When you’re a Halloweener,
You’re a ‘weener all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day.
When you’re a ‘weener,
If the drek hits the fan,
You got brothers around,
You’re a family man!
My apologies, chummers, I just can’t help myself. I assure all of you that this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. It’s hard NOT to break into song and dance when you have this much Shadowrun stuffed into a single year! The Year of Shadowrun is something of a revival of the franchise, and goodness knows it needed it! Shadowrun is a perfect storm of sci-fi, cyberpunk, and fantasy all rolled into one. There’s a bit of something for everyone, and it has retained a cult following since it’s inception in 1989. This year’s release list is a veritable buffet of dystopian delights that the franchise has slated for everyone! On the video game front, we have Shadowrun Returns, and Shadowrun Online, both slathered in awesomesauce. On the tabletop, we have the Fifth Edition of the RPG, and a healthy helping of Shadowrun: Crossfire, Shadowrun: Hostile Takeover, and Shadowrun: Sprawl Gangers. Top that off with a brand-spanking-new line of Shadowrun novels for dessert, and you have a feast for fans old and new alike!
Great ghostly tapdancing Dunklezahn with dinner, a movie, and a kiss goodnight! All of this shadow-goodness is going to be a real strain on the credstick this year!
I have the singular pleasure of being one of the “lab mice” for Sprawl Gangers, but I’m not allowed to talk about the details. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Quit being a tease, Belmont!” I hear you, chummers, and that’s why I have a little treat for you…
It started as a humble little video game homage that took it’s chances on Kickstarter, with a hope that the Shadowrun brand name still garners at least enough respect and popularity to generate a sum of money large enough to fund it. Harebrained Schemes decided to shoot low for a video game project; $400,000. “Surely,” they tought, “we can produce a small game that will please some old-school fans of Shadowrun?” None of them were prepared for the tidal wave of fan-backing that they received in record time. In just over 24 hours, Harebrained Schemes had it’s $400,000…and the fan generosity did not stop there. By the end of it’s Kickstarter life, Shadowrun Returns had earned a staggering $1.8 MILLION dollars. Read the rest of this entry
The Year of Shadowrun is in full swing, chummers! With even the most scant of information being given about production, Shadowrunners noobie and veteran alike are excited to see their favorite setting experience a new Awakening (or get a full-body Alphaware augmentation, if you prefer a cyber-metaphor). Shadowrun Online and Shadowrun Returns are in full production mode, and we’ve got some sweet tabletop action going with a brand new Edition to the role-playing game proper, as well as several other nova-hot tabletop games.
Starting off this very auspicious year is the Adventure deck-building game Shadowrun: Crossfire from Fire Opal Media. Crossfire is in great hands, featuring some very strong talent in card game design: Gregory Marques, Mike Elliott, Rob Watkins, Rob Heinsoo, Jay Schneider and James “Jim” Lin.
Anyone who peruses forums devoted to favorite game franchises have seen those whiny doomsayers that cry that “The game is DEAD!” just because they haven’t heard news about said game in over a few months. Some gamers are impatient like that. Even a game company as prolific as Fantasy Flight Games, who has DOZENS of expanded properties to produce content for on a regular basis, has the occasional Chicken Little who starts screaming that the “sky is falling” when they aren’t fed news of upcoming expansions every couple of weeks. I don’t really get it, but I know that with that many properties to juggle, even with doing an expansion a week they’d take at least a year to go through their entire catalog.
It’s one thing for a company to continually promise an expansion to an existing game and never deliver on it (I’m looking at YOU, Z-Man Games), but to say that a game is dead just because you don’t have new content at a pace you want is rather arrogant a presumption.
On the other hand, it may be safe to presume that a game is dead if it doesn’t receive a first expansion for almost two years… Read the rest of this entry
Well, it’s that time again! Let’s take a look into the crystal ball to see what kind of gaming goodness is being conjured up for your entertainment…
1) Pass it by; nothing interesting here…
2) Only buy it if you’re REALLY a fan of a genre
3) Not a hot item, but worth having; Put it on the “to buy” list.
4) Rave reviews or a great addition to an existing game! Get it soon!
5) Must Buys; Either a hot new game you MUST have, or the next great expansion you can’t wait to pick up and play.
Intellectual properties are a fickle thing, especially when it comes to fans of said franchises. Fans can be sent into a panic over the slightest transitions, be it a new company picking up the rights for it, a director or a writer making radical changes to established canon, or the whispers of the dreaded “reboot.”
It doesn’t matter what fandom you follow; each one has its own particular idiom and temperament, some more volatile than others. Anime fans have their trend and cosplay snobs, Tolkien purists won’t stop “quoting the man himself,” Ghostbusters fans won’t accept you unless you constructed all of your props accurately and by hand, and steampunk…well, there’s a good chunk of the steampunk community that are nigh-quixotic in their delusion of the Victorian lifestyle. Granted, these are all extreme examples, but the fact remains that fans can get ugly. Read the rest of this entry
I am quite certain that my colleague Doctor Belmont will be posting his opinions on this film as well. In fact I am quite surprised that I actually beat him to it. Now on to my thoughts.
This film had problems, lots of them. Where should I even begin? Ah yes, the Tolkien lore. I know that many fans of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings novels will be going to see these films and for those fans who are obsessive about the lore I think that there will be some disappointment. The most blatant change that lovers of the books will notice is that Azog, a goblin chieftain, is placed as the major villain for this installment. That’s right folks, a goblin who is dead in the novels is alive and well and is chasing our party of hapless dwarves. This leads to some dramatic alterations of several scenes that we are familiar with in the novel including the trip to Rivendell and the treetop escape.