S1E33 - Modern Board Games - “Fiddly bits!”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 September 2016, 10:00 am

Modern Board Games
We talk about the resurgence of board games. And not like Monopoly, Scrabble, or Clue. We’re talking the genre of Modern Board games that has exploded lately, beginning with Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, and Dominion.
Beej isn’t much a board game player--he prefers simpler “party games.” However, Void has an entire cabinet dedicated to them, and we talk about how he got into them initially (hint: it was a co-worker who made him play Citadels over his lunch hour 5 years ago.)
(We go into much more depth in the episode than I am in the notes, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll just break them down by how we categorized them in the episode.)
Good games to start with for newbies to the modern board game scene:
  • Citadels
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Pandemic
Beej’s big question is this: “What are good two player games that my wife and I can play together (and we are picky about board games) that can be expanded to multiple people when we have a party?”
Good 2 player games are:
  • Love Letter
  • Condottiere
  • Timeline
  • Push Fight
  • Zombie Dice
  • Memoir 44
  • Pandemic
Games from Void’s collection Beej wants to know more about:
  • Wiz-War
  • Mage Knight
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Takenoko
Cool / Big modern board games
  • Mage Knight (super interesting, super complex)
  • Game of Thrones Board Game
  • Memoir 44
  • Cosmic Encounter
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures game, Armada, Imperial Assault
Good games to start a game night with:
  • Love Letter
  • Zombie Dice
  • Push Fight
  • Sushi Go!
  • Timeline
Not quite a board game, but similar! Intro to LCGs:
  • Game of Thrones
  • Netrunner
  • Lord of the Rings
Games that get the most table time at Void’s house:
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Pandemic
  • Push Fight
Co-op games can be amazing with kids. You can even turn games into co-op even if the designers didn’t make them that way. We talk about Takenoko in particular, as well as Pandemic.
Void is a little nuts for Pandemic Legacy. It’s the board game y’all are going to hear about as much as Hamilton and Firewatch. Apparently, it’s just crazy good, and Void is losing his mind for it. Some of the highlights include:
  • Legacy Game, meaning you can only play through it once, but it’s like a video game in that you continue the story, even permanently altering the board to progress the story and change mechanics.
  • Just an amazing experience unlike anything Void has played before
  • There are huge surprises in the boxes you open during gameplay.
Hardest part is that we’re getting to the point where there are so many modern board games, it’s hard to give general recommendations. You wouldn’t recommend Halo to anyone getting into video games, would you? It’s just as hard to give out a broad general recommendation in board games But, if you know one or two you like I can steer you in the right direction. Hit us up on Twitter or the new subreddit.
For more info check out Shut Up and Sit Down. They have a site, a podcast, video reviews, video rules explanations, written reviews, board games news
Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Metroid Prime Federation Force Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 29 September 2016, 10:00 am

Metroid Prime Federation Force is a game I really wanted to like.  It's another one that I tried out via Gamefly because I was unsure about it... and I'm glad I did.

It's not that this is a bad game.  It actually looks like a really solid game, but only under the correct circumstances.

This game seems like it would be great if I were playing on a New 3DS and had four friends in the room with me.  Or even having four friends I could coordinate with online.  But, I'm here by myself with a 3DS XL.

It seems like this game was built from the ground up with four player co-op in mind and playing single player just feels lacking.  The fact that I'm not playing on a "new" 3DS means I don't have that analog nub that functions as a second analog stick.  So, instead of traditional dual analog stick FPS controls it's a huge step back.

Again, this game isn't bad, it's just not for me.  If you do happen to have four friends to sit down with and you all own "new" 3DSes I bet you would have an amazing time with this game.

Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 28 September 2016, 10:00 am

I recently resubscribed to Gamefly since I made it to the end of my gaming backlog for the first time ever.  This is going to let me rapidly try out games that have kind of been on my radar as B tier games for awhile.  This is stuff I would maybe buy when it eventually falls to $5 or $10, but I think this is going to be a better way to approach it.

