Oct 302014
 

This week on Direct Damage Cast Kaesi and Calvin talk about her derby retirement. After that they  move into topics that couldn’t be avoided such as gamergate and the recent bans brought down by WOtC on cheaters. We also have a new Planeswalker Deathbattle that might surprise you. So come on in and sit a spell with Direct Damage Cast. ​

 

Oct 302014
 

I was at Redbox and decided I would get Titanfall and the newest Borderlands, Borderlands the Pre-sequel. Why these two games? Well I didn’t feel like I gave Titanfall a good run. I was playing a Beta version on a sub-standard computer, so I didn’t really feel like I got the most out of this game. Plus I love the story, the Pilots and Titans look awesome, and I have been in the mode lately to play first person shooters. So I thought this was the best time to try out Titanfall again. And since I would be playing on the Xbox 360 everyone would be at a level playing field, hardware wise. I can now say with certainty that YES there IS a “story mode” in Titanfall. But I couldn’t really get into it because I was busy shooting, killing and dying. The controls handled nicely. The graphics were beautiful. But I was much too busy playing, or trying to play, the game that none of that mattered. Another complaint I had was I couldn’t figure out how to get on the evacuation ship. I would get to the area that I needed to be but there was nothing there. It would say:

 

The ship is about to arrive.

The ship has arrived.

The ship is about to leave.

The ship has left.

 

Yet I never saw the stupid thing. The game would say “the ship is 9m in front of you” then it would switch to “the ship is 9m behind of you” I played three maps, died 15 times and got 9 kills. I think Im done with the game. I will still get the merchandise because as I said the Pilots and Titans look very cool. And from what little of the story I saw/heard it seemed pretty cool. I guess I will just have to wait for the movie. Yeah, I can see this being turned into a movie. Of course I also think Halo would make a pretty cool movie too. Because it would. I mean everything is already there all you need are actors (unless you want to do them CG also) a producer, and a director. Oh and someone to finance the thing. So you hear that Hollywood! You got two movie franchise you need to work on: Halo and Titanfall.

 

Ok, enough ranting about Titanfall. Let’s switch gears a bit and talk about a good game. Let’s talk Borderlands, more specifically let’s talk Borderlands the Pre-sequel. One statement will sum up how great this game is, “When can I play it again?” That right I am looking for to playing it again. Unfortunately, I got it from Redbox so I won’t be able to play it much longer. At least I still have Borderlands 2 to keep me satisfied. So what else can I tell you about this game? Well it starts at the end of the last one. The story that you are playing is a “as told by” type story meaning while you are playing another character is telling the story of how Jack became Jack. An interesting part is, just like the other Borderlands, you can save at any time but the story goes along rather quickly so there is a lot of “Ok I will quit after this part. Oh wait this looks pretty simple, I will quit after this part. Oh man, boss battle. I will quit after this.” I played this for two hours before I realized that I had been playing for a bit. Needless to say I was looking for loot. You can never have too much money, ammo, or guns. So who did I pick? I went with the sharpshooter that has a sniper rifle. The girls name is Nisha and she is a cowgirl that likes shooting and killing. You can customize the look of you character so I figured since she is a cowgirl and from Texas (Yes, she IS from Texas) I thought I would give her the burnt orange of University of Texas. (Go UT!)

Oct 282014
 

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Playdek, an award-winning mobile video game publisher, announced its Halloween Sale on three of the company’s top card games including Nightfall, Lords of Waterdeep, and Ascension. Enjoy this sale for all treats and no tricks!

 

Available now, the sale offers:

 

  • Nightfall for iOS on sale for $0.99 (previously $2.99)

 

  • Lords of Waterdeep for iOS on sale for $3.99 (previously $6.99)
  • Expansions: $0.99

 

  • Ascension for both iOS and Android:
  • Darkness Unleashed on sale for $1.99 (previously $2.99)
  • All other expansions: $0.99

 

Don’t miss this spooktacular deal running from Monday, October 27th to Saturday, November 1st .

Oct 272014
 

GalleryComics_1900x900_20141008_Klarion_1r_540a1df5a2d9f2.77521316I was walking down the aisle at my local comic book store looking for something new to read. A new title out from DC comics caught my eye. The title was Klarion and I was intrigued.

If you are unfamiliar with the character, I can understand that. He is a villain from the rogues gallery of Doctor Fate.

