Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Cyberpunk 2020 - The Sound of Music campaign update

 


We didn't stop our Cyberpunk 2020 campaign. I just stopped writing session updates. Partly because my attention span to such things is very low and another part because when something feels like a chore it's not longer fun. Anyway, without any update on what's happened in between here is a new recap. 

Johnny Silverhand blew the fuck out of Arasaka Tower while we were out of the city doing a gig. Soon as we got word of what happened we fired up the dirigible and headed back to Night City. Along the way we found out that Johnny was Soulkilled by Arasaka and many of our allies are missing or no longer able to be contacted. With Acid now clear headed and fully capable of controlling himself we now have a bit more firepower on our side.

After our band, the Ass Martians, touched back down at the warehouse we received information on where Arasaka was holding Wally's wife in a cryochamber. So we quickly put together a plan to rescue her while playing into the chaos that Night City had fallen into after the explosion. In true Rockerboy fashion we announced a 'moving concert' that goes right in front of the secret facility and invited several other bands to join in. It's amazing what you can get a crowd to do with a healthy dose of Charismatic Leadership. The guards were trying to handle fans tearing up fences and doing property damage. It wasn't long before a full scale riot took place right on their doorstep.

With that we stopped playing, let another really shitty band take over and piss of the crowd even more and went inside. Wally's father in law wanted nobody working for Arasaka to be left alive inside after we got his daughter back. So we go in with guns blazing following behind Acid and Wally as they cleared a path. 

Blood, bodies and bullet casings littered the hallways.

Once we were at the chambers it took my character (The Cocksucker) and Kevin's (The Butt Fucker) to get them open. I used my stolen high end Japanese chip to help read everything while he used his (also stolen high end) Cryochamber operation chip to wake them up. Once they were up and walking we rigged the whole place to blow and hauled as out of there. Moving out way through the rioting people outside as the place went up in a fireball behind us.

Wally got reunited with his wife, who has evidently also had her memories altered as well. Then we took a moment to breath before planning our next course of action. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Savage Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes - Review

 


Savage Red Sonja: Queen of the Frozen Wastes 

From Dynamite Entertainment and available on Drivethrucomics.

I will start off by saying Red Sonja comics come with certain expectations. Well they do deliver them here. But sometimes the story that those expectations are presented it just really make me shake my head. Right off the bat we get some inner dialogue from Sonja where she is complaining just how much she hates the cold. Then we immediately get to see her wearing nothing but the trademark chainmail bikini, a cloak, boots and gloves. 

Really I get the idea that most Red Sonja stories are drawn for the male gaze but at some points you would think somebody would get the idea that she needs to be at least a bit more dressed for the occasions. Walking through deep snow in the middle of a snow storm seems to be one of those times. But here we are.

That being said the art is very well done. Plenty of what people want to see right off the bat in a comic like this. Blood, violence and skin. They really do approach the 'Savage' part of title very well. 

Eventually we see our main character get knocked out and captured. Then revealed to be in the clutches of a female 'demoness' for the lack of a better description. One that has been living among a tribe of savages for centuries helping them evolve into a more intelligent species and becoming more deadly in the process. 

After seeing Sonja she immediately has plans for her, ones that our fiery red head doesn't approve of. Thus begins the fight back against her captures while trying to rally other fellow slaves to her side in hopes of turning the odds and escaping. 

I want to talk about the writing. What there is of it is decently done, but there just isn't a lot. I blew through this collection of four issues in no time flat. Seems they could have added a bit more meat to the story for the reader but it's simply not there at all. So the 86 pages of actual story feel like a single issue. 

The we get around thirty pages of alternate covers and sketchbook art. Which isn't bad and they have some great artists doing these. But that does seem a bit excessive. 

In the end I'm giving this one three out of four. It really needed a boost from more dialogue and story to be put in there. Along with some common sense with clothing in the first part. But if you're a fan of Red Sonja and love the blood, violence and skin over anything else than this is the book for you. 

You can pick it up on DrivethruComics for $11.99

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Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Aberrant: You are not alone - review

 


You can pick this comic up over on DrivethruComics for $1.99

This is a one shot comic from Onyx Path Publishing for the Aberrant game line that is contained within the Trinity Continuum game line. It is not part of a series nor was it ever meant to be. 

The basic of the storyline is that of a blogger who is given a chance to interview one of the most sought after folks on the planet. Antaeus from Team Tomorrow, a group that exists to help the world... at least according to their own PR work. Gillian, the blogger, asks a series of questions while making some assumptions of her own only to get equally mysterious and perplexing answers in return. Especially about that the roll of Nova's are in the world around them.