The first game I was sent was Star Ocean Integrity and Faithlessness.  I liked the style of the visuals and I was looking forward to a Sci Fi JRPG since most of them are fantasy.

What I found was a generic fantasy JRPG with generic action RPG combat.  Nothing about it stood out at all and the amount of the game I played was super exposition heavy.  I never once felt interested in the world or characters.

I looked it up and apparently the game doesn't open up and become a Sci Fi JRPG until later in the game.  For me, I don't want to grind through the generic fantasy setting to get to that.

So, back to Gamefly it goes.  Expect a bunch more of these quick impressions in the near future.  I'm basically using Gamefly as a demo service for games that don't have demos.  I'll probably be turning these game around really fast.

Man Up Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 27 September 2016, 10:00 am

I must have been in a Simon Pegg mood because after finishing Shaun of the Dead I jumped over and checked out Man Up.  It's a Rom Com from last year starring Simon Pegg.

I didn't know what to expect from him as an actor when it came to Rom Com acting but it actually ended up being one of my favorite Rom Coms that I've seen in awhile.  Nothing in it is too outlandish or crazy.  There's no big failure of communication that feels forced and stupid.  I feel like it holds together better than most Rom Com plots.

So... I liked it, a lot.  It reminded me how good the genre can be.  I don't know why I like this genre so much but I really do.  It might mean it's time for me to go through a Rom Com phase and check out some more of my favorites.

Shaun of the Dead Thoughts
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 26 September 2016, 10:00 am

A friend recently reminded me that Shaun of the Dead was a movie that existed and that I should probably watch it again because I couldn't remember it.

They were correct.

Shaun of the Dead is a weird Rom Zom Com.  A Rom Com with Zombies in it.  It's not really a horror movie, which is good since I don't really like horror movies, but it's not a straight up Rom Com either.

It's definitely in the vein of the Hot Fuzz and The World's End which are part of this (very) loose trilogy of movies.

I liked it a lot more than I remembered from my first watch.  I think going into knowing what it was helped a lot.  The first time I basically watched the movie knowing nothing about it.  This time I could just appreciate it for what it is instead of what I thought it might be.

Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 25 September 2016, 11:21 am

I've been playing Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander off and on for the last two weeks and I still don't quite know what to make of it... which is odd for me.

Generally I can get a feel for a game within the first half hour.  I have enough gameplay experience under my belt at this point that it's pretty quick for me.  But Halcyon 6 has so many elements that come together that I don't know what to make of it.

It's a space game where you have a starbase that you're exploring, fleets that you're sending out, missions you're trying to accomplish, alliances to make or break, but underneath it all is this vein of JRPG turn based combat.  Both the ships and the on foot fights are a spin on that typical JRPG combat system.

Part of the game is also resource management.  Where do you want your officers focusing their attention?  Should we explore this ancient starbase more to free up space to build and expand or should we send them out on missions in the fleet?  Should I build more ships?  Train more officers?  A little bit of everything?

So, why am I writing about this is I don't have a firm opinion yet?  Well, I think some of you might like this game.  Do you like space exploration, base building, resource management, JRPG combat, alliance managing, or anything else I've mentioned?  Then there's part of this game you'll love.  If it sounds interesting at all you should probably take a look.

S1E32 - MMOs - “Alright, WoW it is!”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 23 September 2016, 10:00 am

Massively Multiplayer Online Games
In this episode:
  • Our history with MMOs! And y’all, we have some history.
  • We both game to MMOs early in our lives (hooray for the late 90s!). Beej and his friends Ultima Online, while Void was on the other side of the coin and was an EverQuest guy. Despite our differences in early preferences, we are pretty much in the same place with MMOs today--we love the genre and want it to evolve rather than stagnate.
  • The modern era of MMOs can’t escape the shadow of World of Warcraft. It defined the current genre, and again, we both are coming from opposite perspective--Beej from a raider’s perspective and Void from a solo player’s. We talk about the awesome things the game did, and the consequences of it being so popular for so long.
  • Void talks specifically about EVE Online and why it’s kind of a unicorn in the MMOverse. From a single server to an entirely run player economy, we discuss the systems that made us want to play EVE but in reality keep us away.
  • We talk about MMO nostalgia for the games we used to love and how the games may not be the same if we go back and play them today.
  • Where is the MMO genre going and where do we want it to go? From cross-genre games like Destiny that use MMO elements as core gameplay to virtual reality, we talk about what’s going on right now with MMOs and what we can’t wait to see.