Yes, you heard me right, a villain.

I picked it up because I am fan of Doctor Fate and I have hopes that this title may lead to a resurrection of Doctor Fate in the the main stream DC Comics. you can only currently find him in Earth 2 which is an alternate version of the current New 52. I am enjoying that title a lot but wish that they would do individual titles for each of those characters as they are more interesting than some the regular versions of the characters.

Klarion opens up with the main character staring at a multiversal crossroads. He has broken away from his school in a violent manner and is looking to go out and experience a different world. He hitches a ride with Beelzebub in classic american muscle car and ends up in a New York City. We follow Klarion as he gets settled in the Moody museum and meets up with other lost practitioners and watch as larger threats begin to make their presence known.

The art in this book has a very trippy, mod feel to it. The color palette is very dark with splashes of neon and Victorian sepia tones give an odd occult feeling to the story. The art goes well with the story that is being told but it just doesn’t do anything for me. I understand that we are dealing with a character that is a putative villain but that does not mean that the entire books has to be shrouded in darkness.

The story that Nocenti provides us is interesting. We are being treated to a different take on Klarion. It appears that we are going to watch the path that he takes and see if he becomes a villain or not.

This issue does all the things that I would want out of a first issue. It introduces the characters without overloading with back story, and creates a few hooks that are interesting to see how they play out. Despite all these things, I just couldn’t get into Klarion. Another possible anti-hero in a line of darker characters just doesn’t stand out to me. If he was an actual hero that fled his home that was drenched in dark magic, then you might have had me. The hooks are interesting but I don’t care enough about the main character to see how they play out.

I say give Klarion a pass unless you have space in your comic reading for another anti-hero on the rise, or should I say Harry Potter from the wrong side of the tracks.

Oct 242014
 

So Titan Comics was gracious enough to send me a copy of The Power of Tank Girl. Now let me just say that this is the first time I have ever read a Tank Girl comic and let me add if the other Tank Girl comic books are like this one I will have to start looking for them. A good target audience for this book would be the people that are enjoying the Harley Quinn comics. Tank Girl is like Harley Quinn but as a teenager and with four other friends who are just as insane as she is. I will add this, it is very much a comic book for adults. There is a LOT of foul language, there is a LOT of violence and there is some nudity. So this is not something kids should be reading. I don’t even think teenagers should be reading this. Certain adults would also find this “offensive”. So this is for certain few that like this type if book. So let’s talk art work. The art is not full of rich bright and dark colors. It’s mainly black and white with some red thrown in for blood. The background color also seem to set the mood of what is going on. And for me adding anymore color would probably rob from this story. Not much to add except that I love the art work in here. It goes along great with the story. Now let’s talk story. Like I said this is my first Tank Girl comic book I have so I’m not quite sure what happened before this book. But I’m not a complete “noob” about her. I DO know Tank Girl is a rough and tumble girl who “don’t take shit from no one”. The ultimate tomboy you might say. What I got was a strong, intelligent (well sometimes) girl that gets in trouble and gets out of it with help from her friends. Oh and don’t touch the tank, she will kill you for that. No, really. So before we get into the meat of the story let me tell you about the characters. They are Tank Girl, Jet Girl, Jackie (aka Boat Girl), Barney and Booga. I will tell you there is one guy and it’s not Barney. Barney is a girl. The guy is Booga and he is actually a dog-guy type person. A lot of the story I just kind of accepted since this is my first time in this world.

Ok so what’s up with the story already? Ok here we go. For some reason Tank Girl and her crew are in a destroyed town. It’s not in ruins, well it is but supposedly because of Tank Girl and her crew. For some reason they pissed off (and maybe pissed on) the local army so there is a million man army after them. The short and sweet is: the tank ends up stuck between two rock upside down, Jet Girl is catatonic, two people are going to find a golden egg, some magic sandwiches appear, they find mystical objects and oh yeah lots of violence. And that is just the FIRST half of the book. This is a collected edition so you get the whole story in one book and Im glad I don’t think I could have waited to see what happens next. I was half way through the book before I took a break in reading it. So what happens with the rest of the book? Well you just have to pick it up and read it yourself.

