Once upon a time there was a cowboy by the name of Mark Klassen, though everybody called him Dr. Handsome. Nobody is sure what Mark did for a living — whether he erected hospitals with his bare hands, or just watched way too much Grey’s Anatomy and ER in between modeling gigs. Really, it’s a hell of a mystery. Whatever the case, Mark decided to design the board game equivalent of those fine television programs, though minus all the chiseled doctors and ravishing nurses hooking up. The result is Quarantine from Mercury Games, and it’s unlike anything you’ve played before.
Meet Anna. She’s the first female character in the Metro series to have a name — other than Nikki the prostitute from the first game. Which means, if you couldn’t guess, today I’m writing about the sexist undertones in Metro: Last Light.
If you thought you’d never see the word “sexist” here on Space-Biff!, you’re not the only one. Since this is a site about the things I like, I don’t often talk much about the things I don’t like. Even my few negative reviews only exist because I really enjoy panning bad games. The thing is though, I really like both games in the Metro series. For the most part, they encourage thoughtful, even considerate, behavior. That’s a rarity in any genre of videogame, let alone in the first-person shooter genre, which one could argue makes its bucks by being the exact opposite of “thoughtful.” In fact, I’d go so far as to label Metro 2033 as one of the most moral games I’ve ever played — which is precisely why the sexism in Last Light bothers me so deeply.
It’s more than a little flattering that my most-received request for Space-Biff! is for my thoughts on Metro: Last Light from 4A Games and Deep Silver (and formerly THQ, rest in peace). This is probably owing to the synopsis I wrote last year, which you should totally read, if only because it makes me feel beautiful on the inside.
My one hangup in delivering an actual review is that, while I’d love to fall back on a tried-and-true critique like “it’s two steps forward and one step back,” the reality is more that Metro: Last Light is dancing the Charleston, with so many steps, leaps, and bounds in every direction, that in the end I can’t be sure which direction it’s moved at all. Which isn’t to say I don’t have thoughts on the proceedings — I’ve got plenty. And you can read them below, in a format that includes only a few minor spoilers.
In last month’s installment of Alone Time, I mentioned that the Lord of the Rings Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games was very possibly the only solo game a fella would ever need. And perhaps you thought to yourself, “What if I don’t want to design decks and buy more quests? Also, I hate hobbits.” If that’s the case, today we’re going to talk about two different editions of another game from FFG. It’s Elder Sign, and it’s much more self-contained, has a lot more dice, and doesn’t have quite as high a barrier to entry. And anyway, what could be more anti-hobbit than H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos?
I finally saw Baz Luhrmann’s riotous take on Fitzgerald’s American classic The Great Gatsby last night, and I must say it was without a doubt the most vivid and energetic thing I’ve seen all year. For the entirety of its running time, I felt as though my eyes and ears were being boarded and pillaged by a raucous band of neon pirates.
However, I have one little suggestion for Baz Luhrmann and everyone involved with the production of this 2013 update on the original classic. You can find it below.
It might be the final frontier and all, but it’s also the first thing on every iOS developer’s mind. I have so many galaxy-blue icons littering my iPad’s app list that I’ve despaired the thought of reviewing them all, at least until I realized I could blob them into a mega-review and have done with it — so you’re in luck, because today we’re looking at three games that share the void as their setting, but otherwise couldn’t possibly be more different.
Engage. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
Everyone knows that videogames are murder simulators. Why, just earlier this week, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was teaching me how to take down 1980s rogue cyborg armies with a laser machinegun, and later that evening I put my skills to use by transforming into a gun-slinging vigilante who single-handedly cleaned up Salt Lake City before dawn. Weren’t no thing at all.
The one downside is that while a handful of hours of mouse-clicking will transform even the mildest-mannered child into an ultra-aggressive and super-competent killer with skills on par with the years of training required to be a special forces operator, even the manliest nerd might find it hard to perform those firearm actions not modeled by most videogames — such as how to manually fill and then load a magazine, manipulate the slide, check the chamber for a live round, and disengage the safety, among other skills.
Thank goodness for Receiver from Wolfire Games, helping you and your family become far more efficient killers!
The original plan was to write a lengthy battle report showing off the capabilities of Queen Maldaria and Torgan, the second summoners for the Phoenix Elves and Tundra Orcs. You know, like we did last week for the new Guild Dwarves and Cave Goblins. Then the actual match didn’t go quite as me and Somerset hoped — as dynamic and interested as the battle had been, it didn’t feel like it would make for particularly good reading. Our rematch was similar, though inverted. That will make sense later.
Somerset then had two realizations: first, the crazy outcome of these two fights was actually a perfect example of what we both like most about Summoner Wars; and second, although I’d written about Summoner Wars over a dozen times, I’d never actually gotten around to writing a review. So that’s what this is: my unconventional review of why I love Summoner Wars, from the perspective of two matches that just didn’t want to be written as battle reports.
Looking at City of Iron for the first time is sort of like staring directly into a rainbow, which my father always said would burn my corneas. Or was that the sun? Either way, Ryan Laukat’s latest game appears all but incomprehensible at first glance, packed as it is with unique races, fantastic lands, and ample opportunities to corner the Bottled Demon market. It’s easily his most ambitious title yet. Is it also his best? Let’s take a look.
It’s always a relief to finish a series and compile an index (it’s a freebie article, so hey!), but I’ll confess I’m going to miss the anticipation of discovering what comes next in the Minigame Library from Level 99 Games. At least this collection has enjoyed enough success that we’ll be seeing another at some point, and Pixel Tactics will be getting a sequel sometime this summer! For your reading simplicity, I’ve compiled all my reviews below.