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By Gehennakat On 6 Feb, 2016 At 06:30 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Blood Bowl 2

PS4

(Not Your Father’s Football)

 

This weekend the majority of us will be gathering with friends and families watching pigskin get thrown around during Super Bowl 50, but not I.  I’m not exactly what you’d call a “sports guy” so when I was given the review codes for Blood Bowl 2 I almost passed them off to our resident Madden aficionados.  I’m very pleased I didn’t.  Blood Bowl 2 is brought to us by Cyanide Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive and is based off the hit Board Game Blood Bowl created by Jervis Johnson for British games company Games Workshop.

Blood Bowl 2 is a football game much the way Mario Bros. is a plumbing simulator.  There may be some pipes and plumber, but that’s about it.  BB2 takes place on a football field with you trying to get to your opponents end zone and score… and that’s pretty much where the similarities come to a rest.

bb2

Blood Bowl 2 is a turn based game based in the Warhammer universe and pits two team on a hilarious collision course.  At its base you select a team from the races that are available: Humans, Orcs, Dwarfs, Skaven, High Elves, Dark Elves, Chaos, and the Bretonnian. Each has their own perks and advantages, as well as disadvantages.  Dwarves sponge up damage and can run through most attacks, but can throw about as well as a penguin flies.  The two elf races available from the beginning are pretty much the opposite; they can run fast and pass the ball the length of the field, but their defense leaves them vulnerable to harder hitting races like Chaos or Bretonnian’s.  Each turn consists of you moving all your characters once (if they’re not disabled, dead or injured), with one special attack or “blitz” allowed per turn.  Success on turns and moves is based off your characters stats and the races overall abilities.  As of the writing of this review for the PS4 version, there are 2 new races available for download.  One is another race of Elves (Wood), and the other is the Lizardmen.

On top of each races normal attributes they each have their own star players who have abilities to help turn the tide in your favor.  You have linemen, blitzers, runners, and in the case of Dark Elves assassins who sole purpose is to take out the opposing teams best players.  Now playing against the Elves as the Orcs seems like a losing battle with the Elves’ speed, but this is where the game becomes more about how you use your team.  Let’s say, for example, the Elves just caught the ball and are yards from the in zone.   There’s no way any of the orcs can get there on my turn.  What I can do is take one of my fast Goblin runners and put them next to my towering lineman of a Troll.  This gives me the option to throw my Goblin down field at the Elf down there.  Unfortunately, being a turn based game success is based off a dice roll and your player’s stats.  I say unfortunately because this particular roll did not go my way and my Goblin was eaten by said Troll, which is highlighted by hysterical animations and dialogue from the two announcers via Cabalvision.  Basically, any confrontation or violence is zoomed in on and commented on by either Jim or Bob. Blood-Bowl-2-Screens-

The game has two main modes where you can play vs. or play the campaign.  Once you familiarize yourself with how the stats and dice rolls work you can move on to the season play where you make your own team and upgrade their abilities and stats, hire new players, and manage your team much like you would if you were a real coach.  The real downside to the season play is if you lose a character (dies from injury), or in my case, they get eaten by a Troll, that character is gone for good.   This makes player management and selection much more key towards what your style of play.  It also forces you to weigh sending that player you’ve spent hours on into the fray.

Honestly, I enjoyed Blood Bowl 2 quite a bit and it’s nice to play a game that moves outside of the conventional genres of RPG, sports, or puzzles and playfully combines them all into a hysterical mix of violence and fun.  It reminds me of how Battle Chess was, except relocated to a football field in the Warhammer universe.  That being said, this a great time by yourself or co-op online with friends.  Don’t pass this title by if you’re not into sports or football, because, there are plenty RPG, action, and puzzle elements to keep you entertained for hours.  Let’s be honest, we can all watch football any weekend, but how often do you get to see a Troll eat a Goblin after trying to throw him downfield to prevent a touchdown by an Elf?

