Ascension: Immortal Heroes iOS Released

ascension immortal heroes

I still play Ascension every night. I am constantly in a game (getting my butt kicked) with momongi, inthenetsc, buckeyefitzy and rainynight65. When I say always, I mean always. I look at the results screen, shed a tear of disappointment over losing and hit the rematch button.  When you consider that I have played this game every day since I purchased it for my iPad back when it came out, that’s one hell of a nod to the folks at Playdek and Gary Games.

I just found out that the latest expansion, Immortal Heroes, has been released for iOS and now I wish I were home to download it. It looks like you’ll now need a Playdek account to play online once you download the expansion, and you are downloading the expansion, right?  Playdek is suggesting that you download the the free update to Ascension, start Ascension and log in with the same GameCenter id as usual, create your Playdek account if you haven’t already for Agricola, check to see that all your player stats carry over and then do the in-app purchase for Immortal Heroes. The expansion will run you $2.99 which is a small price to pay to beat me at Ascension well into next year.

Cracked LCD- Triassic Terror in Review

triassic

Triassic Terror is a new area control game from Australian designer Peter Hawes, who did the somewhat underrated War of the Roses: Lancaster Versus York a couple of years ago through Z-Man Games. This time, the historical setting is dialed back several milllions of years and the publisher is Eagle/Gryphon, but Mr. Hawes has delivered another quality design with some very old school German game sensibilities that may likewise wind up under the radar and underappreciated. It’s one of those games that really should sell itself with the always awesome dinosaurs theme, but the competition in the area control genre is stiff- this game is up against greats like El Grande and more recent masterworks like Chaos in the Old World.

Continue Reading…

Jumping the Shark Podcast #179

No High Scores Podcast Logo

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

For our 179th episode, Brandon and I went out to see Man of Steel, just so you don’t have have to. Kidding. We both got our kicks from it and there’s a whole section at the end in which we dig into all the spoilery details. (The spoiler lamp this week is more of a spoiler bonfire where this flick is concerned.) Before that, though, Bill returns ever-so-briefly to talk about his time at the Origins board game show as well as a bunch of updates on the progress being made on Conquistador’s forthcoming video game podcast. Should be a good one. Brandon also heads down deep into the ugly world of Last of Us and guess what? Just between you and me, he doesn’t so much think it sucks. Can you believe it? Yeah, me neither. Tune in to find out more!

Direct Download
iTunes Link
RSS Feed
Past Episodes
Edit Type: Skype

Calendar Man – Week of 6/24

company of heroes 2 shot 1

This week sees the release of Company of Heroes 2, one of the various properties carved up when THQ went under. Bill and I saw it during our last E3 and man, that snow looked amazing. The gameplay also looked impressive and served to remind me that the Eastern Front was not a place I would have ever wanted to be.

We also get the release of Deadpool (PS3, 360, PC) this week, the comic book video game that three, maybe four people have been clamoring for. Nothing against Deadpool, but humor in games is pretty tricky, 4th wall humor even trickier and my concern is that Deadpool will end up being just an annoying mess of 4th wall breaking poop jokes. I’ll still give it a shot, but I’m not expecting much.

In other miscellaneous game news, Project X Zone brings eight gazillion fighters to the 3DS, Spartacus Legends brings gladiatorial gore to PSN and XBLA, Game and Wario brings minigames to the Wii U and Ride to Hell: Retribution (PS3, PC, 360) brings biker club fun to various platforms. It’s like Sons of Anarchy just without an MC member who moonlights as an Elvis impersonator.

Continue Reading…

The Xbox One-Eighty

xboxone

I swear. You go to see Man of Steel and the whole world changes. James Gandolfini, a man who changed the face of television with his portrayal of Tony Soprano passed away and Microsoft reversed all of their crappy DRM and online check-in policies.

What an afternoon.

Continue Reading…

Cracked LCD- Quarantine in Review

quarantine

Mark Klassen’s Quarantine, new from Mercury Games, is the kind of title that easily gets lost in the shuffle these days. It’s not another high profile million-dollar Kickstarter zombie game, it doesn’t bear a popular license, it isn’t making the rounds among the video review tastemakers, and it doesn’t feature any deckbuilding whatsoever. It’s really just an old fashioned tile-laying game that smacks of some of the qualities of the old pre-Boardgamegeek.com German games movement, and many might find it unremarkable. But the concept is fun and the theme is appealingly fresh- players are tasked with building a hospital and triaging patients into appropriate care in exchange for resources spent to acquire additional rooms for their facility. Points are scored at the end based on the number of completed nurse stations in your hospital, the special rooms you’ve built, the number of resources you’ve earned and not spent from treating patients, and by not having any patients waiting to get in the door. Continue Reading…

Why The Last of Us Sucks

the last of us shot one

Along technical criteria The Last of Us is a stunning entertainment product. The art direction is rugged, detailed, and presents a post-apocalyptic American civilization both in ruins and in the process of returning to nature. The character animation, modeling, and voice acting (coupled with an attention to body language) is damn close to the best in the industry, setting new benchmarks for the quality of human depiction in AAA design. The sound design is sparse, evoking a quieter world punctuated by the percussion of gunshots or the wet smack of a fist in the face. It’s not hard to be impressed by Naughty Dog’s production work, which may very well outstrip anything they’ve accomplished in the Uncharted games.

It’s really too bad that the rest of the game sucks. Continue Reading…

Jumping the Shark Podcast #178

No High Scores Podcast Logo

Image: Filomena Scalise / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s the very bro-tastic Hour of Power on this week’s Jumping the Shark as Brandon and I take in the E3 perspective as, for the first time in five years, outsiders.  Oh the humanity! Hear us wonder where all the games went? Wag fingers at us as we debate games ownership versus licensing. Snack along as we break bread over the sheer audacity that is the One’s 24-hour check-in times. Cry with us as we lament just how god awful Microsoft is at messaging their product. And nod knowingly as we agree that Sony played Microsoft like a drumb with their note-perfect PS4 unveiling. Also, more KOTOR2 and Brandon plays some Remember Me.

Enjoy!

Direct Download
iTunes Link
RSS Feed
Past Episodes
Edit Type: Skype

Calendar Man – Week of 6/17

Muramasa Rebirth shot 1

It’s the week after E3 and all game journalists are either hunkered down, furiously typing away at all of the preview pieces borne from last week or passed out from booze and/or exhaustion. Whatever the case, it’s a light week for releases as you can pretty much guarantee zero coverage. At least that’s my theory. I have been wrong before. New Super Mario Bros U. gets the Year of Luigi DLC, the Vita gets Muramasa Rebirth and the Jak and Daxter Collection. XBLA gets two, count ‘em two Dungeons and Dragons ports in Dungeons and Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara. Meanwhile, the PC gets Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition, MotoGP 13, Magrunner; Dark Pulse and Dracula 4: Shadow of the Dragon.

Continue Reading…

Fading Glory Review

fading-glory-1.jpg

I’ve always wanted to like traditional hex and counter wargames more than I actually do. The idea of recreating the strategic intricacies of historical battles is wonderful, but the execution too often involves hundreds of counters, irritating mental maths and quickly becomes dry and stolid. The aspect of Generalship they seem to reward is logistics rather than strategy.

Enter Fading Glory. It’s a collection of four scenarios based on Victory Point Game’s Napoleonic 20 series which is simple to learn, has no more than 20 counters per side, and will play in an hour or two. It’s been given a visual makeover by GMT who’ve added lovely art, mounted boards and a new scenario, Salamanca, not in the original VPG lineup.

Continue Reading…