Weekly Geekery
  • Beej - Duelyst / Wordcamp 2016: Nashville
  • Void -  Harry Potter Short story collections / Storm Kings Thunder / Gamefly games ( Just Cause 3 / Rachet and Clank / The Order 1886 / Dragon Quest VII / Until Dawn ) / Zelda Project “lite” / Duelyst
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Pokemon Uranium
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 22 September 2016, 10:00 am

I gave Pokemon Uranium a shot.  It's a very ambitious fan game that takes after the Pokemon games of the third generation but with some more modern things for PC too.

It's a really impressive effort and it took years to make.  Of course Nintendo pulled the plug right away but once a file gets out there on the internet it never really goes away.  I'm sure you can find it if you want.

I tried a few hours of it and I was impressed but there were a few too many little things that didn't click with me that made me set it down.  But honestly, most of these details are because it's based off the older games and not the newest.

The other thing I immediately noticed is that it's not paced as well as most Pokemon games.  I actually lost my first battle which is something that has never happened in a Pokemon game before.

Not to mention that it's on PC.  These games are really made to sit back with a controller or handheld while playing.  Having to use keyboard controls is the main thing that pushed me away from the game.

If you're a huge Pokemon fan it's definitely worth taking a look at if you can find the file.  For the rest of us we're probably better off waiting until the next real Pokemon game in a couple months!

Reigns Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 21 September 2016, 10:00 am

Reigns is a really fun and fairly simple mobile game.  I've been playing it on iOS and I love it but it's also on steam and android.

In it you are king and make decisions for your kingdom by swiping either left or right.  You're given one choice at a time and every decision impacts one or more of the four pillars of your society.  They're represented by bars at the top of your screen.  If any of the bars gets all the way full or all the way empty your king will get killed.

But then you get to start over with his heir and give it another try.

I love the simple gameplay loop and the fact that every decision is a simple swipe left or right.  This falls into the category of games that are definitely designed for a touch screen from the ground up, mobile is a perfect fit for it.

The other amazing thing about Reigns is that it's $3.  I highly recommend you pick it up on your smartphone of choice.

Fire Emblem Fates Revelation
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 20 September 2016, 10:00 am

I'm finally completely finished with Fire Emblem Fates.  This game is definitely in the running for my game of the year pick.

The Revelation campaign is the third and final campaign in the game.  It's highly recommended that you finish both of the other campaigns first to get the most out of it and I can see why.  Revelation pulls from both of the other stories and gives you the details about what's happening behind the scenes.  It's the middle path, and the one I think I would have chosen if given the option initially.

It's super cool to see all these main characters that had to fight and kill each other in the other two campaigns finally meet as allies.  It allows for all sorts of interesting conversations.  Pairing up troops from opposite sides of the war was especially fun.

Not to mention that the ending of this campaign felt like the true ending of the game.  Both of the others were satisfying but incomplete.  Playing through all three campaigns feels like the true way to experience the full game.

Having finished off Fire Emblems Fates now I'm excited to see what the mobile version of Fire Emblem will have to offer on smart phone this fall.

Harry Potter Chamber and Azkaban
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 19 September 2016, 10:00 am

After failing to get into the Drizzt series I decided to pick up an old series I hadn't read in awhile.  Since I had recently re-read Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone I thought I would just dig back into the series.

Between reading in my kindle app and listening via audible I've already flown through Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban.  Neither is quite as good as I remember from when I read them as a kid, but both hold up pretty well.

If memory serves, then the series really picks up with Goblet of Fire and stays interesting all the way through the end.  I'll soon find out since the next book I have queued up is that one!

It's been really interesting revisiting Harry Potter as an adult.  I first read these books as a teenager and enjoyed them a lot.  As an adult I can find more plot holes in them and pick them apart more critically but I'm still able to have fun with them and enjoy them for what they are.