 

So why are you still reading this? Go pick up the book. Im not going to be saying anything else now this is all just filler. Nope, still nothing here. No I wont be saying anything else interesting so you might as well get up and go buy the already. Why are you still reading this? Ok then how about a poem, ha fooled you. So have you left to go by the book yet? Why not? I promise I wont be saying anything else useful here. QUICK BEHIND YOU!! Ha, fooled you. If you had left when I told you you wouldn’t have been fooled, right? Ok im going to go eat now. Have fun reading the rest of the this. Even though there IS nothing left. Have a nice day.

Oct 202014
 

Gone GirlsReviewing Gone Girl is a difficult proposition.

If you have read the book, you know how the story ends and speaking about certain things in the movie will not spoil anything. If, like me, you have not read the book, then certain things will ruin the movie for you.

Even with this hurdle, I still want to talk about Gone Girl.

The reason is simple, It is a excellent movie that I did not enjoy. I know that this may not make sense, but stay with me. I write about things that I enjoy that aren’t good. I also write about movies that are good and I enjoy. I would be doing my audience a disservice if I ignored a good movie that I didn’t enjoy because maybe some of you out there may like it.

Gone Girl is the story of Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck and Amy Dunne Played by Rosamund Pike. The story begins with Nick being called home after going to work one morning to discover Amy missing and the signs of a struggle. Amy is famous for being the main character of a series of books written by her parents. This event triggers a nation wide movement to find her. What follows is the story of everything spiraling out of control as the eye of suspicion falls upon the distant husband.

The performances in this movie are excellent. One of the problems I tend to have with Ben Affleck is that he comes of as disconnected from whatever part he plays. In this movie, this disconnectedness is essential to the role and makes him the best man for the part. Rosamund Pike’s performance is just fantastic. She has to maintain two almost diametrically opposed facades and she does this with aplomb. It would be easy for her character to come across as stark-raving mad and she avoids this trap as well. I am a fan of Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris and though their roles in this movie are small, they turn is stellar performances as always.

The movie uses an interesting storytelling device. Amy has a diary. We get scenes from the diary interlaced with the action that is occurring. This sets up a set of expectations and then provides a new set of expectations. I have seen it done before but never so well.

The acting in the movie is stellar, the cinematography is on point, and the storytelling is top-notch. Despite all of these things coming together to create an excellent movie, I didn’t enjoy it. It has several pieces that I would expect to enjoy but they don’t come together in a way that hooks me. In thinking about the movie, I would almost call it Suburban Noir. It has the that element of noir where there are no good guys in sight but covers it with the suburban veneer of striving to keep up appearances at all costs. This, though done excellently and with flair, just leaves me cold.

Gone Girl is an a good movie with great acting and wonderful production values. It has early Oscar buzz which it definitely deserves. If the idea of Suburban Noir  appeals to you, give this movie a viewing. Otherwise, wait for the video as it is worth watching but not at full cinema pricing.

 

Oct 152014
 

Houston, TX – October 8, 2014. Artistic Justice Games announces Dragon Tides, a officially licensed miniatures game themed after classic and modern action movies, where Bruce and Brandon Lee team up with other heroes to infiltrate the inner workings of the powerful Tiger Organization, and bring them to justice.

Designed by Kevin G. Nunn and Luther Bell Hendricks V (Sentinel Tactics, Schlock Mercenaries), Dragon Tides is a story driven, semi co-op game using custom dice to evoke the feeling of martial arts action/adventure as well as a card element that focuses on how well you read your opponents. Each character has a unique set of signature moves that showcase their personal techniques. Dragon Tides introduces a unique cast of characters that are iconic to the Action genre, creating the roster for the Tiger Organization.

Dragon Tides emphasizes non-linear play, where your decisions during narrative or from the success or defeat from a scene, guides you to the next location and part of the story. Each scene has different objectives for both the heroes and the Tiger Organization making the game more than just a beat-em-up. Components include 6 double sided hex maps that are interchanged based on the scene setup; Miniatures of Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee, Viktoria Jovovich, Luke Elba, and the 4 bosses/sub-bosses; 10 Action Dice; 6 Player Boards; Henchmen and item tokens; Signature Move Cards and Attack Cards specific for each character; and health counters.

The Miniature figures are sculpted by Greenbrier Games, LLC.

Dragon Tides is for 1-5 players and is currently running a Kickstarter campaign here:

http://bit.ly/DragonTidesKickstarter.

