Trickythumbs’ Blag

Image updatery
January 5, 2009, 6:38 am
Filed under: Comicbooks | Tags: , , , ,

I’ve updated the header with a new zombie version I tossed together on a whim, because you can’t really go wrong with some walking dead.

I mean that both in a general way and a literal way. Go get The Walking Dead, you owe it to yourself.


A Quick Post

So the new year has dawned and things are off to a slow start, but I’m sure everything will kick into high gear before I realize it. I’m only a week or so away from being able to purchase my first iPhone (two year plan is about to expire) and thus my mind is currently focused around that new tiny world to explore with my pointer finger. Yes, I meant that to sound dirty and wrong.

As for gaming, the titles I’m drooling over right now are all surprisingly PC games. Champions Online, Dawn of War II, Dragon Age and Starcraft II. I’m hoping we get each of these before June, but that’s probably asking a bit too much. If anything, I’d be happy with waiting until the end of the year for Starcraft II, which would allow me to spend a lot more time with Dawn of War II for my strategy game needs.

Right now my time is being split between World of Warcraft, Persona 4 and City of Heroes. Although I’m also doing things like reading Anathem and World War Z, so, yeah … I’m too busy for my own good as usual. Oh, did I mention I’m trying to work on another D&D4E campaign as well? Although I’m half-tempted to wait until the middle of March, when the second Players Handbook comes out, so everyone involved can use the new classes and races.

Anyhow, that’s a small glimpse into my rather geeky life. I’m probably leaving out a lot of little things, which are very likely littered somewhere in my twitter feed! (@KyleHorner)

Turn-based bitching
July 24, 2008, 11:43 pm
Filed under: Videogames | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’m really digging the remake of Final Fantasy IV on the DS. I never really bothred with the GBA port, so I decided this was the perfect time to dive back into my past a bit. I’m really starting to get tired of JRPGs (and RPGs in general) that want to move into “real-time action” territory. I don’t have a problem with action games, in fact I quite love them. I only wish that RPG developers could figure out different “innovations” than just mapping leveling-up and looting systems to a less than wonderful action game, which is what many of those games tend to become.

Sometimes simple RPG mechanics with a lot of charm are enough to win me over. I don’t need to have some insanely deep system that’s a headache to even figure out before it becomes any fun. I just want an engaging battle system with an addictive level-up mechanic. Add a twist or two, but keep it within reason. The same goes for strategy games too, they need some more turn-based love. Games like Disgaea and Civilization Revolution are so much fun to play and yet we see so very few of them.

I honestly wonder what’s stopping a good developer from taking a compelling concept and developing a great turn-based RPG with a couple of really great innovations in it. Where’s my turn-based zombie survival RPG with a dark and human story ala The Walking Dead or my giant online co-op turn-based mecha/monster battle RPG? Let me and my friends form Zoltron (Voltron’s lesser-known cousin) and bash some giant alien monster heads in. Give me something strange, daring and different!

The game that will never be!

The game that will never be!

It’s all just wishful thinking, though. Pipedreams and all that stuff we hate to remind ourselves about. No publisher would ever take the chance on something like what I’ve suggested, unfortunately. Although, I personally think an RPG where you and three or four other survivors deal with a zombie apocalypse is genius. Maybe someday…

The Walking Dead pre-re-view

Does that headline make sense to any of you? I liked it, so I went with it.

Anyhow, I need to stop my habit of double-tapping the enter key whenver I want to start up a new paragraph. Or maybe WordPress needs to stop double-lining me. Ah crap, I’m already off-topic! See what freedom does to me?

All right, comics! The Walking Dead! Robert Kirkman!

What, you want more? Jeez, fine. You’re kind of demanding, did you know this? It’s like having a high-maintenence girlfriend that’s so cute and innocent at times that you can’t bring yourself to dump her. Except in this example she’s also a reader of this blag (not blog, because I’m not that professional with this) and happens to uh- where was I going with this?

Oh right, zombies!

So I’ve been reading a lot of this awesome comicbook called The Walking Dead. Did you see the link up there? Foreshadowing. Hey, move that cursor away from your bookmarks folder! The idea behind this comic series — which was penned by Robert Kirkman (double-foreshadowing) — is simple: What happens at the end of all those zombie movies? Either all the survivors die or they continue to survive, but the movie ends. This takes incredibly human characters well into years of a zombie apocalypse and glances back occasionally to remind you just how much twisted shit has gone down since the first page of the comic.

Death, death and more dead-ness. People are either killing zombies or each other. Oh and sometimes zombies kill people, too. It’s all very gruesome, terrible and somehow wonderful. Kirkman likes to put twists and surprises in his comics, but he doesn’t try to constantly keep you guessing in traditional means. He’ll throw you bones by mixing up obvious twists with incredibly-not-obvious twists. Just when you think you’ve got something figured out, everything goes to shit and you’re burning through the pages with your eyes. Which can really be a shame, because the artwork is really awesome in The Walking Dead.

I’ve found myself re-reading these comics just to make sure I soak in the artwork. It’s all black and white inking, but with a deft greyscale shading that gives the entire thing a very black and white movie feel. Plus, the violence really pops off the page due to the clarity that the lack of color creates. I haven’t finished the series yet, but I highly reccomend it to anyone who loves either zombie stories or just great character-driven stories in general.

This is why I still read comics. While I may still indulge in the occasional Green Lantern or Iron Man comic, stuff like Invincible, The Walking Dead, Doktor Sleepless and The Sword are what keep me buying these things. More on all of those in later posts!