S1E31 - The Final Fantasy Series Part 3 - “Basically an impossible question”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 16 September 2016, 10:00 am

The Final Fantasy Series, Part 3
In this episode:
  • Our very first listener-feedback episode! We asked you all for questions related to Final Fantasy, and y’all did not disappoint! We got so many good questions that we had to dedicate the ENTIRE EPISODE to this Q&A. Rather than spoil the goodness for you, just hit the play button and hear us talk at ya!
  • Additionally, we’re looking for ways to shake up the format of the show, and given that this week is all about listener feedback, we want you to shoot us a line and tell us what you want.
  • What topics do you guys want to hear more about? There’s a high probability of us doing a Squaresoft games podcast, and if you want us to dive deeper into any particular Final Fantasy game(s), let us know which!
  • We’re also thinking about doing a game club. Not a game of the month sort of thing; we would take it slower than that. We are open to any games, but prefer ones that are more accessible to more people (think titles that have been out for longer times and available on multiple platforms. FF games are a possibility, as are titles such as 80 Days and Lifeline). Let us know!
  • Also, would you fine folks be interested in a Twitter chat? A scheduled, hour-long, topic-based talk among our awesome community (read: y’all). Would you want to #geektogeek together?
Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Sojourn: The Legend of Drizzt
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 15 September 2016, 10:00 am

After finishing the first two books in the first Drizzt trilogy I thought I could power through and finish the third.  I knew I wasn't going to stick with the series long term but I figured I could at least get through the initial trilogy.

It turns out I could not.

I gave Sojourn a try and made it maybe a fourth of the way through.  But, unfortunately, Drizzt is the only interesting character in the book.  And the book keeps cutting away to a bunch of other POVs and characters instead of sticking with him.  Even if it did stick with him he's still not very complex as a character at this point in the series.

I had to set the book down and move on to something else.  I started avoiding reading which it how I knew it was time.

I'm still not opposed to a good D&D novel.  I would love to find one that clicks with me.  It just looks like the Drizzt series isn't going to be it.

Persona 3 Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 14 September 2016, 10:00 am

I played the first few hours of Persona 3.  After loving Persona 4 Golden I was hoping I could take a step back to the previous entry in the series and still get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

I don't think I can.

There's nothing really bad with Persona 3 but there are just so many little things that Persona 4 Golden does well that it's hard to go back to this one.  Part of the problem might be that the version I have access to is P3P which is the portable version.  There are almost no 3D free roaming parts to the game except in dungeons.  It makes the whole world feel a more flat and makes it harder to connect with the characters since all you see are their anime portraits.  After reading up on it, apparently there are other versions out there that are better but they're hard to get a hold of.

Anyway, the core concept of the plot is interesting and the gameplay has the core of what I liked about Persona 4 Golden.  I bet if I played this game first I would have loved it.

But all the little stuff added up to make me rather replay Persona 4 Golden.  Or, realistically, probably just wait for Persona 5.  I don't want to burn out on the series and I'm super excited for Persona 5 early next year.

So... I'm reluctantly putting this one down for now.  It's not that I'll never come back to it, but now doesn't feel like the right time.  Eventually I might swing back around to it.

S1E30 - The Final Fantasy Series Part 2 - “Because he was a Ninja!”
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 September 2016, 10:00 am