 

By Charles On 24 Aug, 2012 At 06:38 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarOne of my longstanding anime traditions is to select one or two shows a season to keep up with. This way I don’t get bogged down in the often futile pursuit of trying to watch everything, then feeling guilty when I abandon a show after a few episodes (which pretty much summed up Summer 2011). If something comes along that people suggest I should watch, I add it to the queue, but otherwise I choose shows based on appeal and just follow them until the next season.

This season I decided early on to watch “Kingdom,” a show set in the Warring States period of Chinese history. Since I love the Three Kingdoms timeline, this seemed like an obvious choice. Six weeks later, I haven’t watched a single episode. Blame the slow progress I made with my two spring series, blame my occasionally erratic viewing habits, blame everything else that seems to love getting in the way, but at this point, I doubt I will ever start.

My replacement for a sweeping martial arts epic is the utterly ridiculous, yet satisfyingly funny “Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita,” or, “Jintai,” or, “a bunch of Japanese words I don’t really understand.” Actually, that’s not a fair assessment of the show at all.  (In fact, the title translates to a notably grim “Humanity Has Declined.”)

The premise is simple. Five episodes in, I’m positive that this is a fluff series meant purely to entertain, which isn’t a bad thing. The entire world is on the brink of extinction, and human domination has given way to that of the Fairies- 10cm tall beings with magical powers, great intelligence, a love for sweets, and an affinity for pranks. They also maintain the most blank expressions, that give them the appearance of idiocy despite being the smartest things around.

Another day at the UNCC office…

Enter the Protagonist, a girl sent to her home village the UN to work as an arbitrator and inspector of the fairies alongside her grandfather. Her first day on the job, she loses a flock of chickens, interacts with her tiny charges, discovers those same chickens have been cooked but are still intelligent, and that products produced by the fairies are appearing all over town. A quick trip to the FairyCo factory leads to suicidal bread, transfiguration of trash into food, evil plots and eventually yaoi.

To call Jintai an exercise in irreverence is obvious. The show never seems to take itself seriously, even when lamenting the pitfalls of mangaka or highlighting the declined state of humanity. It often makes light of its own situation, be it by the matter-of-fact nature of the heroine, the deliberate silence of her assistant or the haunting perpetual smiles of the fairies. But it also brings to the table some downright hilarious moments, an interesting look into subculture, and at the very least, moves quickly and doesn’t bog itself down with too much substance. This translates into a very disposable series that is perfect for downtime between serious shows, or used to recover from a mind**** like Madoka or Fujiko.

By this point last year I was completely bogged down in serious shows that took me months to finally plow through. This year, I’m pleased with this relatively lighthearted summer show to keep my mind occupied until the Fall. Jintai is a solid representation of anime at its cheeky-best. Swift-moving and irreverent, yet addictive and satisfying.

…but I love you…

By otakuman5000 On 2 Nov, 2011 At 01:40 AM | Categorized As Featured, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Cards N’Flux: Innistrad and Humans

            Welcome ladies and gentlemen to a belated… okay seriously belated, edition of Cards n’Flux.  I have been away for quite some time due to school and a few other things, but the good thing is I’m back in the States and will hopefully be able to start writing for you all once again.  So, what topic have I decided to talk about on my return?  Something I have not done in a long time.  Today we are going to be talking decks and how you can approach a concept or strategy in different ways.

 

Humans on the plane of Innistrad fight day and night against the forces of werewolves, vampires, and other creatures of the night.  The worst part is even after they live their life to the fullest and survive the trials of life, they may not even gain the sleep they deserve being forced to rise to due some necromancer’s bidding.  As such, the Humans of Innistrad have learned to strike first, fight hard, and not to relent until the enemy is defeated.  This type of strategy is best exemplified in Champion of the Parish.  Coming onto the battlefield as 1/1, for every human you add to the field he gains a +1/+1 counter.  This means he can become a big threat rather quickly if every turn you play a human.  He is definitely a good starting card for our human deck.