In the end this acts as a quick basic overview for anybody who is ready to dip into the Aberrant game line. By basic I mean very basic. They don't try to cover everything and right at the end they help push what I presume is part of the metaplot that the line will have. 

Art and writing wise everything is perfectly fine. Solid work. It gives just what they need to for what this comic is supposed to be. However unlike the Exalted one shot comic they put out it really doesn't hook me into wanting to know a little bit more. 

So I'll give it four out of five stars. But only recommended for those who are considering trying out the Aberrant tabletop roleplaying game or are fans of it already. 

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Saturday, February 26, 2022

Mortal Kombat (1995) - Review

 


Mortal Kombat (1995)

You can pick this up on DVD over on Amazon.

Or you can watch it on Amazon Prime


I remember it being 1995 and seeing this movie at the theater with some friends. Back then we didn't think it was that bad. Of course our only from of reference for video game movies was Super Mario Brothers so that is an issue. Now upon viewing it again after a few decades my opinion is somewhat different and I find myself wondering what the hell was wrong with me back then.


Let me start off by saying effects wise they didn't do a bad job with what they had at the time. CGI was still much in the experimental and development phase. Terminator 2 had just came out four years prior and all that tech was still pretty expensive and most companies had no idea how well it would turn out on the big screen. So some of it turned out decent like Scorpions “Get over here” attack, but the others like Scorpion unmasking himself or Reptiles non-human form are pretty janky at their best. On the other hand the Goro puppet and animatronics were pretty damn sweet looking and much better than they had any right to be. So the practical effects actually turned out better than any of the CGI.


Then we get to casting. Oh who the fuck cast Christopher Lambert as Raiden? Seriously can we retroactively fire that person and make them pay back everything they earned for this movie. This is probably the thing that really gets me the most here. He can't act outside of a specific parameter to save his life and here he is way out of that. Just simply terrible. They cast folks who don't look like they should be in any sort of fighting competition, much less Mortal Kombat. Bridgette Wilson may have the blonde hair but she is absolutely unbelievable as Sonya Blade. At least a few were actual martial artists but that didn't help much because of... wait for it... because of....


Because the choreography sucked for the most part. The fight scenes had tons of cuts, edits and ended up looking like a jangled mess. Occasionally you would get a few shots that lasted more than a few seconds but that was a rarity. Some actual folks in place training people to do longer lasting scenes in shots that lasted a bit would have been great.


Also we discover the director loves (and I do mean loves) drowning out as many different colors as he can. Flooding a scene with one single color, be it blue, red, yellow or whatever. At first it was noticeable as a simple way to shot a scene for effect, but we get it over and over again. Somebody needs to take the flood lights away from him.


In the writing department they pull off an okay job. Nothing super bad and they do keep the characters constant throughout. Johnny is an ass, Lui is fighting against his destiny, Sonya wants to fuck up Kano. No big departures for no reason, with a nice little dash of “what have we gotten ourselves into” thrown in there. Some of Raiden's lines are pretty laughable but again, coming from a hopelessly miscast Lambert that is no surprise.


Oh I will take a moment to mention the soundtrack is fun. That's about all I can say on that.


Then the entire thing is set up for a sequel. From Jaxx being in the early part of the movie to the final end scene. But oh don't go thinking they stepped it up with part two because they sure as hell did not. One day I may view that movie again for a review, but today will not be that day.


Until next time.


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Such believable martial arts abilities.




Friday, February 25, 2022

Ravine Volume One - Review

 


Ravine Volume One 

from Top Cow and available on DrivethruComics.


This is a fantasy world based comic with dragon riders, kingdom level politics, trapped gods and sentient weapons of great power. Mainly centered around the kingdom of Palladia and the various factions of an alliance that make it up. There is a dark past that is covered at the beginning of the comic that had direct impact on the story taking place in the core part of the comic. But then there are those on the outskirts just trying to make their way through the world.


Evelynn de Corredan, whose real name is Lynn de Luctes, is one of the center points of the story. A young dragon rider who is out to prove her ability and skills while avoiding her ultimate fate that will take it all from her. Hoping to one day wield a weapon of power known as a Grimlas. But with attacks happening along the borders of the kingdom from an unknown threat and the power plays going on behind the throne, she may not be able to avoid that fate for much longer.


The world building here is very well done. With multiple layers of intrigue already built onto a history of the the entire setting. Feeling much like Artesia, with a complete and very believable background that you want to dive into with both feet. There is a lot of terms, jargon and characters introduced but in a bit of brilliance we get a glossary in the back with a break down of all the main players in the story. Plus plenty more history to boot just for those salivating for more.