The Final Fantasy Series, Part 2
In this episode:
  • The Final Fantasy series has lots of sequels and spinoffs that aren’t part of the mainline, numbered series. There are some sequels, some movies, and some mashups like Kingdom Hearts that just take the FF characters and give them a new world to explore together. Some are good and some (like the new Justice Monsters 5) are total garbage. But which are which? (Hint: The new Kingsglaive movie is awesome.)
  • We discuss our thoughts on Final Fantasy MMOs, and the gist of it is that both of us wish they had called them Final Fantasy Online instead of mainline numbered games. We have played both FFXI and FFXIV, and XIV felt more like a Final Fantasy game, even though it being an MMORPG made it so that the story couldn’t be anywhere near as compelling as the single-player installments.
  • Do the old-school Final Fantasy games (I-VI) hold up to modern standards? Some of them really do! But which ones? Bwahahahah, listen to find out!
  • We both love love love the remasters and re-releases of the series. More people get to play the amazing games on whatever system they want, either on a new console like the Playstation Vita, iOS or Android, or even PC through services like Steam. Plus, we’re fans of all the HD textures and new sprites/animations. It’s a win-win for us (and for you folks who’ve never played them before!)
  • Our Least Favorite Final Fantasy? III all the way. Not the Final Fantasy III that was released on the SNES (that was actually VI, but III with the poorly paced story, the crippled job system, and the terrible player messaging that kept you unable to progress. Avoid it at all costs (unless you’re a completionist like Void)
  • Our Favorite Final Fantasy, though? IX all the way. But we also have fondness for VIII for the best opening scene of any FF (link below) and V because it wasn’t translated into English for so long that it took effort and dedication to play.
  • Favorite Villain for us? This is a tough one. You’ll hear about it when you listen! But just so you know...Exdeath from FFV, well, he’s a tree. For serious.
  • Favorite characters? Again, a totally tough question, but it has changed over the years. Vivi is a constant from FFIX, but there are others we talk about, too.
  • Favorite Scenes? The opera FFVI ‘Maria and Draco’ (Aria di Mezzo Carattere), The Ending to FFIX when Garnet is Queen and they do “I Want to Be Your Canary” again and then Zidane and Garnet are reunited, and The Opening to FFVIII (Liberi Fatali).
  • Where is the best place to start for newbies to FF series? (asked by @chrisevans17 and @DestenLee on Twitter). Probably FFX for the overall experience, but we go into lots of others for various reasons, all depending on your tastes in gaming. But the biggest surprise? Not Final Fantasy VII. Never FFVII first. And we’ll tell you why.
Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 12 September 2016, 10:00 am

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a decent story, but it's not great.

I'm wondering how much of my feelings toward this are because it's a play and only the script was released to the public.  I'm curious about how I would feel walking out of the play instead of finishing up reading the script.

But, the script is the only thing available to me at the moment so that's how I took this story in.  For me, it relies too heavily on the "cool things" from all the past Harry Potter books and not enough on it's own original creations.  They have a whole magical world to explore and instead they revert to the things we already know.

It's like being constantly nudged and winked at while saying "Remember this thing?  Hey! How about this thing?  Remember how much you liked this?"

I'm hoping the writer just needed to get this out of their system to tie the original generation together with this new generation of characters.  Maybe the next story in this universe will be more original.  I really hope so.

All that being said, it's not a bad story.  It's just not great.  I'm glad I read it once so that I know the story but I don't see myself revisiting this one again in written form.  Maybe someday the play will come near me and I'll give it a shot.

Mobius Final Fantasy Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 13 September 2016, 10:00 am

Mobius Final Fantasy did a few things right away that let me know what I was in for.  The first hour or so is back to back tutorials.  After that it quickly becomes apparent that this is set up in the same fashion as most modern F2P games that are trying to get the most money out of you.

There are energy timers, multiple types of currency, various tickets, cards to combine together, and ever elusive rare drops.  Trust me, you've seen all this before.

But Square Enix was really pushing that this game was different and it had high production values so I stuck with it for about four or five hours.  The graphics do look nice on the phone and there's actually somewhat of a unique story in here, but besides that I found everything else lackluster.  The battle system is much more about what you have equipped than it is about any particular intelligence in battle.  They actually have an auto-battle option that will always do the optimal thing for you, basically you just need to set up your character before hand.

And you know what the easiest way to set up your character is?  Spend a bunch of money!  You don't have to of course... but everything is gently pushing you that way.

After a handful of hours I had enough and uninstalled the app without ever paying for it.

I'm still holding out hope that someday Square Enix will release a unique Final Fantasy mobile game that is actually a full featured game.  Something I can pay money for one time and then just play without constantly being pushed toward spending more.

