About geelw

Gamer, Writer, Artist, Idea Guy, Mild Curmudgeon With A Long List Of Hidden Talents

Toy Fair 2016 Pre-Show Thoughts: Juggling Is Harder This Year, I’d Wager

TF2016I have a box of turtles and dinosaurs here plus some other stuff on the way and that makes me giddy. Yep, NY Toy Fair is here and is going to be fun, but I’m also thinking of stuff outside the box that makes me think things aren’t all rosy and pastel framed goggles. The economy is weird at the moment and anecdotally I know people who just aren’t spending as much money as they used to for a few reasons. Some parents with less disposable income are choosing to give smaller, less expensive gifts or will go for one or two pricier gift meant to last a while (usually something tech-like). Others are going for more educational gifts with an eyeball towards their wee ones doing something else with their futures than becoming future sports or music stars (which is a good thing in my book).

Toy companies catering to collectors with primarily or only high dollar items are probably feeling the pinch even more but need to keep pushing out their premium product because competition for certain big licenses is huge and NOT being there with that hot new collectible means losing money to the other guy or gal who got their goods on the floor. Of course, collectors with space and funds only are about getting that new item first and fast, so that market is more than safe as long as their passion (and shelf space) hold out. Of course, superheroes are hot stuff and will be for a while. But between the retro trend that keeps bringing back older collectibles and the newer licensed goods that command attention of young and old collectors alike, something’s going to give eventually… Continue reading

Sadame Looks Like An ARPG Winner on the 3DS

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If Sadame is what I think it’s aiming for, I’m going to love it even more than I did when I saw the art and trailer below. coming from Rising Star Japan, Intergrow and Mebius, the upcoming game looks like a nice Diablo-inspired chase ‘n chop set in feudal Japan with four playable classes, loot to collect and some particularly pesky bosses to take down. SOLD! Even better, it’s coming sooner than later, arriving February 25 on the eShop for JRPG fans looking for something a bit different yet somehow comfortably familiar. It’s too bad this one isn’t Wii U compatible, as it would be even cooler to play this on a larger HD set at home. But hey, that’s what sequels are for, correct?

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Sega 3D Classics Collection: A Throwback That’s A Keeper For Nostalgic Fans

Sega 3D CC_3DS Longtime Sega fanatics have probably been wondering when the company would get to revisiting some of it’s well-aged classics outside the usual suspects and come April 26, those fans who (paradoxically) own a Nintendo 3DS will get to dive into Sega 3D Classics Collection for the more than reasonable price of $29.99. The retail and eShop release will contain nine games total:

7 Classic Games:
Power Drift
Puyo Puyo 2
Fantasy Zone II W
Sonic The Hedgehog
Thunder Blade
Galaxy Force II
Altered Beast

2 Bonus Games:
Fantasy Zone II
Maze Walker

In addition, you can disguise (or try to disguise) your 3DS with a set of Sega-themed stickers that will come included with launch edition copies of the game. Or you can save that sticker sheet for future use or even slap them on all the actual Sega consoles in your collection. Of course, if you’re a collector, those stickers will stay stuck to the paper they come on, right? Yeah, I figured as much. Me, I want this for Maze Walker, Galaxy Force, the two Fantasy Zone games and Power Drift, but everything will get played to death at some point. As much hard work went into getting this set of games out, it would really be nice to see a follow up at some point just to get Space Harrier II, After Burner and a few other classics onto the 3DS in that eye-popping 3D. As usual, we shall see…

Toydriver: Screwy Idea’s A Time-saver For Your Toolbox

Toydriver
 

Ha. Toy Fair 2016 hasn’t even begun and I’ve already found one of my favorite items that’s not a toy. If you’re a parental unit with active kids (or kids you’d like to be more active), you’ve probably dealt with the dreaded battery change in that favorite toy or electronic something or other where screws needed to be removed. Those old days of lost battery covers has been replaced with trying to find the right screwdriver or finding one but needing an extra bit of force you may not have to get that cover off, dealing with recessed screws and some kid(s) waiting impatiently to get their game or whatever back on. Well, Toydriver is here to the rescue!

And yep, that’s the second best use of a Prince song clip that one an get away with legally I’ve ever heard. Nice. Anyway, I’ll see if I can give one of those Toydrivers a test drive when I scoot by their booth over the weekend. If it’s sturdy enough, I can see it as a great multi-tasker that only needs extra bits for things like game consoles and other devices. Hey, I’m all about making cool stuff like this work even better.

Tuesday’s Off: Slim Pickin’s Make For Less Guilt & A Clearer Forehead

Randazzo King Cake (Small)

Photo: randazzokingcake.com

Nope, no booze and King Cake plastic coin and beads, almost tiny toy baby-swallowing baccanal-fest follwed by a day of dirty forehead repentance for me, folks. I had a donut (okay, three), an extra cup of coffee and curled up with a few movies I needed to review plus a few games I’ve been meaning to finish up or start. Yeah, I’m boring as hell (sometimes), but that sort of reliable predictability is a specialty I’ve been working on for a while.