It is expected to be available in retail by September 2015. The retail price is $60.

About Artistic Justice Games

We humbly entered the gaming industry as consultants of artwork production for upcoming game developers. Our team has always been passionate in gaming since the early days of AD&D and Magic The Gathering (Alpha). Since then, the lot of us were determined to go from supporting companies to creating universes of our own, concentrating on rich characters, epic storylines, and games that would be fun for all to play.

We began our first venture to crowdfunding through our first game, Martial Arts: The Card Game. It was a great experience that led us to better understand and connect with backers and what they expected. As the industry grew, our following campaigns created a buzz as we had the opportunity to develop an intricate game called Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale and a miniatures series that captured the essence and personality of its interwoven storylines.

Moving forward, we take pride in cross-collaborating with companies in the industry to help expand the experience that fans and backers will come to enjoy.

Thus far, we are currently working on or in production of the following exciting games/spin-offs:

1. Martial Arts: The Trading Card Game
2. Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale
3. Fairytale Games: Horror Edition
4. Fairytale Games: Steampunk Edition
5: Fairytale Games: Zombie Edition
6: Fairyale Expansion
7. Legend of Time Expansion
8. Super Fairytale Fighters 2 (Round 1 and 2)
9. Rumplestiltskin
10. Fairytale Lores
11. Trinity Ball
12. Dragon Tides

Where you can find us!

www.artisticjusticegames.com

www.facebook.com/artisticjusticegames

www.twitter.com/artjusticegames

Oct 132014
 

the-equalizer-poster-630x690I saw that Denzel Washington had a new movie based on an old television series. I had never watched the Equalizer when I was young. The only thing I knew about it was that it featured and old white guy helping those in trouble. I was impressed that a studio had chosen to remake the movie and feature Denzel as the hero. This alone garnered my interest. I am a fan of most of the stuff that Denzel does which guaranteed that I was going to see this movie.

Denzel Washington playsRobert McCall. Robert is a man that works at Home Depot and helps everyone with whom he has contact. We get see him go home and keep his house neat and tidy, to the point of obsessive compulsive order. He then gets up and goes to the all-night diner and reads a book, drinks tea and befriends the denizens of this small point of light in the darkness.

One of the denizens of this diner is Teri, an escort in the employ of the Russian mafia. She speaks with Robert each night and he works to get her to take up singing as a career and gives her advice that will put her on the path if she so chooses. One evening she ignores a call for her boss and Robert walks her home. Their walk is interrupted when her employers pick her up and leave a card with Robert. It turns out that Teri hits a client that tries to go far with her and she is beaten to the point that she is put into ICU.

It is this point where the mystery of Robert McCall, begins to unfold. We get to watch as he agonizes over what to do and then springs into action. He takes the card and goes to the posh club that houses this particular mobster. He attempts to buy Teri’s freedom but is rebuffed. He stops at the door and looks at his watch. He says “16 seconds” and turns around. He then terminates everyone in the rom with extreme prejudice. His only regret is that it took more than 16 seconds. He is getting slow in his old age.

What he has not realized is that this was just a small part of a large organization. The head of this organization sends a specialist to deal with the problem. What follows is an opera composed of violence that swings from the frighteningly brutal to stunningly over the top.

I loved this film. I know that the bits and pieces that make it up are ridiculous and impossible. Despite this, Denzel fills the roll with a quiet intensity that lends the film a gravity that one would not expect from an actioner like this. Martin Csokas’ performance as the villain is equally impressive. Yes, there are points where he chews the scenery like it is nobodies business. This is provides a stark contrast to the scenes where he carries himself with a quiet menace that just exudes from the scene. In particular, there is a scene where he is meeting with the Irish Mafia to see if they were responsible for the murder of his people. He quietly tries to explain his point but the boss is not having it. He then explodes into violence which is so brutal that I was cringing as to what was happening on the screen. This was horrible and brilliant all at once. It was so bad that every time his character threatened violence that it carried that brutality as implied. The brilliance was that none of the violence afterwards is near that level either.

The thing that I enjoyed the most was that this was an origin story. We were given a villain that was a dark reflection of what the hero could have been. He shows the path that was easy to take and that Robert chose a more difficult path, and we are all better for his choice.

If you have a chance to see The Equalizer at the theater, I recommend you do. It is well worth the price of admission.