Battlelore Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 8 September 2016, 10:00 am

Battlelore has been an iOS strategy game I've been meaning to try out for awhile.  It's actually the digital version of a board game I thought about picking up, but I ended up getting the iOS version to play around with instead.

The first thing that really surprised me is that it's essentially built on the same basic gameplay as Memoir 44, which is one of the big name strategy board games out there at the moment.  Units are commanded in lanes and you can only control a certain amount of units in certain lanes depending on which set of orders you choose.  It sounds like it might be complex when I write it like that, but it's super simple when you see it in action.

The main differences are the setting and the "lore".  The setting is fantasy and the "lore" is essentially magic spells.  These change up the game enough to make it feel like it's own game apart from the base they're working from.  I assume it's pretty much a straight port of the gameplay systems from the Battlelore board game.

I've been having fun poking around with it.  It's actually a little more challenging than I'd like in a single player campaign but I think a lot of that has to do with the elements of randomness introduced by the dice rolling mechanics.  Beyond that, it's actually a very fun iOS strategy game.  I'm going to keep this one on my iPad for the foreseeable future.  It'll be great to have around just to play randomly here and there.

Drizzt Exile Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 7 September 2016, 10:00 am

I finished up the second Drizzt book and already it's starting to feel like so many other generic fantasy stories that I've read.

I thought that the Drizzt books might be a good place to sink my teeth into the greater world of Dungeons and Dragons lore but I'm starting to realize that these books would appeal to a fourteen year old me much more than they appeal to me now.  They don't seem like they're doing anything new or interesting.

Being a completionist I will probably finish out this first trilogy of Drizzt books before setting them down.  I'm already two thirds of the way there so why not?

This book, Exile, in particular finds Drizzt after he has rejected his heritage as an evil Dark Elf (Drow) and has gone a little bit feral in the underdark on his own.  He ends up making his first real friends and then spends most of the novel running away from the part of the Drow that are hunting him.  It's a direct continuation of the first book and ties back to it nicely.

I'm kinda sick of the Underdark setting as well.  Being in an underground cavern system for two entire novels has started to wear thin.

I didn't hate this book, I just didn't love it.  I'll see how I feel after I wrap up this first trilogy but I'm strongly leaning towards stepping away from this series at that point.

Aftermath: Life Debt Review
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 6 September 2016, 10:00 am

I'm keeping up to date with all the new Star Wars novels and Aftermath: Life Debt is the latest.

I think this book is better than the first Aftermath novel but it's still not great.  I just haven't been able to buy into any of the author's unique characters for this series.  Luckily, this book pulls in Han, Chewie, Leia, Wedge, and some others.  That helps it so much.  They're interesting and established characters where all the new unique characters feel like bland stereotypes.

But the one thing this book does brilliantly are the interludes.  There are a bunch of them throughout the book and they give quick little vignettes about what's happening around the galaxy.  I found myself excited for each new one coming up.

After finishing the book I think I can see where this series is going.  I'm fairly sure it's leading to the Battle of Jakku which is covered in Lost Stars.  It's essentially the last stand of the Empire before the galaxy falls into a time of peace (until Episode VII).

Honestly, I would love a full novel of just the interludes in this book.  That's where his writing shines.  But, I'm still glad I read this because now I have more context for the galaxy at large.  I'm interested to see where this series ends but I'm more interested in the other books coming up about Ashoka, Thrawn, and the tie in to Rogue One.

Severed Impressions
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 5 September 2016, 10:00 am

Severed is a game where you use the touch screen in a first person view to both navigate the world and swipe to attack.  It's unique feature is that much of the game is about severing monster limbs.  Not to mention that the setting is creepy but interesting.  It's a cartoony game but it's stylized in a way that really works for it.

Severed originally released for the Vita but it just came out on iOS for around $5, which is when I grabbed it.

I had a lot of fun with it for a few hours just sinking into the world and getting a feel for the combat... but then things started to feel samey.  The game is a fairly linear experience and there's almost no story or explanation after the initial premise.  I felt like I needed more motivation to keep going.

