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Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Archive for July, 2019

Video Game Review: Doki Doki Literature Club

When I first picked up Doki Doki Literature Club, I knew the sort of wild ride I was going to get into, thanks to the surge of popularity the game enjoyed on release. I played this a while back, so coming back to it now to review feels almost nostalgic. I noticed I somehow never reviewed the title back then and I wanted to at least review it once, especially now the hype is done. After all, there are still recommended videos on my YouTube feed, all to do with this seemingly innocuous title. So what makes Doki Doki Literature Club so good?

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GenCon 2019 – On My Way

By the time you read this I should… hopefully be on my way to GenCon (assuming you’re reading this on day of publish, I may already be there, I may have left). After a disastrous and costly mixup with the flights, the only thing I have to be nervous about now is being on my own in a foreign country… and everything afterwards.

I’m booked in to a hotel almost an hour’s drive away from the convention, and I missed booking to see Critical Role live. This journey has been problematic to say the least, but…

 

It’s quite possibly the biggest gaming convention in the world, with only Essen and UKGE to present any real competition. I’ve got chances to meet some of the most famous faces in the business, the same business that technically I’m now in. I’ll also be watching the Gamers perform live on Saturday, the only event I’ve actually booked a place at, for the rest of the event I intent to wander the con floor and see who and what I can find.

I plan to bring games, anyone who wants a quick D&D one-shot, I will be carrying a few on me, and I know it’s not too hard to land a game at GenCon, but that’s not going to stop me preparing. I’ll also be packing a couple of Magic decks, seriously, seek me out.

And while I’m trying to meet new people, anyone else going who DMs/GMs for hire? I’d love to meet other people in the same field, talk about your experiences and share some of my own. If any other pros are out there and want to chat, give me a shout in the comments, or on the Shropshire Dungeon Master Facebook page.

Otherwise, this ends my work at GeekOut for the next week or so… hopefully see some of you in Indianapolis.


The History of Monopoly

Many geeks groan at the board game Monopoly; it’s a friendship killer, it’s a poorly designed game, you name it. I’ve heard people say all sorts about it, but that doesn’t stop the fact it’s been around the block. Over the years, Monopoly went from the de facto board game for families to one that doesn’t get any recognition at all. However the history of Monopoly is pretty interesting, especially considering it was designed to be educational in its own weird way. So how did the property buying game come to be and let’s also have a look at some of the variants out there.

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GeekOut Shrewsbury July ’19 – Convention Season

We shouldn’t cancel GeekOut during heatwaves, no matter how tempting it might be. Who’d go outside in that? No one should have to endure those kind of temperatures but… y’know if I start down this path, the discussion gets dark. There were cold drinks and board games, ultimately that’s what’s important here.

The Pour House

I recently found out that The Pour House is about the change hands. Here’s wishing the previous owners the very best of luck in their future endeavours, and hoping the new owners uphold the legacy. We like the Pour House, I mean, I don’t drink so a place that does interesting things without alcohol is always high on my priorities list.

Thanks Tom for bringing in an old rendition of Jumanji as a real-life board game… not as immersive as the original. I managed to settle a score in Magic… that is a blatant lie, I had my ass handed to me by Kim again! Time to raise a deck with a higher pace to it, or maybe raise the Super Soldier deck from the archives.

Main Event

It should no longer be a surprise for me that our events these days get busy early and stay that way pretty much throughout, especially at this time of year, no doubt things will change come October or something, but in either case Monty’s Tower started out being pleased to see us, then asked us nicely to start using the other bar for a while after everything got a bit hectic. Fair ask, cheers guys.

Highlights of this month’s Shrewsbury Meet, Julia fetching out a 3D camera to play with, we did, shamelessly, an improvised chessboard, and the time it rained for about two minutes and it was… just so great.

