Friday, December 30, 2005

Board Games for Christmas!

Here are three board games we all got for Christmas, with my thoughts.

Duel Masters: The Board Game - Honestly, I do not like the Duel Masters CCG (Collectible Card Game) or any of its contemporaries: Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh, etc. However, this board game was on sale for 2 bucks at the local Kay-Bee toy store (which is closing for good). After playing it a few times, I found this to be a near perfect family board game: up to 5 people can play, the game has some room for strategy and (best of all) most games won't last more than 20 minutes. Perfect for a quick family game, or you can play several rounds if you have more time. This is a great game for those times your kids want to play a game, but you don't have the few hours needed to play Clue or Monopoly.

Stratego: Duel Masters - Again, I'm no fan of Duel Masters, but this was one-fourth the cost of the normal Stratego game, and it can be played with standard Stratego rules (or you can add special "elemental powers rules" that add a little spice to the game).

Risk: Lord of the Rings deluxe edition - Risk on Middle Earth map. I usually play this with standard Risk rules, but there are optional rules that allow you to add in more Tolkien-ish elements (including a quest to destroy the ring). Very fun - a great game for when you have several hours and a few friends over.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Okay - time for more updates! Comics for 12/29

Christmas is over. Grades are in. NOW I have some time to blog. I plan to review some of my gifts (board games and such), and get around to some more serious book reviews. But since today is new comic day, here's a round-up of comics purchased by me (with BLOOD MONEY* even):

Marvel Comics:

Daredevil #80(#460): Brian Michael Bendis' best work for Marvel outside of Alias (no connection to the TV show). Yes, New Avengers and House of M sell better, but those are "event" comics about heroes in tights. This is gripping crime drama that just happens to have a guy who wears red spandex and horns. Lots of good stuff dealing with Journalistic ethics as well.

Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #3: These commandos are literally howling, as some of them are werewolves. A supernatural based comic. It started off fairly oddly and the first two issues made little sense, but it seems to be finding it's place and pace with this issue.

Exiles #74: The "World Tour" continues as the Exiles wreak havoc in the "New Universe" Marvel created back in the 1980s. Fun stuff, and Longshot returns, though nobody from the New Universe joins the team.

IDW Comics:

Fallen Angel #1: DC comics acted a bit like the FOX network when it cancelled Peter David's Fallen Angel comic book. Luckily, IDW stepped up to the plate and bought the rights. This is easily PAD's best work. Set around 20 years after the end of the DC comics version, it treats the events of that series as backstory, making this a great place for new readers to jump in and see the series that has Harlan Ellison raving.

Fables vol. 6, Homelands: This series I buy in Trade Paperbacks rather than the monthly issues. It takes longer to get the next installment, but it also is a lot cheaper (and the TPB has only in-house ads). Find out who The Adversary is! What evil, dastardly figure caused our beloved fairy tale figures to flee into our mundane reality and set up a gated community? Find out. Hint: It's not the Blue Fairy, but you would be close if that was who you guessed.

*Blood money = My twice weekly compensation for donating blood plasma.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Semester's Almost Over....

I will probably have a mega comic post on Wednesday, though I will still have freshman essays to grade then (still not as tough as writing my own for graduate seminars).

As for TV - Well, I'm mad as spit that FOX is canceling Arrested Development. I'm happy they kept it around as long as they have (despite the constant pre-emptings and reschedulings so typical of Fox), but -

well, I wonder why I even watch Fox. After Firefly, John Doe, Dark Angel, Futurama - etc. etc. I think that network exists to make sure quality shows get cancelled.

And because of the disappointment known as "the last season of Simpsons" I haven't even bothered to check that show out. And whatever happened to Malcolm in the Middle?

Except for the last few episodes of Arrested Development, and Teen Titans and Bobobo-Bo-Bo-Bobo on Cartoon network, there's not much on worth watching. Lost and Battlestar Galactica come back in January, and The 4400 and Dead Zone are "good enough for summer" type tv series, so we won't see them until at least April or May (although I hear there's going to be "A Very Dead Zone Christmas" TV special in a few weeks. That oughta be trippy). And I've given up on Monk, as it seems the series has lost all life with the new "nurse."

Of course, since I've had so little time this semester because I took on an extra job to help pay off some debt, I was looking for excuses to stop watching some TV shows.