So, Severed will probably become a little mobile time waster for me now.  Instead of sitting down with it for extended periods like I have been doing I'll probably play it in little five minute sessions to make progress.

If any of this sounds interesting to you I recommend you check it out.  Now that it's down to $5 it's easy to pick up and give it a shot.

The Final Fantasy Series, Part 1
In this episode:
  • Our history with Final Fantasy!
  • Beej actually started with FF1, but was so young that he didn’t understand much of what he was doing. He played IV and VI (II and III to you 90s-kid Americans out there) from the video store over and over and over and over again.
  • Void was the opposite side of the Final Fantasy-loving 90s kid, and he started the series with FFVII which brought him into the broad, magical world of jRPGs, summon magic, and random encounters. He, though, went hardcore and did a full mainline Final Fantasy playthrough--going from FF1 to FFXIV in order.
  • Speaking of, we go through the entire Final Fantasy series, giving you listeners a survey of the highpoints regarding each one.
  • FFI - pick a party of classes and level them up
  • We want to hear from you! Send us your questions and thoughts on the series!
Weekly Geekery
Be sure to subscribe to the Geek to Geek Podcast your favorite podcast app, drop a review so we know how we’re doing, and feel free contact us via email at geektogeekcast@gmail.com or @geektogeekcast on Twitter with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the show. Thanks for listening, and we can’t wait to hear from you!
Geek to Geek Podcast Network:
Music by CarboHydroM

Race for the Galaxy Thoughts
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 1 September 2016, 10:00 am

I've had it on my list for a long time to actually get some table time with certain tabletop games that have been sitting on my shelf either unopened or underplayed.  Race for the Galaxy is the first one of these.

Unfortunately, as soon as I cracked open the rule book I remembered why.  Despite Race for the Galaxy being held up as a superb card game by many people and many rating systems online it's just impenetrable for newbies.  There are so many different circumstances, phases, and symbols on the cards that it's impossible for new players to play without constantly referring to the reference charts and the manual.

Race for the Galaxy might be a good game, but after multiple attempts to get into it I think I just need to set it down and give up on it for now.  It's either a game I should trade away or one where I should find a veteran player to sit down with and actually learn the game from a person instead of a booklet.

D&D Starter Set Thoughts
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 31 August 2016, 10:00 am

I followed up reading the D&D main three books by looking through the starter set I've had sitting on my shelf for awhile.

It's a really well done adventure to kick things off and looks like it has enough content for a good 4-6 gaming sessions.  There are plenty of hooks and fleshed out encounters in the starter set.  I can see why it's such a good place to start.

It's hard to know how good it is overall without actually running it with a group, but it's definitely something I'll hold onto and pull from some day.

The thing that surprised me the most was actually how many combat encounters there were.  I feel like most of the D&D that I watch or listen to online is at it's best when players and NPCs are interacting to move the story forward.  Not necessarily when they're in combat.  I think if I were to run this for a group I would dial back the combat encounters by at least 50%, but that's all personal preference.  I know there are groups out there that live for the combat.

All of these D&D source materials have actually given me a much better idea of the type of game I would love to run.  Now I can let it percolate in the back of my head for awhile until I get the right group to play with.

D&D Dungeon Master's Guide Thoughts
Posted by A Green Mushroom [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 30 August 2016, 10:00 am

Coming off of reading the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual it was really cool to dive into the Dungeon Master's Guide.

It's basically a giant toolkit to help you create worlds and run the game.  Most of the actual rules for playing the game moment to moment live in the Player's Handbook so technically you don't need the DM's Guide, but it's still really cool.

There are all sorts of tables to roll on to randomly generate loot, dungeons, situations, stories, and almost anything you can think of.

But, the part I liked the most were the leading questions that make you think.  If you're trying to figure out your world or story or setting or whatever... this is the book you want to be scanning.  It has so many cool ideas and hooks that you can take and run with.  I see now why this is such a helpful tool for DMs.

Now that I have a greater context through these books I think I'm going to look through the D&D starter kit adventure... because I see it sitting right on the shelf over there.  I'll report back.

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