Champion of the Parish is a good card, but it needs some help.  If every turn you force yourself to play a human, then it will not be long before your hand is empty.  We need to find a way to deal with this rather big problem otherwise we will just stifle ourselves in the later games.  The good news is Innistrad has provided us with a pretty good card to solve this problem.  Mentor of the Meek is a 2/2 that while on the field, if you play creature with 2 or less power if you pay one extra mana of any color, you can draw a card.  Now, I’ll be the first to say I did not like this card.  It slows you down and prevents you from bringing the pressure as constantly as you would want.  However, after playing with the mentor, I know it is far more useful to have consistent card advantage than to always fueling my Champions.  If you want to build a human deck, seriously consider this card.

Okay, we have an early threat, now we need some power.  Well there are quite a few things we could use to fill this slot.  If we wish to go mono-White we have Elite Inquistor who is a 2/2 with First Strike and Vigilance.  He also has protection from Vampires, Werewolves, and Zombies, but as we look at the current standard metagame, with its Solar Flares and Kessig Wolf Run decks, it does not look like those protections will be important.  Another great card for mono-White is Mirran Crusader, the infamous 2/2 with double strike and protection from Green and Black.  Mono-White can also justify using Honor of the Pure, but it does not have great synergy with Mentor of the Meek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now some of you are probably thinking, “But Corlando, mono-White is so last season.  It what to have a bit more color in my fashionable human deck.”  Alright, there are quite a few things you could do if you want to add something color to your decks.  For example, let us say you want to throw some Red in your bland white deck making it a Red/White deck or Boros as it is sometimes called.  There are quite a few cards you could take a look at.  First card, of course, Stormblood Berserker.  A 1/1 with Bloodthirst 2 that cannot be blocked except by two or more creatures, can anyone else say no brainer?  Another fun card would be Curse of the Stalked Prey, a two mana enchantment which gives your creatures a +1/+1 counter if they deal combat damage to a player.  Throw in some Proliferation spells like Volt Charge and Tezzert’s Gambit, for card draw, and you have the makings of a real fun deck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing on the Boros Humans deck idea, what other cards could we possibly throw in?  Well there are plenty to put in this kind of aggressive deck.  For example you can play Reckless Waif on turn 1, a 1/1 for only one Red mana.  Now, if you have been following Innistrad talk at all, you will no doubt know that Reckless Waif is in fact a Werewolf meaning if you or your opponent go a turn without casting a spell, then she flips over and transforms into a 3/2.  Now some people might not like the idea of having Werewolves in a Human centric deck.  I for one can understand this desire to keep the deck pure human, but what happens if you play a Reckless Waif on turn 1, your opponent does nothing their first turn causing your Reckless Waif to flip into a 3/2, and with your second turn you play a Curse of Stalked Prey?  You get a pretty fast clock for one mana.  Plus, if we want to run some Champions in this deck, the thing to remember is Champion’s ability triggers when they enter play meaning there will be no consequences if they flip into werewolves.

With werewolves and humans on the mind, why don’t we switch over to another color and see what else we can build?  Green has quite a few good humans in it, whether it’s the supporter human Acayan Pilgrim, a 1/1 that taps for white mana, or the Hamlet Captain, a two mana 2/2 that gives all attacking or blocking creatures +1/+1 as long as it blocks or attacks as well, there are several good creatures here.  One of the greatest humans any Green/White deck could play would be Mayor Avabruck who gives all humans under his leadership +1/+1.  Plus if he happens to flip into his Alpha Howlpack form, you will be getting free 3/3 tokens.  However, one of the greatest advantages of going for a Green splash instead of Red is the advantage of Gavony Township.  Gavony Township is one of the five power lands from Innistrad and allows you to spend your excess mana on giving all creatures you control a +1/+1 counter.  This turns your little 1/1 Acaryan Pilgrim into a 2/2 and can quickly put your opponent in a really bad position.  Combine this power with the power boosts from Hamlet Captain and Mayor of Avabruck and you can easily make an army out of three or four creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright enough talk, let’s build some decks.  First let’s look at a Monowhite version:

 

Innistrad White Weenie:

 

Creatures:

4x Champion of the Parish

4x Mirran Crusader

4x Elite Inquisitor

4x Doomed Traveler

3x Mentor of the Meek

3x Hero of Bladehold

3x Fiend Hunter

3x Elite Vanguard

 

Enchantments:

3x Oblivion Ring

2x Angelic Destiny

3x Bonds of Faith

 

Lands:

21x Plains

 

This is pretty much straight forward.  Put some early threats on the board and swing your heart out.  Hero of Bladehold and Angelic Destiny are both really strong finishers in this kind of deck.  However, one of the best cards is Bonds of Faith.  Being able to either enchant one of your humans and give it +2/+2 or enchant one of your opponent’s creatures and Pacify it is just really awesome.  With the White deck built, we can now move to our Boros Version:

 

Innistrad Boros:

 

Creatures:

4x Champion of the Parish

4x Stormblood Berserker

4x Reckless Waif

3x Gideon’s Avenger

3x Mirran Crusader

3x Hero of Oxid Ridge

3x Accorder Paladin

 

Enchantments:

4x Curse of Stalked Prey

3x Oblivion Ring

4x Volt Charge

3x Tezzeret’s Gambit

 

 

Lands:

4x Clifftop Retreat

9x Plains

9x Mountains

 

I just want to start by saying, I do not really know how good this deck could be.  The potential is definitely there if you want to swing early and keep boosting your attacking creatures with more +1/+1 counters.  The thing I love is the potential for Gideon’s Avenger to just get out of hand.  If your opponent attacks once while he is on the field, you can just proliferate and make him a true threat without having to rely on your opponents to pump him.  The same kind of fun can be had with Champion of the Parish.  Turn 1 Champion, Turn 2 attack triggering blood thirst for your Stormblood Berserker, Turn 3 either Volt Charge their face or creature and swing for seven.  Take a look at this deck, it might be a real fun way to swing hard, fast, and unrelentingly.

 

Our final deck for this edition is the Green/White Human deck:

 

Innistrad Militia:

 

Creatures:

4x Champion of the Parish

4x Mayor of Avabruck/ Howlpack Alpha

4x Avacyn’s Pilgrim

4x Hamlet Captain

4x Mirran Crusader

3x Hero of Bladehold

2x Mentor of the Meek

 

Spells:

3x Oblivion Ring

3x Bramblecrush

3x Hunter’s Insight

2x Overrun

2x Angelic Destiny

 

Lands:

4x Sunpetal Grove

4x Ravorverge Thicket

3x Gavony Township

5x Plains

6x Forest

 

This deck can be a lot of fun.  You have the potential to really ramp into some early game threats.  Think about it, turn two Mirran Crusader or Mentor of the Meek followed by a turn 3 Hero of Bladehold or Angelic Destiny.  Plus, if you manage to get a small army out thanks to all the low casting costs, you can blow your opponent out by rumbling over them with an Overrun.  The best part is, if you find yourself without a hand for some reason, you can simply use your otherwise wasted mana activating Gavony Township, creating even bigger threats for your opponent.  I highly recommend this deck if you like decks that make even the little guys something that can kill your opponent.

 

Well that is what I call a successful day at the workbench.  Three possible decks we could use to fight the horrors of Innistrad with our tenacious humans.  If any of you happen to have a suggestion for a deck or want to submit a deck, feel free to do so below right after you get done with the Closing Questions Section:

 

1. What is your opinion of Champion of the Parish?  Good, bad, or far too much like allies?

 

2. Which one of these decks above do you like the most and why?

 

3. Did you like this type of article and would you like to read more of these in the future?

 

Thank you all once again for being patient with me over the several weeks I have been away.  Life seems to be doing all it can to stifle my writer’s spirit, but I will fight on forever as I hope you all do.  And as you all fight on through the difficulties and trials of life, I hope you all remember, “Etherium is Limited.  Innovation is not.”  This is Corlando signing out.