Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
posted 9:12pm
"The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul"
Douglas Adams was known best for his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series that spanned five books. But before he died he did create another series, managing to get out two and half books about a character named Dirk Gently. And what a character he is. Smug, snide, always making his position the right side to be on, Douglas came up with an interesting character that manages to claim his stake in a world thatís sliding out from under his feet. Both books are great reads, though I wish the electric monk carried over to this one.

This book was a little hard to get into, the first two chapters felt foreign, but by the third Dirk had shown up and it picked up a bit of steam. I did feel it kind of drifted in places, like filler that shouldíve been cut, but itís a solid story, that unravels a thousand questions and ties them all up by the end. I also tore this book up pretty fast, just a few weeks reading 20 to 25 pages a day. Itís only a 307 page book, so I probably spent 15 to 16 days reading it. At the end I took it a little easier. Plus the monthís been screwed up, so itís hard to count.

I kind of thought this story was better than his first book. Not the extra pages, but the story. It seamed a lot more focused. In Dirk Gentlyís Holistic Detective Agency it kind of chains from one event to another, dropping the electric monk in the middle, never to finish up his story. But here, everything that is laid out is also tied up. It even comes round full circle.

Itís a well thought out read - D

Currently Playing: L.A. Noire

Saturday, June 18th, 2011
posted 4:18pm
"Magic The Gathering: 2012"
Magic The Gathering, I remember the first time I played it. I was living in The Gershwin, a youth hostel on 27th and 5th, over by Madison Square Park and the Flat Iron Building, not the staduim, and there was this guy that was selling magazines on the street at night, a sort of mail order thing. Sounded like a scam to me, but the guy was making money. Late at night heíd come back to the hotel, and I would talk to him from time to time. Well one night he asks me about Magic, Magic The Gathering. I never heard of it, so after he explained a bit of it, I headed up to his room so I could play a game. As he was telling me the rules I was blown away by the cards, they were starting to switch over to 4th Edition and the new ones looked beutiful. And then we got into it, with creatures becoming our champions as we tore into each other, trying to deflect spells. I was high, and fucked up, and had a great time getting my ass kicked Ė and doing a bit of kicking - and was hooked from the start. But I moved out of The Gershwin shortly after, and never found anyone else that could appreciate the game.

Then a few years ago Stainless Games, along with Wizards of the Coast, came out with a version that could be played across X-Box live, ported later to PS3 and PC. Once again I could sit down and play this thing, maybe only against a computer but I still got the chance to unlock cards and progress through decks. There was even an online version where you could play against a few real people, but I really got my ass kicked there. Well recently Iíve been thinking about that Magic game, and maybe getting into it again, when out of nowhere they come up with a sequel of sorts, with all new decks, new art, new layout, but the core rules still intact. Magic The Gathering: 2012. It's an amazing game thatís great to just get in there, win or lose a few rounds, and move on. Pretty casual, not demanding, and rewarding when you win because the enemies are tuff and you can die a lot if you have a weak deck and donít know how to play it.

The added bonus here is itís only 10 bucks, even from Steam if youíre playing off the PC.

Iím glad Stainless Games did this. Iím not sure if they took a chance or not, Iím not sure how much of a risk it really was, or if it will pay off for them. According to the leaderboards it looks like theyíve sold over 20,000 games so far in less than a week, so hopefully it keeps up for them. In a few years, Iíd love to see another one of these come out.

Support the games you play - D

Currently Playing: Magic The Gathering: 2012