Con-Poster Competition

Half an hour to design a poster for the best convention you can imagine! A theme, an event, and a special guest star are the minimum requirements, and design talent not… strictly necessary, although apparently an unfair advantage was granted to those who understood – or at least shared – my personal sense of humour, which is almost certainly how Murray won. Milencon would be a bleak affair of staring blankly into our respective hands as we despair over the world we live in and the unhealthy coping mechanisms we use to handle it.

Second place Cluedo Fest appealed to my bloodlust, love of the noir, and I liked the ambiguity of… literally every component. Vanitycon takes third place for it’s cynical approach to internet based narcissism. Other events were beautiful in their own regard, except Joelcon, which had the hubris to assume any relation between me and colours outside of grey.


Next Month, August 29th, Netflix and GeekOut, a celebration of Netflix and internet streaming original content. Attendees are not required to chill… if it’s anything like this month, it may prove impossible.


Top 10 Fictional Scientific Failures

GeekOut Top 10s

Science fiction and science in general; there is an abundance of media grounded in science. Whether it’s purely fictional science, aka nothing like the real thing, or a heavy dose of reality mixed in, there are successes and failures alike. With that in mind, today we’re going to look at our Top 10 Fictional Scientific Failures. Which of these do you know about and which of these are forgotten like the mistakes they were?

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Pokémon Go: Team GO Rocket Has Arrived

This week saw the arrival of a new mechanic to Pokémon Go; the introduction of Team Rocket. Well, more specifically, Team GO Rocket. These criminals have been capturing Shadow Pokémon, using them for their nefarious schemes and are attacking players. Now you can go and fight some Rocket Grunts yourself, becoming the hero you had always wanted to be. Well, sort of… I think we need to have a chat, Niantic.

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Future Content: Over To You

Regular readers of our website will know the types of content we write about. We love to chat gaming, anime, writing and lots more. We dabble into all sorts of territory when it comes to geeky passions. But the one thing that’s eluded us all of this time is you; the reader. We often get comments of “It’d be good if you would write this” or “could you cover that”, but rarely do we hear from our readers. We want that to change.

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Why Start Blogging?

Blogging is hugely popular, especially with tools such as WordPress and Blogger at our disposal. Many people get absorbed into this way of life; to put their thoughts and feelings to the internet, for everyone to see and share. For some people, blogging becomes a primary source of income, but for the vast majority of bloggers, they may never see any true success. With this in mind, why do people blog?

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SDCC Trailers 2019

The last time I did one of these was four years ago, I really ought to make it a more regular thing because San Diego Comiccon is a prime event to promote new material and media coming up in time for the mass indoor-migration. Here are a few of the highlights I’ve picked up on:

Harley Quinn Animated Series [NSFW]

No seriously, they packed this thing with bad language and violence.

Ok, this has some potential. I like Kaley Cuoco as Harley Quinn although I wish she’d given it the proper southern-drawl* that has been a hallmark of the character for decades, but that’s about my only complaint. In the post-Nolan DC days it can be hard sometimes to remember that there have been fun days in DC, even in Gotham where some of the dumbest villains have challenged the caped crusader, and that includes Quinn. So far we appear to be capturing the essence of what Suicide Squad wanted and failed to achieve, and we’ve kept key elements of the Suicide Squad Quinn in the pink and blue look.

Being broadcast on the new DC subscription network may limit the potential pretty dramatically, I actually think this may prove to be a growing problem because Disney are doing the same thing (more on that later) and the number of subscription services are getting as prolific as the number of television channels, but now you have to pay for all of them individually, and slowly but surely that new business model is going to prove how well it doesn’t work. I think. That’s my opinion at any rate.

Anyway, reserving judgement on Harley Quinn but holding on to a shred of optimism.

Picard

The Abrahamsverse Star Trek has put one hell of a stamp on Star Trek since then, we’ve seen it all over STD, and apparently we’re seeing this new theme of industrial style sets and higher colour-contrast lighting schemes in this resurrection of the greatest captain to ever command an Enterprise. The story looks to be another combination of Data and the Borg, and Seven of Nine will be joining the crowd as well to really dig into themes like artificial intelligence versus actual intelligence, life, freedom and independence. Rumours are that Jonathan Frakes will also be reappearing.