Anyway, yeah… I’ll be back on Wednesday with a few updates. You? You’ll be all bloated and guilty with some ashes on your forehead and promising not to do what you did again… until next year rolls around, right? I thought so. If I’m around, maybe I’ll hold your hair back with a two-foot long pair of tongs while you barf into something safe. But I won’t bail you out because you probably deserve a short spin in the can if you did what I heard you did. Amusingly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever had a slice of King Cake before, so I may need to at some point.

One Upon Light: Boxed In Braniac Braves Brightness

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Rising Star Games has a really nice, stylized top-down puzzle game on PS4 now and coming to PC later this month in the form of One Upon Light, the award winning 2014 game from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD Game Lab). As you can see above and below, the black and white visuals pack quite a punch as The Scientist needs to make his was out of that deadly lab without letting any sunlight touch him. I’d gather there’s a story-based reason for all that crate shifting and light avoiding, or else it’s an “inspired bu a true story” game about every gamer who’s ever spent too long indoors binge-playing that latest RPG or other favorite title. Yeah, that’s a lousy stereotype… but I just know some of you out there just yelled out “That’s the story of my life!” and choked a little on that Mountain Dew you were swigging. Continue reading

10 Cloverfield Lane TV Spot: Bowl of Confusion *Slightly* Spills Some Secrets


 

Okay. Yeah… I’d almost forgotten there was some *big* sports-ball game on TV to-day. Then again, to me all these major event deals tend to blend together to me especially with this non-stop sporty thing that has balls of all shapes and sizes in the air and on the ground 24-7. *Yawn*, but more power to those who can stay glued to the tube or pony up the mortgage money to go see in person and overpay for food and lodging their favorite things in the world (well outside breathing, family and such). Continue reading

READS: Bombshell: The Pin-Up Art of John Gladman

Bombshell_coverThank goodness the art of the glamour pin-up book isn’t lost forever, particularly given today’s endless supply of overly raunchy and more easily accessible content the internet has to offer. The fine folks over at Schiffer Books have been putting out a nice selection of pin-up titles for some time, but this is one of the best they’ve published to date.

Award-winning photographer/artist John Gladman is one of those thankfully still carrying the artfully positioned cutie torch and in Bombshell: The Pin-Up Art of John Gladman (Schiffer Books, $34.99 – BUY IT!), there’s a whole lot to appreciate. Continue reading

Portal Knights: Mine and Craft Your Way Through This Keen-Looking ARPG

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PortalKnights_AnnounceScreens_35_Knight505 Games and veteran developer Keen Games have something cool cooking up that’s going to probably be pretty hot soon. Portal Knights is headed to PC via Steam Early Access on February 25 and based on the trailer and screens, should make fans of games like Minecraft and Fight the Dragon quite giddy.

Confession time: other than watching a few friends play and taking over for one when he had to take a phone call (I got to beat up on some Creepers and do a bit of building for maybe half an hour), I haven’t really played enough of Minecraft to have a decent impression of what it’s all about (whaaaaat?!). But I’ve sunk too many hours into many of  Fight the Dragon’s short user-created maps and appreciate much of what that game has brought to the table in terms of customization and how easy it is to get into while being incredibly challenging and rewarding.

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Portal Knights looks like a ton of fun based on the trailer alone that shows it’s got a bit of backstory to it. The art style is slicker and more appealing than the two aforementioned games, but as usual, graphics are subjective and gameplay is absolute. So it’s in the “What happens when I pick up a controller or mouse and keyboard” stuff where my main interest lies. An adjustable camera view is hopefully in the options mix, as the trailer’s combat sequences are a tad too close in for my tastes. Okay, I hate getting jumped by off screen enemies or not knowing how much room I have to run away screaming when trouble gets too close. Your mileage may vary, as usual.

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Mining and crafting aside, if the fantasy elements of the game can grab players from the outset and keep them hooked in for the long haul while getting regular content updates and fixes, Portal Knights could be a contender to the throne. We’ll see soon enough, though.

DOOM: Campaign of Pain Awaits The Hardcore FPS Fans

doom-frontcoverHa and double ha. Releasing DOOM on Friday the 13th (5/13/2016, to be precise) is a PR masterstroke created courtesy of the calendar naturally falling on that date and players worldwide hoping the final product is indeed ready for its garishly gory close up on  day reserved for superstition and bad luck galore for those who believe in such stuff.

From the video below the jump (it’s kinda NSFW with all that mostly demon blood and bits splooshing all about), it’s clear to this writer that the game recalls the original’s unrepentant and dark tone, amped-up modern visuals side.

Remember, folks: you’re NOT buying DOOM because you want happy-happy rainbows and flower-draped unicorns prancing about with flitty faeries giggling psychotically as rosewater (gently) sprays into your face from your PC’s speakers. You’re buying DOOM because you know what you’re getting into: One space marine on Mars stuck in a ravaged space base racking up a rather impressive and insane body count comprised of demons who’ve entered the place through a recently activated portal to hell.

Yikes, but hey – simpler is best in a game like this, particularly is it’s trying to get the feel of the original games right. “Nailed it!” is what Bethsoft and id want to hear (or “BFG’ed it!” or “Chainsawed it!” if you want to get into the proper game groove lingo stuff) from fans this May and if that trailer is any indication, they’ll be hearing that and more.

Speaking of more: click below if you darrrrrrreContinue reading