined to back. Game and soundtrack for less than all the Ebooks from The Strange? Count me in.
  • Whilst on the topic of kickstarters, news has finally come out that Robyn D. Laws' Hillfolk: DramaSystem RPG that I backed almost a year ago is finally being shipped, and should hopefully be landing on my doorstep soon. The Series Pitches are beginning to roll out as well.
  • Though I didn't back the lovecraftian horror storytelling game Tremulus, a buddy of mine got his copy and is looking to possibly run it in the coming weeks!
  • Speaking of horror storytelling games, I mentioned a few weeks ago about possibly running Dread. I haven't been able to organise a game of my own, but it just so happens a local gamer has! Next Tuesday my friend and I are hopefully going to be playing a spooky game of Dread!
  • The adventure book The Devil's Spine for Numenera was just released, and I picked up a PDF on DriveThruRPG for cheap. I'm a couple pages into it and like it so much I want to get it in print!
  • On the topic of Numenera, I've decided to run a couple sessions of it next month at ConCentric at UVic on the 15-17th. I've yet to make my choice what adventure exactly I'm going to run, but right now I'm learning towards Vortex spread over two slots if I have enough interest. Otherwise I might do The Nightmare Switch and/or The Beale of Boregal possibly with the In Strange Aeons: Lovecraftian Numenera glimmer releasing next week. [Post by Numenera.] I'm also considering The Devil's Spine if I can find a print copy in time and see if I can make it work.
  • Finally now that things have slowed down for my buddies and myself work-wise, I'm hoping we can begin our continuation of our Vortex adventure online via Google Hangout. The Numenera CC App has been updated on iOS, hopefully correcting the bugs we encountered last time, and making long-distance character tracking easier for us.

Nostalgia

I'm in the process of sorting through my collection of video games, and deciding which to keep and which to sell/trade. I don't play video games really at all any more, so I decided to reduce my collection that has mostly been gathering dust the past several years. 

Heh heh, Snoopy's dead.
First I started with my two dozen or so NES cartridges; cleaning, testing, and sorting by the one's I can't get working, the one's I'm going to keep, and the one's for sale/trade (which also include copies of Super Mario Bros. 3 and a gold-cartridge of Link's Adventure, so it doesn't seem like I'm hoarding all the good games to myself).

After that I'm moving on to my Sega Genesis, then GameBoy collection (Colour, Advanced, and DS), then on to XBox and Wii (I'm skipping my SNES & N64 as I'm hanging on to what I've got.)

A couple of people I know would like to have a browse to my selected pile and buy any games they'd like off of me before I bring them in to Fan Favourites to sell/trade.


I think one of the reasons why I don't play/enjoy modern video games as much as retro games is part nostalgia, but also that they're games I never feel I have to dedicate much of my time to, I can just pick up and play whenever I feel like it. Also their simplicity appeals to my imagination.

Cheesy as it is, this marketing image does have a point.

I find video games (even MMORPGs and other such games you can play online) are a fairly solitary activities; growing up as a only child in a rural area, I spend most of my free time playing video games. But retro games are believe are more physically social than most modern games; before the advent of online play if you wanted to play a video game with your friend, he'd come over to you house or you'd go over to his, sit down in front of the same screen, and play it together. And being an only child, that's what appeals to me in retro games the same way as RPGs and board games, they bring people together to play and socialise face to face

Even though my girl doesn't join me playing, she always mentions how she likes watching my play video games, and I do enjoy myself much more having someone share the experience. :)


Starships, Deserts, and Timelines

Last Monday was a buddy of mine's birthday and we hung out at his place and played a few board games, starting with X-Wing.

I finally ended my losing streak against my friend in our game with my thrown together squadron: Turret Trio. He made a bad tactical move early in the game and my Ion Cannon Turrets were punishing him for it. I was surprised my half-baked squad idea actually held some water: Kyle Katarn in the Moldy Crow with an Ion Cannon Turret supporting Horton Salm with R2-D2 and the Blaster Cannon Turret worked well together focus-firing on one target at a time; Dutch wasn't that useful aside from soaking damage, and I didn't use his ability combo with R5-K6 as neither his two allied ships really needed target locks, and the 2nd Ion Cannon Turret though useful for stunning ships, was an ineffective damage dealer. I'm considering swapping him out for an A-Wing, B-Wing, or X-Wing with good synergy.



We called the game early as a victory for me since me wanted to get more people into board games. Next we played Forbidden Desert that I picked up earlier that day at a discount because the tin case was damaged (but I was shown all the components were undamaged*). The four of us were making our way through the game when we discovered one of the Part Location tiles had been doubled in place of standard Gear tile. Nevertheless we succeeded in finding all the parts and escaping the desert. I find it kinda funny that the damaged case game would also contain this misprint; I send feedback to the company so maybe I'll get a replacement tile. Either way I wouldn't care too much, it's an easy enough problem to fix.

My friend told me she received two copies of the storm track in her game, so I wonder how frequent these kinda misprints are?


Finally we ended the night with a couple games of Timeline (his recent copy of Historical Events and the copy of Diversity I bought for him). Timeline is a fun little trivia card game.

  • Pros: It's quick, light, and easy; great for non-gamers; semi-educational.
  • Cons: It's not really an even playing field for those less inclined to trivial facts and historical minutiae (like most trivia games) against those who are; after enough plays one gets familiar with the cards and their corresponding dates, though this dilution can be avoided somewhat with additional expansions.

Cheers! ;{١