You’re not the boss of me. I can review a game I’ve already reviewed if I wanna.
They come in peace. Anybody who knows diddly-squat about aliens knows this, as sure as haloperidol prevents demonic possession. What most people don’t know is that aliens, well, they’ll come in just about anything. When E.T. wanted so badly to call “home,” he was really using the galactic equivalent of a phone sex hotline. “To Serve Man” is no more a cookbook than the Kama Sutra. Let me put it to you simply: our extraterrestrial visitors are up for it, all the time. They put it round, you know. This is not just another conspiracy theory filed away in some dusty FBI folder; this is bone hard medical fact. And they can do things involving reversible anuses that you wouldn’t believe.
This is the supposition at the heart of Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities, the pan-media book published jointly by Encyclopedia Destructica and (appropriately) The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality. The contents of the book range from prose to video, humor to post-queer theory, with the goal of pushing “beyond male and female, beyond queer, beyond any notion of gender, beyond the anthropomorphic to erotic possibilities as vastly varied as the Milky Way itself.”
Why am I telling you all this? Only by way of invitation, my dearlings. On Saturday, May 18 (a mere three days from now), there will be a confluence of Strange Attractors content in the form of a reading/screening by some of the West Coast contributors to the project, myself included. The event will take place at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, and will run from 7pm to 9pm (and beyond). Be there, or be limited to mere 3-dimensional geometry. This will be my first time meeting many of the contributors to the book, so I’m not sure what to expect, exactly, but I’m sure it will be a first contact to remember.
After the cut: A new alien comes on Earth! Also, what the hell have I been up to lately?
What a week!
It started out on a high note with Boss Monster: A Not So Old School Review. Not So Old School is by far my favorite thing to write about at Rant Gaming, and it’s even better when I get an advance review copy of an excellent crowdfunded game! Be sure to check this one out–we’re nearly at the $100,000 stretch goal!
Next, here’s a bit of historical speculation: Top 10 Historical Figures to Watch For in Assassin’s Creed III. I’m currently in the midst of this game, with four sequences to go before the end, and I have yet to meet some of these folks, so it’ll be interesting seeing how well my predictions play out. Of the ones I’ve seen so far, I’m 4 for 5 (I was promised more bawdy Ben Franklin!).
Perfect timing for Halloween, here are the Top 10 Costume-Wearing Video Game Heroes. Dressing up is always something special, even when it’s in a video game, and I had a lot of fun writing this list.
The Indie Game of the Week this past week was Katabasis, because it just Would Not Do to publish an article ON HALLOWEEN and not have it be about a horror game. As horror games go, though, this one is an odd duck, focusing more on mystery and suspense than on any real and present danger. If you’re a fan of experimental games like Dear Esther, and have a few hours to spare (there doesn’t seem to be any way to save your progress), give this one a try.
Everything You Know Is Wrong in Assassin’s Creed III. It’s true. Not only does it show you a side of the American Revolution you didn’t know existed, it also subverts many things you’ve come to expect from the Assassin’s Creed series so far. Here are a few of the biggest surprises. Once you get past these changes, it’s a game like no other–keep an eye out for my full review, hopefully coming this week!
Now THIS is what I’m talking about! A week that started out with a sort of consolation prize for poor people (Not So Old School’s list of the Top 10 FREE Board Games for Halloween) ended up delivering a few unexpected, but not unappreciated, gifts to gamers great and small. For example….
Sony Announces Deadly Premonition Director’s Cut; Whistling Commences. THAT’s a headline I can get behind! If you don’t have this game pre-ordered, you haven’t discovered time travel. Why do my most anticipated games always end up being the ones where people talk to themselves and enjoy delicious turkeys?
Then there was the Indie Game of the Week: Flightless, Nitrome’s Little Puzzle Platformer That Could. Do you have any interest in intelligent game design that doesn’t condescend to the player? Of course you do. In that case, go play this demo right away. That’s an order, magic ladder bandit duck thing.
Boss Monster: 8-bit “Dungeon Building” Card Game Terrorizes Kickstarter. I’ll be reviewing this game next week, if you can wait that long to put in your pre-orders. But seriously, for $20? You don’t need to hear my opinion. The pixel art alone is worth that price.
What bounty from the heavens will next week bring? Ta ta for now, gamers and other interested parties.
This was a slow week for Rant Gaming articles, but I have a good excuse! Training! That’s right, I’m now (training to be) a certified member of the workforce! Economy get! So, let’s see what I was able to squeeze into my busy, busy schedule….
The main bulk of the week’s posts went to Not So Old School, my weekly take on board and card games from a video gamer’s perspective. That’s because this week, Not So Old School featured a terrifying triptych of articles, all focused on helping you find the perfect game to play on Halloween. In Roll 1D10 for Terror – Horror Board Games of 2012 (Part 1), I looked at top-secret government bases, zombie-infested cities, and even more zombie-infested cities during my overview of Level 7 [Escape], City of Horror, and the prolific output of Twilight Creations. In Horror Board Games of 2012 – Part 2, I talked about 5-minute dice game Chupacabra, the newest edition of the Resident Evil Deck Building Game, and my unspeakable yen for Mansions of Madness. Finally, Horror-themed Board Games of 2012 – Part 3 wrapped up loose ends, mummification style, with coverage of Cthulhu Gloom, Fantasy Flight’s Arkham Nights event, and the new Ticket To Ride mini-expansion, the adorably orange Halloween Freighter.
That was it for me this week…unless you count the most awesome part of all. On Wednesday, I introduced a new weekly feature with Rant Gaming: the Indie Game of the Week. Every week, I’ll be looking at a downloadable, browser-based, or mobile game that I consider to be the Indie Game of the Week. It could be free, or not; it could be on the PC, phone, or home gaming console; all that matters is that it’s the product of a small, independent developer. The first IGotW was a love letter to my childhood, a wondrous amalgamation of all things 1980s–the inaugural Indie Game of the Week: Retro City Rampage.
Next week: slideshows!
In the gaming world, we’re entering what I like to call Interesting Times. Christmas is, from the point of view of retailers and publishers, just around the corner, which means that we’ll be seeing a solid three months of hotly-anticipated, ridiculously overhyped titles, lauded with superlatives such as “THE Game of the Year 2012!” (conveniently eclipsing all of the better games that came out around February and March). Dishonored hits stores on Tuesday, and I’m waging an internal battle about whether it’s worth pre-ordering just so I can write an article about how disappointing it turned out.
This past week, the overfed pigeon known as Capcom dropped Resident Evil 6 on our unsuspecting heads, and I was lucky enough to avoid the splash damage. Here’s what I was doing instead:
- I was playing Tokyo Jungle, that weird PSN game where you play as a Pomeranian let loose upon an urban landscape devoid of humanity (but conveniently overflowing with hippos, gazelles, panthers, crocodiles, and prehistoric reptiles). I was able to tear myself away just long enough to enumerate some of Tokyo Jungle’s Biggest Fumbles.
- I was writing a review of one of my favorite board games. Do you like scary movies? No? Then steel yourself for Betrayal at House on the Hill: A Not So Old School Review.
- I was daydreaming about fish-shaped zeppelins, top-hat-doffing composers, block-pushing sheep-men, and LSD. The result? Dream Lands: A Study in Interactive Dreamscapes (Part 3). Wiggins incoming!
What will I get up to next week, I wonder?