Descent 2nd Edition Conversion Kit Review

Descent 2nd Edition Conversion Kit Box

The original Descent, Fantasy Flight Games’ behemoth tactical dungeon crawler, divided opinion like a sword divides a mewling goblin. Some people loved its combination of old school role playing with board game strategy, others loathed its over-bloated expansion range, confusing rules and gargantuan play time. So when a vastly streamlined second edition came out earlier this year most gamers were delighted. Except for first edition owners who suddenly had their valuable games rendered worthless and were understandably annoyed. To soothe their fevered brows, there is now a conversion kit so they can get some use out of their old investments.

There seems to be wide confusion over what this expansion actually does. It is categorically not the sort of conversion kit that will allow you to use your first edition Descent game to play the second edition rules. The differences between the two editions are too comprehensive for that. No, to use this you need a copy of second edition, and the purpose of this kit is to simply to allow the use of heroes and monsters from the old edition in the new one. No other components, no scenarios or tokens or board sections, just heroes and monsters. And that means it should be of interest to anyone who owns a copy of the second edition, regardless of whether they have older material lying around.

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Cracked LCD- Games as Art, Antiques, and Collectibles?

I am totally slacking off this week, but it will not- nor will it ever be- a week without a Cracked LCD. But rather than write up a new article, I thought I’d do a little cross-promotion (read: shilling) of some freelance games writing that I do elsewhere that some of you may not be aware of. Since 2008, I’ve worked in a couple of content-creating capacities with, a site that covers the world of art, antiques, and collectibles. Everything from comics to depression glass and all of that grandma-like stuff. Eventually, the editor in chief there said “hey, you know about games…why don’t you write about them for us?” And so it was. Wanna see what I did there? Continue Reading…

Borderlands 2 in Review

So there we were, the Hyperion Circle of Slaughter, Round 5. Petey and I had been handling ourselves pretty well for the first three waves. He’d cover the right, I’d cover the left. Our corrosive weapons made short work of the loaders, helped out with the judicious use of Petey’s turret, its rockets and bullets pointing out enemies, its shield giving us temporary respite from the hail of bullets while at the same time allowing our Bee shields to add as much damage to our shots as possible. When flyers or more mobile soldiers showed up, I’d pick ‘em up with my phaselock and together we’d knock ‘em down.

Everything was going to plan, until the Super Badass Loaders showed up.

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Fighting Fantasy Blood of the Zombies out on iOS & Android

Tin Man Games, esteemed purveyor of the finest Gamebook Adventures to the owners of iOS and Android devices the world over, has today released their first Fighting Fantasy gamebook conversion. It’s the latest in the series by franchise founder and current Eidos President Ian Livingstone, Blood of the Zombies. The title will tell you most of what you need to know about the story. I have it on good authority that the next Fighting Fantasy book up for the mobile treatment is the aged classic House of Horror. Spotting a theme here? So watch Tin Man for a (presumably human) smorgasbord of gory gratification in the near future.

More Neuroshima Hex. Oh Hell Yeah

You may remember me saying that I feel Neuroshima Hex is the best boardgame port to iOS devices, like, ever. It’s made the physical game obsolete. It remains in my regular rotation and I try to get a few games in per week. I do so love me some Hex.

There’s a new army in town and its name is the Steel Police. Watch the vid for a taste. The 2.3 update also includes support for iPhone 5 and iOS 6 and “improved AI” which I hope isn’t the case because the Hard level kicks my teeth in on a regular basis.

Full Price list is as follows:
Neuroshima Hex $2.99 (normally $4.99)
The Bundle of Five Armies $3,99 (normally 7,99)
New York army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
Neojungle army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
Smart army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
Vegas army $0.99 (normally $1.99)
new Steel Police army $0.99 (normally $1.99)

Worth every penny.

Forza Horizon in Review- Human, After All?


Turn 10’s Forza series of automotive simulation titles have continued to improve with each new edition, offering everyone from arcade-style driving game fans to hardcore gearheads the fantasies of dream car ownership and participation in world class motorsport events. But a common complaint the series has shared with its chief rival, the Gran Turismo series, is that this kind of game tends to be somewhat cold, clinical, and almost inhumanly focused on the incredible machines that are its subject matter. For this year’s model, Turn 10 has worked with UK-based Playground Games to deliver Forza Horizon, more appropriately classed as a spin-off from its four predecessors. With a  development team including alumni from games such as Project Gotham Racing and Burnout focused on delivering a more accessible- and some would say alive- experience, Forza Horizon is definitely a more human game. Continue Reading…

And Now, Your First Bit of Borderlands 2 DLC

Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty, the first of four planned Borderlands 2 expansion packs drops today and I couldn’t be happier. I just finished the main game yesterday morning and am in the midst of mopping up the last side quests while at the same time, going back through the game in True Vault Hunter mode. Yeah, I have Dishonored. Yeah, I have Sleeping Dogs. Yeah, I have Walking Dead Episode 4. I don’t care. I want more Borderlands 2, whether it be DLC or redoing the main game just with harder enemies and better loot. Those other games aren’t going anywhere and level 50 is a loooooooong way off.

Jumping the Shark Podcast #147

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Jumping the Shark #147 features that rarest of occurrences: A week in which we all have a shiny new toy to play with. Bill starts his journey into the world of Dishonored and is excited by what he sees. I talk about the little moments that make XCOM: Enemy Unknown such a wonderful re-imagining of the original and the elements that make it a fair compromise of old and new. And Brandon looks reluctantly at his old Pokemon hat, but decides to put it on anyway when he comes to terms with the fact that even though Pokemon White 2 makes him jump through a lot of the same hoops, he just can’t not love little animals that fight each other. (That’s sorta what happens in these games, right?) Enjoy the show!

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Calendar Man – Week of 10/15

After last week’s gameapalooza, this week offers a bit of a break, unless you’re really into James Bond games and/or Dance Central. Neither of those apply to me, so I’ll stick with Pandora and maybe take a crack at Dishonored if I’m feeling adventurous. What can I say? True vault hunter mode is too much of a draw. I know there’s a better bee shield out there! I just know it!

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Old School Rules

Old School Rules

My second favourite place to read articles about gaming (NoHighScores being the first, obviously) is Edge Online. And it was there that I learned the news that two well known names in video game design history, Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall, were joining forces on a kickstarter campaign to fund an “old school” RPG. The modern incarnations of the genre being apparently, in spite of being “epic” and “wonderful”, in need of some competition from the aged paradigm of stat-crunching. The article from which I learned this asked the pertinent question of what, exactly, the label meant. That pushed my nostalgia buttons sufficiently to make me want to try and answer the question for myself.

I grew up with both computers and with pen and paper role-playing games and I can’t recall a time when the link between the two was not obvious. Gathering other gamers together for role-playing sessions is hard and if you want the full effect of slowly developing a group of characters they suck in immense quantities of time. Computers promised a solution to both issues, allowing you to get your fix any time you wanted and speeding up the campaign arc.

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