Our new crew includes Allison Pill and Harry Treadaway, two very talented young actors who never seem to have broken big which is a genuine tragedy.

Prediction: Turns out the young woman in the trailer with all that mystery around her is the borg queen and somehow time travel is involved… again. I say that because it looks like that borg cube is under construction, and as everyone has a particular loathing of this woman there’ll be some kind of shenanigans with nanomachinery and paradoxes. In short I can’t say as I’m all that excited, but I’m curious.

Marvel Season 4

I was expecting a long slow decline for the MCU that would slowly hurt everyone’s feelings and ruin ten years of amazing cinema by soaking the legacy in bleach until we’re left with a flimsy, pale imitation of what used to be. It looks like they just gave up, no part of the line-up gets me excited, no, not even the new Thor film.

Blade and Fantastic 4 have been confirmed for the future, along with another Spidey-film, and a Black Panther follow up, and sure we’ve got the groundwork for a Secret War or something, and who knows, maybe this is a grand fake-out, but I have some issues, and I’ll keep them short.

The time for Black Widow was about three years ago, some time around Civil War or Winter Soldier when she was at her most popular. A great animated film was made with her and the Punisher working together to take down Crimson Dynamo, and that was about as good as I think we’ll see. You want a good Black Widow? Red Sparrow is probably your best bet.

One quick look into the history of the Eternals tells me that there will need to be some serious conceptual changes to make them work well in the MCU. They’re a bunch of demigods in service to the Celestials, which should bring in a few of the Celestials in time for the likes of Glactus and whatnot, but from what I read they’re far from beloved characters. Shang-Chi is a house built on sand, with Iron Fist flopping harder than Finn Jones’ hair (hah!) and the Mandarin being a fake-out that upset a lot of fans.

“Multiverse of Madness” is a rather uninspiring subtitle, as is “Love and Thunder” which sounds like an episode of Miami Vice.

And here are all of these Disney+ titles, all of which were unsubtly set up during Infinity/Game, Hawkeye will be about training a younger archer, Loki picks up from the Tesseract incident, and buddy cops Falcon and Winter Soldier screams of Lethal Weapon with more vibranium. What If… sounds like it could be mildly interesting, but it’d need to do something more than regurgitate the old What If’s of the comics. What they plan to do with Wanda and Vision is anyone’s guess but for now I’m contenting myself with some early 00’s style sitcom in which most of the comedy is Vision trying to understand people.

A better sounding fan-timeline can be found here, filled with titles that – while clearly fake – has a few more beguiling titles.

Et Al

So the Witcher looks… fine, I guess? There are a few showpiece scenes that look like they could be cool, but I’m listening to the story and it doesn’t grip me yet. I’m quietly hoping to see a Mad Max style approach to Geralt, approaching as a nearly blank slate who comes to propel someone else’s story.

Far more interesting, we saw a mini making-of for dark Crystal along with a bit of new footage which looks like it’ll be a genuine masterpiece of television. It’ll be something to look forward to binging straight after Insomnia.

We’ve had new trailers for a bunch of extra films that we’ve known about for a while, a glimpse of what Rick and Morty’s fourth season will have to hold which… basically is more of the same but that’s cool, that’s what we like. A, hopefully better, television adaption of His Dark materials is on the way and now we can see a bit of it, it looks like it won’t be shying away from the anti-religious themes that were omitted in the Golden Compass film, but also features a cast of some of the best actors of the decade. IT, Watchmen, Westworld, but perhaps the thing that worries me the most is the Snowpiercer series that I simply cannot envision accomplishing what the film did.

Hate to end this on such a downer, so I’ll let it fizzle on a bad line instead.


*New Jersey accent! Turns out I’ve been getting it wrong for years.


Dubious Double | A Magic: the Gathering Discussion

(Foreword: Thanks to Joel for hearing me out on this idea one night and helping develop it. These theoretical card designs were created using mtg.design)

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