Once again I'm pleased to see more artwork from one of my current favorites Stjepan Sejic. Here his style really comes to life as each character has their own unique look and feel. There is no confusion who is on the page. The attention to detail is extraordinary, from the style and designs of armor and weapons to the ferocious appearance of the dragons. He's definitely rolling in his element here.


In the end I'll give this one five out of five. Although with a world setting this heavily detailed it's probably not for everyone, especially for those looking for some light reading.


You can pick it up on DrivethruComics for just $8.99.


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Sunday, February 20, 2022

Exalted: Tale of the Visiting Flare - Review

 



Exalted: Tale of the Visiting Flare

from Onyx Path Publishing and available on DrivethruComics.


This is a quick single issue comic for the tabletop roleplaying game known as Exalted. Which is described as such:


This is the tale of a forgotten age before the seas were bent, when the world was flat and floated atop a sea of chaos. This is the tale of a decadent empire raised up on the bones of the fallen Golden Ate, whose splendor it faintly echoed but could not match. This is a tale of primal frontiers, of the restless dead, of jeweled cities ruled openly by spirits in defiance of Heaven's law. This is a tale of glorious heroes blessed by the gods, and of their passions and the wars they waged in the final era of legends.


It's a setting heavily influenced by eastern culture and beliefs. With a lot of super powered heroes mixed in there to fight the good fight and restore the realm they live in.


The comic itself is a simple tale of one wandering warrior looking for his own path and trying to figure out the mystery of his past. From the mysteries of his dreams to the strange mark on his forehead where he is told he is the reincarnation of a powerful force from the past. It's short but it does convey a nice feeling for the setting and the kind of stories that can be told there.


Art wise they go that extra step and give us something that also fits the anime styled influence that also permeates the game. It's really smooth, I mean really smooth. The color and the line work mix perfectly and there are no wasted lines here. They went the extra mile in their effort.


But here lies the one problem I have with this comic. There is only one issue. It was made as a Kickstarter stretch goal apparently and there are no plans to continue with the story in this form. Which is really a pity because it leaves you wanting more. Not for the roleplaying games so much as you want to read the rest of the story around this one particular character. 


So in the end I'm giving this one four out of five. That one point loss is because it is a tease. Thus making it most likely to attract the interest of those already invested in the game it is based on or those interested in it. There is very little pull for the casual comic collector to come along and pick this solitary issue up..


Available on DrivethruComics for 2.99


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Friday, February 18, 2022

The Darkness: Levels - Review

 


The Darkness: Levels 

from Top Cow and available on DrivethruComics


The Darkness is a character has been around in the Top Cow comics universe since 1996. However this particular story is sort of retelling of the characters origin as they unfolded in the video game that was released in 2007. Giving the story of the character a bit of a brush up and some tweaks.


In a nutshell The Darkness is a cosmic entity that passes from one host to another throughout history. The current person in possession of this power is Jackie Estacado. A mafia hitman who gained his abilities on his twenty first birthday. There was no warning or foretelling about what he was about to inherit, he was just tossed in for the ride.


In this particular series we get see Jackie receive his 'gift' as he fights against the mob boss he used to work for. There is collateral damage as the woman he loves is killed during and he was not allowed to save her. Which leads to his first trip to the other world where the creatures at his command reside. A sort of hell like dimension of constant fighting and wars. But the Darkness doesn't allow him to stay dead for long and he returns to continue his crusade against his former boss. All the way learning new abilities and limitations of the powers he now possesses.


From what I gather each issue is supposed to represent a different level in the video game, telling the story of that part before moving on to the next one. Which does help bridge a bit of a gap between video game players and comic fans which I'm sure they were hoping for a lot of crossover to occur between the two. It actually works pretty well in this format although a few parts seem particularly rushed but nothing deal breaking at all. Also in a couple of spots it begins to feel like a bit of an anvil dropper but again, not to a level where it broke the comic.


Art wise we get the works of several talented folks. Much to my pleasure it has some early Stjepan Sejic work, he has become one of my favorite current artists in the field right now. So seeing some of his stuff not nearly as polished and refined was a treat. There was some significant differences in the styles here but they were all good and quite talented. Plus there is a large collection of covers, alternate covers, sketch work and stuff like that at the end.


In the end I'm giving this one four out of five stars. I enjoyed it and wouldn't mind catching up on some of the earlier material just to see what it was like.


As always it's available over on DrivethruComics and for only $11.99.  

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